Michael Rosenthal

Mosley old but not TOO old?

Shane Mosley was greeted by fans and members of the media upon his arrival Tuesday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where he'll face Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night.


LAS VEGAS – When it comes to Shane Mosley, the conversation often comes back to age.

Mosley is 39, meaning he has been boxing as an amateur and then a pro for more than 30 years. Athletes are doing amazing things even into their 40s these days. Still, in boxing, 39 is old.

The point Mosley and trainer Naazim Richardson would like to make is this: He’s not too old.

Mosley has never been beat up in a fight, which seems to accelerate the aging process. And he keeps himself in relatively good shape between fights, which might slow the aging process.

The main difference between 39 and 29, Mosley said, is the recovery process.

“When you get a little older, your body doesn’t recuperate as fast,” Mosley told a small group of reporters Tuesday at the MGM Grand, where he’ll face Manny Pacquiao on Saturday. “That’s one of the reasons in my off time I play a lot of basketball. I’m very active, so when I do go to (training) camp, I’m not in bad shape.

“Some fighters take off a complete season until the time they have to start training two months before a fight. I’m always doing something. That helps me out.”

Mosley obviously doesn’t have the remarkable speed and reflexes he had as a young fighter.

That’s not necessarily a death knell for a fighter, Richardson said. He said boxers learn to adjust to such changes in their bodies, as we all do in daily life.

“When I was a young man and went out to the car to get the groceries, I went out and grabbed every bag, put them over my shoulder and went into the house,” Richardson said. “As I got older, I made more trips to get the bags. As I got even older, I’d look for my sons to get the bags.

“You make adjustments when you get older. Everybody does. … In sports, naturally you get smarter and make the necessary adjustments if your reflexes are getting a little slower.”

Richardson said Mosley can still make those adjustments.

“Shane doesn’t get credit for his high IQ in boxing,” he said. “… He still has the physical attributes to apply what he knows. What I know now I could beat guys to death, but after 15 seconds, I’d be huffing and puffing.

“He can still carry out game plans.”

Richardson would point to Mosley’s ninth-round knockout of Antonio Margarito in 2009 as evidence of that. Those who think otherwise would point to his subsequent one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and draw with Sergio Mora.

Pacquiao isn’t so small: If you want to rile Richardson, suggest that Pacquiao is a small welterweight.

The Filipino icon, who is around 5-foot-6, has fought in the 147-pound division in four of his past five fights but has never weighed more than 145¾ in any outing. He fought at 130 pounds as recently as 2008.

“He’s a full-fledged, sure-enough welterweight,” Richardson said. “… Claiming that he’s a small welterweight is like claiming David Tua and Mike Tyson are small heavyweights. People get confused with what is small and what is short.

“A fire hydrant is short but it’s strong as hell. Manny is a real welterweight. He has almost bamboozled the whole world into thinking he’s 2 inches (tall) and weighs 32 ounces.”

Mosley latched onto the Tyson example. The former heavyweight champion is no taller than 5-10.

“Tyson was a relatively small heavyweight but he was knocking these guys out, guys like (Trevor) Berbick and all these guys,” Mosley said. “… He had good speed and good power. Tyson was very fast. He moved his head real good.

“I believe he was one of the best heavyweights of all time.”

Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, said recently that Pacquiao’s natural fighting weight is probably 140 pounds.

Mayweather-Pacquiao comparison: Mosley was asked whether he could take anything from his loss to Mayweather last year and use it against Pacquiao on Saturday. After all, both Maywether and Pacquiao are noted for their quick hands and all-around ability.

Mosley said his former opponent and Pacquiao are completely different fighters.

“I believe they’re totally different as far as speed is concerned,” he said. “… It’s a timing thing (with Mayweather) … when to throw punches and when not to throw punches. Mayweather doesn’t throw a lot of punches but throws them at the right time. Manny throws more punches and throws them at any time.

“That style [Pacquiao’s], I believe, is going to be more-suitable for me.”

Pound for pound: Mosley was asked about Mayweather being removed from the THE RING ratings as a result of inactivity.

“If you come back and fight, maybe they throw you back onto the pound-for-pound list,” he said. “They took me off the pound-for-pound list. So when I beat Manny, does that mean I’m No. 1 or No. 2? I don’t know.”

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