Thursday, February 4, 2010
Shane Mosley Q&A: 'No Excuses'
A little more than a year ago, it seemed that boxer Shane Mosley's world was coming apart.
His marriage to the mother of three of his four children, was in tatters. The former world titlist was under scrutiny after having admitted during leaked grand jury testimony that he had used designer steroids before defeating Oscar De La Hoya in September, 2003.
But after stopping Antonio Margarito in the ninth round on Jan. 24 of last year, the 38-year-old Mosley (46-5, 39 knockouts) is on the verge of earning his largest career payday against five-time champion, Floyd Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) on May 1, but only after having to agree that each fighter will be randomly blood- and urine-tested for steroids -- Olympic-style.
"They can test me every day, twice a day, if they want. I'm a clean athlete and I've been a clean athlete. I'm willing to do this for every fight I have for the rest of my career," Mosley told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. "I want it so you guys [in the media] know, so the public knows, so everybody knows. I'm clean, I've been clean and I have nothing to hide."
Mosley spoke to FanHouse about all of the above in this Q&A.
FanHouse: If you were to explain to your fans, who have stuck with you, what it was like to perform against Antonio Margarito while being under the microscope, and what it's been like to be in your position of scrutiny over the last year, what would you say to them?
Mosley: To my fans, this is what I do. I've been a fighter from Day One. I've been boxing since I was eight years old -- that's 30 years of fighting. This is what I do, and this is what I know how to do.
You will always get the best out of me, regardless of what's going on in my life. I would never put, or, have something in my way and use that as an excuse to say, 'Well, I had this going on, that going on, and that going on, and that's why I can't perform like I'm supposed to.'
I'm a professional, and it's my job to be mentally strong in the ring, out of the ring, whatever. It's my job to be mentally strong when I get into the ring and to do my best. You're always going to get the best out of me, that's all.
FH: Are you pinching yourself concerning how fortunate you are to be getting this fight after the long layoff, or are you still in disbelief until you actually get into the ring with Floyd Mayweather?
Mosley: You never know if the fight is there until you get into the ring. But I'm pretty sure that Mayweather needs and wants this fight as much as I do.
FH: After what you've been through over the last year, were you wondering if you would ever get an opportunity such as this after defeating Antonio Margarito?
Mosley: I love to fight, I love to box, and it doesn't matter who I get into the ring with. So, I'm happy that it's a big fight, and I'm happy that the fans will get a chance to see a good fight.
And maybe they won't be so quick to want to go to the MMA and watch them fight. They'll be able to watch a big fight, and a very good fight.
FH: With this being two American welterweights, you and Floyd (pictured at right), there are some people who are comparing this fight to the Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns fight. Do you see any elements of that, and if so, who do you cast yourself as?
Mosley: It's going to be a great fight. I do see myself and Floyd as being in the type of fight that is a Sugar RayLeonard-Tommy Hearns type of fight. Tommy was no joke as well. But my name is 'Sugar' for a reason. I liked Tommy, and I liked Sugar Ray Leonard.
FH: Can you break down the skills that each of you bring to the table?
Mosley: With Mayweather, Mayweather is an excellent boxer and counter-puncher, and his timing is very good. He has very good hand speed.
I think what makes me different and difficult is that all of the years that I've fought, that I'm a total fighter. I can box, punch, move, slip-slide, I can do everything. I can imitate fighters really well.
I'm well-rounded, so it's hard to train for somebody like myself, because you don't know if I'm going to bring my fighting style out, my boxing style out, the counter-punching, or whatever.
I have different things to my arsenal that I can bring to the ring.
FH: Will you be bring back the body-punching that made you so good as a lightweight (135 pounds) champion, considering it's been virtually impossible for someone to hit Floyd's head, let alone, his body, consistently?
Mosley: It could be a good tactic to bring the body shots. Against Margarito, I went to the body as well, which is what basically broke him down, was the body shots.
But yeah, the body attack will definitely be a good tactic to use. I mean, there are so many different things that I'd like to use against Mayweather.
I can't just go, 'Okay, I'm just going to the body.' Or, 'I'm going to throw right hands,' or, 'I'm going to throw a lot of jabs,' or, 'I'm going to try to get past his defense with the leads.'
There are so many things that I can do and that I'll need to do to confuse Mayweather.
FH: At the age of 38, Shane, are you more mature, a better fighter, how has the age manifested itself in you?
Mosley: It's wierd, because I thought that I'm getting better and better. When I'm moving around, and I'm working out, and I'm fighting, and I'm training, I just felt better.
But, you know, maybe, I don't know, I might not be able to be rejuvenated as fast, or recover as fast, but I feel good. I think I'm a lot better, but I really don't know, but I feel good.
FH: Mentally, are you a better fighter than you've been in the past?
Mosley: Mentally, yeah, I'm better. I understand the boxing game a lot better and a lot more. I know when I'm making different mistakes, and I know when I'm doing different things, I know why they're happening and why they're not.
But as a younger fighter, you just kind of do things spontaneously, and you don't always know what you're doing. You're succeeding, but you don't understand or know why you're succeeding at what you're doing.
Once I sat down and watch tapes of myself, and of different people and different fighters, and why they are successful at doing what they do, that made me more of a better fighter, mentally, in the ring.
I became better at understanding the moves that I'm making and why they're working.
FH: This is the largest payday that you're going to get, and there's a rematch clause in the event that Floyd Mayweather loses, correct?
FH: If you were able to map out the end of your career, what would your dream closure be?
Mosley: I guess that it would be fighting Mayweather twice, and then, fighting Manny Pacquiao. I could fight Pacquiao twice too, if I need to.
And then, I think, by then, there should be nothing else for me to do. Other than that, that would be it, probably, pretty much. Unless I went back and fought Winky Wright or somebody at 154. But other than that, there's no one else to fight.
FH: So you want to get some payback against Winky Wright for the two losses on your record?
Mosley: Either that, or give Andre Berto (pictured at right) a shot at the title, because he's been waiting for a long time as well. He's a world champion, and if he's still on top, maybe I could give him a shot.
Berto's a young warrior, and he wants to fight as well, so maybe I would do that. Other than that, I'm not sure what else is out there.
FH: Speaking of Andre Berto, is there anything that you would like to say to him?
Mosley: Yeah, I would really just like to send my condolences out to him and his family. I know that some of the people in Haiti, and some of his family members might have been hurt out there.
Hopefully, he and his family are together. Hopefully, mentally, he can get back into the boxing game and get back on top.
He's a great, young fighter, and I'm just wishing him all of the best for him.
Author: Lem Satterfield