By Lem Satterfield
LAS VEGAS -- Shane Mosley will readily admit that he has had trouble with fighters who are rangy, defensive, mobile and capable of matching his speed and boxing skills -- all of which factored into his six losses and the lone draw on among his 53 fights.
The 39-year-old, five-time titlist much more prefers the two, in-the-trenches, route-going victories over Oscar De La Hoya, the close-range battles that led to knockouts in the ninth, and, 12th rounds, respectively, over Antonio Margarito and Ricardo Mayorga, and the two stoppages over Fernando Vargas in the sixth and 10th rounds that were also fought largely at close range.
"It's just that mindset, you know. I can't really explain it. It's just going out there and going to war," said Mosley, who is 46-6-1, with 39 knockouts. "It's just that you go in there and there's nothing else that matters more in the world at that point."
De La Hoya, Margarito and Vargas are of Mexican decent.
"I've been fighting Mexican fighters most of my life and they like fighting on the inside," said Mosley. "I like to fight on the inside, I mean, I really welcome that because that's where I slip punches and counter and I can give them problems."
Mosley said that he will be taking that mentality into Saturday night's clash with eight-division king Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) in an attempt to dethrone the Filipino super star as WBO welterweight champion at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"I think that it's going to be an action fight from the very beginning. I think that it's going get very interesting very quickly. I think that you will see that same mindset from me and that this is going to be that type of fight," said Mosley.
"It's a big fight, and I'm going to be in tip-top shape and ready to go. That's a result of a good training camp," said Mosley. "I believe that it's going to be a war, and I'm looking to get the job done."
Mosley has gone down to defeat opposite taller fighters such as the crafty Winky Wright and the late Vernon Forrest -- each of whom have beaten him twice -- and has fought to a disputed draw with the counter-punching ex-champion, Sergio Mora.
Mosley was out-boxed by Miguel Cotto, and could scarcely lay a glove on Floyd Mayweather during last May's lopsided, unanimous decision loss other than having staggered Mayweather in the second round.
"Vernon was way taller and had a long reach and a nice right hand and he did some great things. He had a good long jab, and I think at the time, I was still sort of still adjusting to no longer fighting lightweights and guys that were a lot shorter than me," said Mosley.
"Moving up to welterweight, I started fighting guys my height and taller. So it was a different angle that I was dealing with as far as the punches that were coming at me," said Mosley. "Winky too, was a lot bigger than me. It wasn't that he was a harder puncher, but he was a guy who could smother you and had great defense."
Although Pacquiao is swift of hand and foot in addition to being a volume puncher with good power, he was not able to finish off Margarito during his last bout, November's unanimous decision.
Against Margarito, Pacquiao absorbed punishment and was hurt by punches up the middle. Pacquiao also suffered rib damage and made a trip to the hospital as a result of a painful sixth-round body shot by Margarito.
"To see that Margarito was able to land most of his punches accurately on Manny Pacquiao is another remarkable thing. It shows that Margarito is a tough customer that I fought and that I knocked out," said Mosley, the first man to stop Margarito.
"I have fought a lot of different guys, but that's an example of my high I.Q. Margarito, who goes in there and he bangs to the body and comes in there really strong," said Mosley. "But it was important for me to be able to slip shots and to counter like I did. That's remarkable, and people don't really look at that or give me credit for that."
Against Pacquiao, Mosley is out bring a similarly dramatic and climactic end to a 13-bout winning streak that includes eight knockouts.
"It's important to me to have a great fight, and it's going to be important to have a victory and to beat Manny Pacquiao, because the world's going to be like, 'Wow, he beat Manny Pacquiao,'" said Mosley.
"It's just like the world said, 'Wow, he beat Oscar De La Hoya.' It's one thing when the world says that and realizes that," said Mosley. "But the main thing is that when they can look back at the archives and look at the tape and watch the fight over and over and over again and it becomes a classic. You know, that's my goal."