by David P. Greisman
Shane Mosley hasn’t won a fight in nearly four years. But his now-former trainer believes Mosley can still win if, as expected, he comes back to face welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi in 2013.
Naazim Richardson will not be in Mosley’s corner when Mosley challenges Malignaggi — Mosley instead has returned to having his father, Jack Mosley, as his trainer.
Nevertheless, Richardson tells BoxingScene.com that there is a difference between Mosley facing Malignaggi instead of the opponents he has lost to in recent years.
BoxingScene.com: What do you think of Shane Mosley fighting again?
Richardson: “It’s a winnable fight for him.”
BoxingScene.com: Why do you think that?
Richardson: “Malignaggi, like I said years ago, he can’t knock a glass of water off the table with a running start. That enables Shane to walk up and deliver what he needs to deliver to win the fight, if he can find the kid. It’s a winnable fight.”
BoxingScene.com: But the question with Shane, as we’ve seen, is getting him to throw punches to begin with…
Richardson: “But it ain’t the same thing coming back no more. See, now what’s coming back is bouncing off him like Superman. So he won’t be as hesitant. Pacquiao can make you think about wanting to throw some punches. But if Malignaggi head butts you, he don’t punch as hard as Pacquaio.”
BoxingScene.com: Shane’s going to be working with his father instead of working with you. What kind of difference do you think that’s going to mean for him, if any?
Richardson: “I think it makes a difference in the sense that his father works on conditioning Shane, from what I was informed before, and then just letting him fight his fight. There’s not a game plan he specifically has to follow. It’s hard for Shane to stick with a game plan, because he never had to all his life. So when you give him a game plan, it’s like he really don’t need the game plan — it’s like you have an actor that can read a script and know the lines, and then you have an actor that can ad lib on the stage and do as well and look like he had a script written for him. Shane was always ad-libbing.”
BoxingScene.com: So you would set a game plan, and he wouldn’t listen to it.
Richardson: “Because he wasn’t used to it. It wasn’t his fault; it was my fault. It was the fact that he wasn’t accustomed to it. He didn’t come up in that. He didn’t come up following a game plan. He would do his thing.
“And the biggest difference is the opponent he’s fighting. When you look at who he’s fighting, as opposed to the guys that he fought when he was with me, which one of them dudes do you see Malignaggi beating — Pacquiao, Mayweather or Canelo? Or maybe Margarito? OK, so it’s not so much about that, as about the guy he’s fighting.
“Malignaggi’s my man. I love him. I’ll tell you why, a quick story: I know Malignaggi from the amateurs. We’re in New York. Malignaggi was 2-0 as a pro. He said, ‘Brother Naazim, I should be fighting guys like Cotto and Ricky Hatton.’ He said these names specifically. ‘Man, I’m in that class.’ I said, ‘Paulie, you got two fights. Give it some time.’
“When I saw him work his way up to fight those two dudes specifically, just to earn the right to be in front of those same guys. He stayed that disciplined and that focused. I was impressed. And I told him, it’s going to be hard for him to do anything else that’s more impressive than that to me. That’s a kid that saw something real young. And a lot of guys say it, but don’t want to put the work in behind it. He stayed with the work.”
BoxingScene.com: A lot of fans and media think that Mosley is done. You’re saying that it’s more a product of who he’s faced. You don’t think he’s done at all?
Richardson: “Shane’s not done. Shane is special. If Malignaggi was to beat him — and I’m not taking nothing away from Paulie — but if Paulie was to beat him, I’d be shocked and I’d be like, ‘He’s more than done.’ Because I think even when he’s done, he should be able to beat certain dudes. Even when he’s at the level where you consider him done, he should be able to beat certain dudes.
“And it’s not like he’s coming out of retirement and fighting somebody like Ricky Hatton did. Senchenko was coming off a loss, a little hungry, a little disappointed in himself, had a lot to prove. Senchenko stepped up, and he’s a good puncher. Malignaggi on his best day with the best shot he’s ever thrown in his life is not as hard as Vernon Forrest’s jab. So the kind of fight Shane put on with Canelo would be enough for Malignaggi. If he brings that kind of work ethic to the table, he can get past Paulie.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]