By Chris Robinson
In the months following his disappointing points loss to Manny Pacquiao this past May, Shane Mosley received his share of criticism due to his listless performance, with some even calling for the 40-year old’s retirement from the sport. One man who made a point to stand by Shane was the fighter’s trainer Naazim Richardson, who has been with him dating back to his January 2009 upset over Antonio Margarito.
Months went by without any real noise concerning Mosley’s future but this past week a shockwave went through the sport when it was revealed that the former five-time champion is being lined up for a May 5th fight with WBA junior middleweight king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto super fight.
Richardson has yet to talk to Mosley in detail about the news but finds it odd that Mosley’s former promoter Golden Boy, who now co-promotes the budding Alvarez, have angled for the matchup.
“My thing is, the kid Saul Alvarez is a hot, young kid,” Richardson said on Sunday afternoon, taking a few minutes away from a family function to speak. “Golden Boy has him; Shane was once partners with Golden Boy. I don’t know how to look at that particular scenario. Is that Golden Boy thumbing their nose at Shane?”
And while the perception of everyone looking at him as a sacrificial lamb to the 21-year old Alvarez may serve as a chip on Mosley’s shoulder, Richardson has to wonder just how much focus he would be able to summon.
“Is that going to be enough motivation for Shane to go in there and handle this kid?” asked Richardson. “Because you can see the kid is talented, you can see he is special but he still hasn’t really been tested. Are they picking Shane because they think he’ll be a significant test in front of the kid? There’s a lot of interesting scenarios to come up with that.”
A clear underdog heading into the Pacquiao fight, Mosley was dropped in the third round by a crisp left hand and would retreat the rest of the contest, showing no real signs of initiative along the way.
Asked how much dismay Shane took from that fight, Richardson pointed to the obvious.
“Come on now, of course Shane was disappointed in his performance,” Richardson continued. “We know better than that. We know he’s more man than that. But these moments can happen to any human being. But like I said, if he can put that past him and keep it moving, and he’s still got something left, it is what it is. It’s a bad night and you keep it moving.”
Assessing Mosley’s chances come May 5th, Richardson can’t help but to respect how formidable Alvarez has become.
“For the most part it’s what you see in camp and the production that we get out of camp,” Richardson pointed out. “Like I said, ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has all the markings of one of the future guys. He’s shown us everything that these young champions have shown us coming up that matter thus far. He doesn’t fight like the cliché Mexican but he punches like that cliché’ hard-punching Mexican.”