On Friday night, the aging Mosley agreed to terms for a return to the MGM on May 5 against WBC 154-pound beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, a man 19 years younger than he is.
“Shane feels that he’s going to turn back the clock and that he’s going to show everybody what he’s all about,” said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. “It’s his chance to become world champion again by beating Canelo Alvarez.”
A 21-year-old fighter whose nickname means “Cinnamon,” Alvarez is “hungry,” said Mosley, “and he’s looking to take out a legend” in an effort to boost his already skyrocketing star status among his Mexican fans.
“I’m ready to fight. I’m excited. I think that it’s a great fight for me to put me back on the map,” said Mosley, a 40-year-old, three-division, five-time titlewinner.
“Canelo has the belt and I think that it’s going to put me in line for bigger and better things. But I have to get past him, so let’s do it.”
Alvarez-Mosley will happen on the undercard of a main event featuring Mayweather against WBA junior middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto in in a pay-per-view event whose network has yet to be determined, said Schaefer.
“Both fighters have agree to terms. Both fighters are excited about the fight and we have a deal. It’s a big fight and a big weekend. I think that it’s the biggest event that we have put together since Floyd Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya. This is definitely going to be a record-breaker,” said Schaefer, who credited Golden Boy President De La Hoya for putting Alvarez-Mosley together.
“Shane Mosley and Canelo is a main event all day long, and that would be an event that would easily fill up venues anywhere, and it would fill up the the MGM or the Staples Center on its own. To have this fight on the biggest card of the year with Mayweather and Cotto, just makes this a can’t-miss event.”
By the time he enters the ring against Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 knockouts), it will have been nearly a year to the day since Mosley lost to Pacquiao in his last fight.
But Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs), who turned 40 in September, already is in Big Bear, Calif., training and reviewing tapes of Alvarez.
“I will just have to review the tapes and the DVDs to see exactly what his strengths and weakness are. And then I’ll dissect them,” said Mosley.
“I know that Canelo is a young fighter and he’s a strong fighter and you can’t take any fighter lightly. Plus he’s a world champion, and wearing another belt at 154 would be a tremendous accomplishment for me, especially at 40.”
Mosley’s last victory was a ninth-round knockout of Antonio Margarito more than three years ago, accomplished before a record crowd at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Margarito had never been stopped before that fight.
“For Mosley, it’s the last opportunity for that old dog to fight and run away with the bone. It’s the last opportunity. When you’re down, and the cards are stacked against you, you’re fighting for you life,” said De La Hoya.
“I truly feel that Mosley is going to be very, very dangerous. Mosley knows that this is his last opportunity. For Canelo, if he accomplishes what nobody has ever accomplished before — and that’s to knock out Mosley — then we have a real superstar on our hands.”
Alvarez is after the fourth straight knockout in as many defenses of the belt he won by unanimous decision over Matthew Hatton last March, and he’s coming off a fifth-round knockout of former welterweight beltholder Kermit Cintron in November.
“Canelo has accepted the chance to fight a legend like Shane Mosley, and he’s 21 years young. Fighting somebody with the skill-level and the experience of Shane Mosley just shows you what Canelo is all about,” said Schaefer.
“Canelo told us that he’s taking this fight to make a statement. The statement he wants to make is that he wants to become the first fighter to knock out Sugar Shane Mosley.”
Mosley, for his part, has performed well against Latino fighters.
In addition to Margarito, Mosley also has twice beaten De La Hoya — the second time for both the WBC’s and WBA’s junior middleweight belts in September of 2003 — scored consecutive knockouts over former world champion Fernando Vargas in 2006, and stopped Ricardo Mayorga in 2008.
“Shane Mosley is legendary, and he knows that for him, it’s do or die,” said Schaefer. “But he feels very comfortable fighting Hispanic fighters. All of his biggest victories have come against Hispanic fighters.”
But will Alvarez’s youth trump Mosley’s experience?
“This is Sugar and Cinamon,” said De La Hoya. “Which one is going to be sweeter?”
In the main event, Mayweather, who turns 35 on Feb. 24, will pursue his eighth title belt over five weight classes against Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs).
Cotto, who beat Mosley by close unanimous in November of 2007, has won three straight fights, all by knockout, and will be making the third defense of his belt.
“Oscar is the one who pulled this together. It wasn’t easy, because Canelo and Shane are both main event fighters, and here they are in the co-feature, so that was not the easiest thing to do,” said Schaefer.
“May 5th is going to be a celebration of the sport of boxing and I just can’t wait. It gives me the chills to think that you have Mayweather, Cotto, Canelo and Mosley all fighting on the same card. It’s unheard of.”
In addition, the event will takes place on Cinco de Mayo weekend, a traditional day of Mexican celebration and success for bouts featuring Mexican stars.
“Canelo is going to bring a lot Mexicans to the table obviously because of Cinco De Mayo,” said De La Hoya. “And with Mayweather, Cotto, Sugar Shane Mosley, they’ve all got a huge appeal to the Mexican crowd.”
Photos by Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com