“Sugar” Shane Mosley takes a punch from Manny Pacquiao during their May 2011 welterweight title fight in Las Vegas won by Pacquiao/AP file photo by Mark J. Terrill
“Sugar” Shane Mosley was laughing, getting a big kick out of how antsy his trainer – all-time great fighter Roberto Duran – is for Saturday. That’s when Mosley will take on David Avanesyan of Russia in the welterweight main event from Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. (on CBS Sports Network).
“Yeah, it’s almost like we’re both fighting,” Mosley said. “He’s getting so excited and, not that he’s nervous, but he’s like, ‘Oh, my God,’ you know, like he’s getting ready to fight.”
Mosley said he tells Duran, “You gotta calm down a little bit, Roberto.”
Guys like this don’t calm down. That’s why Duran is one of the best ever. That’s why Mosley, who has won titles in three weight classes, is one of the best of his era and will join Duran in the International Boxing Hall of Fame five years or so after he finally hangs up the gloves.
It seemed Mosley was done when he had to quit after seven rounds against Anthony Mundine in November 2013, no thanks to severe back spasms. But he came back after 21 months off, won two fights against so-so opponents – a washed-up Ricardo Mayorga and journeyman Patrick Lopez – and now he’ll be challenging Avanesyan for his interim world title. Did we mention that Mosley, of Pomoma, is 44?
Yup. Mosley knew he’d fight a long time. Maybe not to 44, but …
“I kind of did,” he said Thursday via telephone. “I wanted to be a great fighter and I loved boxing so much, so I wanted to fight for as long as I could.”
Ego is involved. Mosley admits that.
“For respect,” he said, when asked why he’s still fighting. “I get a lot of respect and I am legendary and all that stuff. It’s because I love the game, I love to fight and I could still do it. I can still beat these guys. And I want to prove that, you know what I mean?”
Avanesyan is just 27, and Mosley believes a win over him would demonstrate he can still beat a young world-class fighter. Interestingly, if Mosley wins Saturday and takes the interim title from Avanesyan, Mosley (49-9-1, 41 KOs) would then be in line to fight the winner of the title fight between champion Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter on June 25 in Brooklyn.
If Porter were to emerge victorious, Mosley said he would not want to fight Porter because Porter “is like a little brother to me.” He would, however, take on Thurman should Thurman retain his belt.
“Yeah, of course I’ll take the fight with Thurman,” Mosley said, in confident tones.
That sounds scary because Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) is very good and hits hard. And he’s just 27.
Mosley would be better off taking on guys his own age, or at least close. He would prefer that. Rematches with Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. would be fine. A fight with Juan Manuel Marquez would be cool, too.
“I would take Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather and Manny (Pacquiao),” Mosley said; those three are 42, 39 and 37, respectively; Cotto is the baby at 35. “At the time, I think Manny and Floyd are kind of retired, so I would go over to cotto and Marquez if they would like to fight. And, you know, just a few more and then I’ll probably be done.”
Well, maybe. Duran fought until he was 50.
“We both have that same desire,” Mosley said, “that desire to get in there and win.”