By Rick Reeno
"Sugar" Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39KOs) has read the recent press clippings. He understands why some of the fans out there are criticizing his upcoming fight with WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (39-0-1, 29KOs). Last Friday, Mosley reached an agreement to face Alvarez on May 5th, as the scheduled pay-per-view co-feature to Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In two of his recent fights - twelve round defeats to Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao - Mosley’s performances left a bad taste in the mouths of the viewing audience – but they also left a bad taste in the mouth of Mosley. He doesn’t make excuses for his recent shortcomings, although he does admit that he injured the Achilles tendon in his left foot a few weeks before the Pacquiao fight and then aggravated the injury during the contest.
“I can say so many different things, but the actions will have to speak louder than words. I feel right at home at 154. My feelings are right. I look forward to a great night,” Mosley told BoxingScene.com.
“Fighting this guy at 100%, it can be a very different type of match than those fights. He's looking to fight [Mayweather and Pacquiao]....me too, but [I’ll fight them] at 100% though. I've been in the ring with big guys. Big guys don't really faze me. We're the same height and [Fernando] Vargas is a lot bigger than him. I'm looking to have a great night and then go on from there to bigger and better things.”
At 21-years-young, Canelo is 19-years younger than Mosley and he’s being groomed as one of the next big superstars in boxing. Mosley, a former three division world champion, has been around long enough to realize that Alvarez and his handlers are looking to use him as a springboard to much bigger fights.
“The biggest disadvantage Canelo has is that he's fighting me at 100%, not at 70%. He's going to be lacking a lot of different things in that fight and that’s going to be a big disadvantage when he fights me. I'm more hungry and I really want to prove [something],” Mosley said.
“There has been a lot of bad press and there has been a lot of things said about me..that I'm old, that I should retire….and a lot of these different things. I'm not thinking about being a stepping stone. I can tell you that really....I would have did the fight for free. I would have did this fight for free. I have something to prove and that will be a big disadvantage for this young kid when he steps in the ring with me.”
Last year, Mosley broke away from Golden Boy Promotions to secure his lucrative opportunity with Pacquiao. There were some angry words exchanged between the two parties. When whispers of Alvarez-Mosley initially surfaced, some wondered if Mosley and Golden Boy, who promote Alvarez, would put aside their differences to finalize a deal.
"The Pacquiao fight was just business. I have no problem fighting with Golden Boy. I have no problem fighting with Top Rank. I have no problem fighting with any promoter who has a top fighter,” Mosley said.
In an interesting side note, Alvarez is planning to hold his training camp in Big Bear, California. Mosley usually secludes himself from the public to train in the same area. Will Canelo and Mosley actually cross paths during a morning run at Big Bear? It’s possible, says Mosley.
Mosley found himself in the exact situation in the past, twice. When Mosley fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2000 and 2003, the two boxers held their training camps at Big Bear. In fact, Mosley recalls looking out the window and watching De La Hoya and his team running past.
"The second [fight] is when he ran past my house, him and his team,” Mosley recalled with a laugh.