Shane Mosley hasn’t won a fight since his upset stoppage of Antonio Margarito in January 2009 but the 41-year-old veteran says he can still fight and aims to prove it against 23-year-old Pablo Cesar Cano on Saturday.
His ticket to Canastota is all but punched.
He’ll go down as one of the greatest fighters of this generation, but “Sugar” Shane Mosley trudges on at the age of 41, his best days well behind him. He’s 0-3-1 in his last four outings and hasn’t resembled the fast, athletic fighter the boxing world loved.
Mosley, though, insists on continuing his storied career and will look to notch his first win since an upset stoppage of Antonio Margarito in January 2009 when he takes on Pablo Cesar Cano on Saturday in Cancun, Mexico.
“I think that once I get in the ring again and fight the way I was supposed to fight, that will go away – ‘he’s old, or he’s shot,’ or whatever they say,” Mosley (46-8-1, 39 knockouts) told RingTV.com. “I feel good; I feel great, actually.”
Whispers have swirled in boxing circles that Mosley is fighting on for the money, stemming from his ugly divorce (and subsequent settlement) with ex-wife Jin, but Mosley says that isn’t so. He sparred with junior welterweight contender Kendall Holt before the latter’s fight with Lamont Peterson this year and says he knew he had to fight on after the spirited sessions.
“He was telling me how fast I was and how hard I hit. I wasn’t going all out or nothing. He said I’ve still go it,” said Mosley, a native of Lynwood, Calif. “I could feel it when I was sparring with Holt.
“Everybody needs money and I can use some spending change,” continued Mosley. “As far as needing it right now, to change my life or something? Nah; I’m good. I have properties everywhere. I have money in the bank and investments. There’s really no problems with me. But the extra money here or there? That’s good. But I am hungry, I wanna fight. I’ll get a little vacation (in Cancun), get some money and do what I love to do.”
Mosley won world titles at lightweight (with decision over Phillip Holliday), welterweight and junior middleweight (two defeats of Oscar De La Hoya). He took on all-comers, fighting much-avoided Winky Wright and Vernon Forrest twice a piece, losing all four fights. But his last shining moment came at the age of 39, when he badly hurt Floyd Mayweather in the second round of their fight in May 2010. Mosley was unable to put Mayweather down and was thoroughly dominated the rest of the bout.
Following the defeat, Shane fought three more times, a draw with Sergio Mora in 2010, a listless loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2011 and a rout against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2012. Mosley places much blame on injuries for his lackadaisical performances in the twilight of his career.
He claims he had a “totally popped Achilles” leading up to the Pacquiao fight in May 2011, an injury that occurred around Dec. 2010. He says he was sparring in a walking boot that March, took the boot off and wasn’t really able to run, relying more on upper body drills. He also suffered a groin injury in a snowboard accident prior to the Mayweather fight.
“The injuries have played a lot in the fights I lost, probably aside from [Floyd] Mayweather. … The fights probably could have went either way if I would have fought a little better, but being injured, the losses were pretty much one-sided,” Mosley said. “Maybe I think the injuries are what caused that. I think the injuries limited a lot of my mobility – my movement.
“Looking at some of my fights, I can see where it looked like I didn’t have any legs – I really didn’t have any legs (because of the injuries)… I feel as if my legs are coming back; I feel better when I run. I just feel better. I get in the ring and spar with top guys. I think things are going to be a lot different for the next fight.”
The media has derided Mosley as delusional. There have been countless calls for him to hang ‘em up and retire, especially after it was thought Mosley would fight Paulie Malignaggi on April 27 in Brooklyn, before the fight fell through. But Mosley thinks that after all he’s done and accomplished in the sport, that he should be the one with the final say.
“It’s kind of frustrating. Some (writers) may be doing it because they believe it’s for my own good,” said Mosley. “And some, I don’t know, maybe they want to see me leave. But at this point, I’m not ready to go yet. There’s still some fight left in me – a lot of fight left in me.”
While fighting Cano is a nice consolation, Mosley wishes the Malignaggi fight came to fruition. The bout was for a welterweight title and would have been the headliner of a Showtime Championship Boxing card. Instead, Mosley will be fighting outside of the U.S. (his first time as a pro) for less money on a Fox Deportes card.
“It was pretty much a done deal on my behalf,” said Mosley in a frustrated tone. “Everyone wanted it. I wanted it; Golden Boy wanted it. Paulie was a little nervous about it. I think he felt he wasn’t getting enough money for the fight with me. He thought the risk was too great for the money.
“He’s getting more money for (Adrien) Broner, and we don’t know how Broner’s power will be at 147, so maybe he made the right decision. I definitely would have beat him. I would have been too fast, I hit too hard. I’m rugged; he can’t fight me on the inside, can’t fight me on the outside. There’s nothing he can do. In my heart I believe I would have beat him.”
But now Mosley is fighting a man many believe beat Malignaggi in each fighter’s last outing (Oct. 2012). Cano dropped Malignaggi in the 11th round and dropped a disputed decision in Malignaggi’s hometown.
Mosley says “Cano seems aggressive and young with energy. He seems pretty good. I don’t think he’s up there with Canelo but he’s pretty good.”
Cano (26-2-1, 20 knockouts) is just 23 years old, 18 years Mosley’s junior, but he’s already faced good competition, his other loss coming to Erik Morales in 2011. A win over Cano would certainly prove that Mosley has something left in the tank.
He’ll look to turn back the clock and prove that he’s not past it, that he simply was fighting some of the best competition out there.
They say there’s no Old Timer’s Day in boxing. But just maybe, “Sugar Shane” has one great fight left in him.
Photos / Donald Miralle-Getty Images, Ethan Miller-Getty Images, Al Bello-Golden Boy, THE RING
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