by Chris Robinson
Last night I caught up with veteran HBO color analyst Larry Merchant and got his take on the recent news of Floyd Mayweather’s impending 90-day jail sentence and how it affects his future.
Before our conversation ended, I also wanted to get Merchant’s take on the next ring appearance of WBC junior middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, which appears to be slated for April 21st of next year.
Two names being mentioned as opponents for Alvarez are former five-time champion Shane Mosley and junior middleweight banger James Kirkland, who is lined up with a January 28th fight against Carlos Molina, set to air on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.
Mosley has had a decorated career but has looked far from stellar since his January 2009 victory over Antonio Margarito, going just 0-2-1 against the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sergio Mora, and most recently Manny Pacquiao in that span. The Pacquiao fight in particular was painful to watch as Mosley was dropped by the Filipino whirlwind in the third round before backpedaling the remainder of the fight.
Having turned forty in September, Mosley still feels he has some life left in his career and Merchant isn’t surprised to see him still chomping at the bit.
“I’m not surprised that he wants to keep fighting,” said Merchant. “Why would anyone be surprised about an older, aging fighter wanting to keep fighting? Roy Jones is out there, Antonio Tarver is out there, Evander Holyfield is out there. I’m not surprised.”
But what has thrown Merchant for a loop is seeing Mosley’s name mentioned specifically for Alvarez.
“I am surprised to see his name mentioned for Alvarez, because it doesn’t pass the smell test,” Merchant stated. “Especially since he left Golden Boy to fight Pacquiao. He gave up his interest in Golden Boy. So I’m not sure that would happen.”
Kirkland, however, is a different case.
The Austin,Texas native was an afterthought by many following his shocking 1st round knockout loss to Nobuhiro Ishida in April but showed much conviction by reviving his career with a come-from-behind TKO over Alfredo Angulo late last month in Cancun, Mexico. Down in the first round in that fight, Kirkland showed tremendous resolve by turning the tables and punishing Angulo until the Mexicali native could take no more.
Exclusive interviews: Sergio Martinez calls Pacquiao a 'fake' / Lamont Peterson interested in revenge bout vs. Brandon Rios / Larry Merchant says Bob Arum was right about Mayweather / Marcos Maidana answers Roger Mayweather
The win put the wind back in Kirkland’s sails and a fight between him and Alvarez is very intriguing, according to Merchant.
“I would love to see him fight Kirkland, if Kirkland gets by his next opponent,” Merchant continued. “That would be a hell of a match. It would be an interesting step up. Kirkland is the kind of fighter that everybody wants to see. And he’s got to get out of it to be in shape in a couple of months, which shouldn’t be a problem. I’d love to see Alvarez fight Kirkland.”
Merchant pointed out that he has nothing against Mosley, who he has had great reverence for throughout his peak years.
“I’ve been the biggest fan of Shane over the years but my attitude about him is the way it is about other once-top fighters who keep going; it’s there right to keep going and it’s my right not to want to see them.”
[ Reader's note: For recent images of Shane Mosley's girlfriend Bella Gonzalez please visit Bonus images of Bella Gonzalez ]