Thursday, April 29, 2010

Insider Notebook: Mayweather-Ali, Mosley, Chavez-Roach

Floyd Mayweather Jr. said during one HBO 24/7 episode promoting his fight Saturday with "Sugar" Shane Mosley that he is the best ever. Better than Muhammad Ali. Better than Sugar Ray Robinson. Better than everybody. He said it again during a conference call last week.

On Monday, we spoke with Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee, who trained Ali and, at 88, has been around long enough to have seen Robinson during his prime.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion," Dundee said via telephone. "We are all allowed to dream."

That said a lot.

"There are so many people that try to be Muhammad Ali," Dundee said. "The funny part about this sport is there are no two people alike. There will never be another Sugar Ray Leonard (another Dundee pupil), there will never be another Muhammad Ali. I know the kid means well. He is a nice kid."

Dundee said he saw Mayweather during his preparation for his May 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya. He said Mayweather showed him a lot of respect when he came up and put his arms around him. But ...

"He's a great fighter, no doubt about it," Dundee said. "But in this profession, there is always a guy out there who can beat another guy. And I think Mayweather is meeting the guy who can do it.

"The experience Shane Mosley has is second to none. He fought every tough guy on the way up, at the smaller weights and then he grew into the bigger man he is. He is bigger than Mayweather and the stronger man and he won't be fooled by Mayweather."

Dundee said he won't be shocked if Mosley wins Saturday. Either way, he loves this entire situation.

"I'm so happy that fight was made because we need it because we are going to get a fantastic guy to fight (Manny) Pacquiao," he said. "He is the main man."

Arum Not So Kind

Bob Arum, Mayweather's former promoter, was asked Tuesday what he thought about Mayweather boasting of being the best ever. Never the shy one, Arum laid into Mayweather with both barrels.

"It's Floyd Mayweather," Arum said. "Who can take anything he says serious? So why get upset when he compares himself with Ali or Sugar Ray Robinson. He didn't even mention Sugar Ray Leonard. So who even cares what he says? It's only the guys in the press that get excited about this s**t. The average man doesn't listen, has tuned Mayweather out."

Arum intimated that since Mayweather always makes ridiculous comments, they don't mean much.

"If this was a guy who didn't say stupid things always and just came out with one stupid thing, it would be newsworthy," Arum said. "But he says everything stupid. He's a pretty stupid guy."

The Ali Days

Dundee said there was never a dull moment with Ali.

"With Muhammad, there was always something happening," he said. "Even in the negative fights, there was always something happening."

Mourning Lorraine Chargin

The boxing world recently lost promoter Lorraine Chargin, longtime wife of Don Chargin, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001. Dundee said the Chargins attended the induction ceremonies in Canastota, N.Y., every June.

"What a lady, what a classy lady," said Dundee, who was inducted in 1994. "We are really going to miss her."

Schaefer Still Has Mosley's back

Most reporters, as well as boxing fans, have probably seen the YouTube video released by Victor Conte regarding the deposition "Sugar" Shane Mosley gave for his defamation suit against Conte, who claims Mosley knew he was cheating when he ingested steroids and EPO prior to his 2003 fight against Oscar De La Hoya. (Mosley, as we all know, has denied all along he knew what the skinny was).

Basically, the video shows Mosley admitting he took EPO, but that he didn't know it was against the rules until Federal investigators told him what it was. Mosley's attorney, Judd Burstein, said Conte edited the video to his advantage. The thing is Mosley looked nervous during the deposition. There is no disputing that. He looked around, he hesitated with some of his answers.

Since Mosley has never been in trouble with the law, it could be he is just the type to be rattled during any kind of interrogation, even if he's not guilty of any wrongdoing. Someone used to being in hot water might very well do much better. This is all very possible. But we brought Mosley's uneasiness to the attention of Richard Schaefer on Monday. Here was Schaefer's response:

"Whether he knew or didn't know or whatever, he took, one thing I said back then and I say again, knowing Shane Mosley, his personality, the way he is, the way he takes boxing seriously, the way he loves the sport of boxing, I really am convinced, in my opinion, that Shane Mosley is not a cheater and will never be a cheater," said Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Mosley.

"Unfortunately, when one surrounds himself with people, certain bad things can happen. I'm not saying what happened or didn't happen or who did what; I really don't know. I just know his personality. The way I know Shane Mosley, he is not a cheater. I really feel that."

No Concern About Focus

Schaefer was asked if he was worried about Mosley's head being elsewhere for Saturday, what with the video being released at such in inopportune time.

"When I first saw it, I was," Schaefer said. "But after I saw Shane and talked to Shane and I see how he is, in all those fights we have done, I have never seen Shane as confident as he is. He always has a smile on his face, but his attitude is, 'This is my chance, I've been waiting for it and I'm going to be ready.'

"He is confident to have Naazim Richardson in his corner. Everything else is blocked out. As they say, he is in the zone. I really don't think any of those things are getting to him. I have never seen him more excited about a fight. It is absolutely amazing."

Mosley became perturbed with reporters during a conference call last week. This steroid issue happened seven years ago, he reminded all of us. If we want to make him the "poster boy for steroids, so be it," he said.

But perhaps Mosley should himself be reminded that had he just let go of this whole thing that happened seven years ago, nobody would even be talking about it now. But he decided to sue Conte, and since that defamation suit is current, that is why it remains in the news. That is not our fault. It's Mosley's.

Arum Hard on Chavez Jr.

Arum, on Tuesday about noon, sat at a table prior to a news conference in L.A. promoting the June 26 fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and "Ireland's" John Duddy at the Alamodome in San Antonio. As the discussion about Chavez Jr. commenced, it was obvious Arum was not in a gratuitous mood.

When he was asked what the kid's new trainer, Freddie Roach, can do for Chavez Jr., he did not hide his feelings about the son of the Mexican legend.

"If anyone can bring out the talent that Chavez Jr. has, it's Freddie Roach," Arum said. "The kid is talented. He's a lazy f**k, but he's talented. And he's not very responsible, but Freddie can take and inculcate a work ethic like Pacquiao has, like Amir Khan has. He can make Chavez into a real fighter."

Arum said Chavez Jr. doesn't really know what it is to work hard. He said he learned about fighting by watching his dad, and that's not enough. Arum also suggested Chavez may be lacking the overall desire - from the standpoint of working hard - to be all he can be because he didn't struggle as a kid like Pacquiao, who grew up dirt poor.

"It's hunger," Arum said. "It's getting up on an inclement morning and doing road work."

According to Arum, chairman of Top Rank Inc., it was Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler who first suggested Chavez Jr. go watch Pacquiao train at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, where Roach trains Pacquiao.

"He came to my gym for Manny Pacquiao's last fight. He watched us work out, said we were crazy and then I hear he wants to come to the gym and try it out," Roach told BoxingScene.

"He knows that I demand my fighters to work hard and Pacquiao's work ethic is unbelievable. He called Bob and Bob called me and I said, 'I'll give him a chance.' "

That's the key word, "chance." Roach said if young Chavez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) doesn't do what he's told, it's adios.

"If he doesn't live up to it, if he doesn't push himself, then he'll have to go home," said Roach, who said he will begin working with Chavez Jr. this weekend; a sparring session will take place immediately.

"I'm way too busy to be fooling around with someone who doesn't want to work hard," Roach said. "I've got too many fighters, I work a lot of rounds. I did 72 rounds of mitts the other day because I have 14 fighters. I have a full plate.

"I don't have time for somebody that just wants to half-ass it. So if he wants to work, we're going to work. If he doesn't, he can go home."

Roach said he thinks Chavez Jr., 24, possesses the tools to be a true world-class fighter.

"Yes, I wouldn't accept him if he didn't have that," Roach said. "He has that blood line, he can fight. You watch tapes and so forth, he can fight. The thing is he can be a so much better fighter and more confident if he gets in shape and doesn't worry about getting tired.

"When you go into a fight half-assing things, you start thinking, 'Maybe I shouldn't go out and try to finish this guy; take my time.' It takes your skills away from you, actually, because you're not confident."

That can change, Roach said, but it's on Chavez Jr.

"If he sticks it out two months in the Wild Card, he'll be in the best shape of his life," Roach said. "I made him hire my conditioning coach for Manny, Alex Ariza, also, so he's got both of us and we'll be kicking his ass every day."

Pacquiao Will Continue On

Roach was quoted two weeks ago in this space as saying Pacquiao probably won't win the Congressional race next month in the Philippines because Filipinos don't want him to retire from boxing, the thinking being Pacquiao wouldn't have time to do both.

But Roach on Tuesday said that win or lose, Pacquiao will not hang up his gloves.

"Congressman Manny Pacquiao or not Congressman Manny Pacquiao, that's not going to make a difference," Roach said. "We will fight again this year and we hope it's Mayweather."

Roach said he knows the Mayweather camp can't completely back off its request for Olympic-style drug-testing because they "pushed so hard" for it. But he believes a compromise can be reached.

"We're at 24 days (for cut-off for blood-testing), they're at 14 days," Roach said. "Is 17 days acceptable? I'm sure negotiations can be made somewhere along the line."

Roach said he spoke with Arum - who promotes Pacquiao - about this and he said Arum told him he is of the mind the whole thing can be worked out. Roach also said he originally told Arum that perhaps Pacquiao's next fight should be against Antonio Margarito.

"I had told Bob, 'Let's fight Margarito in Texas and we'll sell out that (Cowboys) Stadium and Bob says, "No, we'll do that after Mayweather,' " Roach said.

Author: Robert Morales


Shane Mosley's Early, But Party Starts With Floyd Mayweather

LAS VEGAS -- Shane Mosley, trainer Naazim Richardson, attorney Judd Burstein and their camp members were on the dais for about 10 minutes before Floyd Mayweather entered the Hollywood Theatre nearly half an hour after Wednesday's press conference had been scheduled to begin.

The man who is nicknamed, "Money," wore dark shades, a sharp suit and tie, and a white shirt whose collar bore his last name, "Mayweather," on both sides.

Trailing behind him were his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., his uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, and CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe.

Once they had all taken their places behind a long, black table, it was clear that the show was ready to begin.

"You know that this has to be a big fight, for all of you people [media] to be sitting in here and eating for free," laughed
Roger Mayweather, during his turn behind the podium.

Not to be outdone was
Floyd Mayweather Sr., who said of his son, "I know that he's smarter, he's clever, he's slicker," and then, directing his next comment toward Mosley, adding, "And he don't have no defense."

Laughter ensued throughout the venue. And then, the man of the hour spoke.

"This is about entertaining the fans and breaking records, and one thing that I've done is that I've built a fanbase. It's about being smart and just having a gameplan, and working with Al Haymon and Leonard [Ellerbe.] They take my ideas and they put it all together, and the list goes on and on," said Floyd Mayweather Jr., referring to his advisors.

"It's about taking this sport to another level, and being an icon in the sport of boxing. I'm always looking to go out there and do tremendous numbers. Who don't want to do tremendous numbers," said Mayweather. "There's no limit to what I can make. Something like $115 million in two fights, that's unreal. That's some of the things that my team does. And to be in this sport and to keep 100 percent of his purse.

The 33-year-old Mayweather (40-0, 25 knockouts) will meet the 38-year-old Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) in an HBO-televised pay per view fight on Saturday night at the MGM Grand, whose initials stand for, "Mosley's Greatest Moments," according to some of the WBA welterweight (147 pounds) champion's camp members.

"Floyd does a very good job of promoting his fights," said Mosley, who is coming off of a January 2009 ninth-round knockout of Antonio Margarito, whom he dethroned as WBA king at the MGM. "I think Floyd brings a lot of mouth. People dislike him so much they buy the fight just to see him lose."

At any rate, Golden Boy Promotions CEO
Richard Schaefer is predicting huge numbers for the HBO pay-per-view bout, whose buys he believes could surpass the record 2.4 million that watched Mayweather's victory over Oscar de la Hoya in 2007.

Schaefer told the media predicted the record for Mayweather-de la Hoya, and, on Wednesday, he prophesized of Mayweather-Mosley that "$4 million views" are possible.

Mayweather's pay per view average revenue -- a total of $48 million for six fights -- ranks as the highest all-time. So big is his attraction, said Ellerbe, that he doesn't need a belt to define him as the best boxer in the sport.

So Mayweather has refused to pay the WBA's sanctioning fee, and, thus, is not fighting for Mosley's title.

"With all due respect to any sanctioning body out there, any time that you're making tens of millions of dollars, it's not a smart business move to give up three percent of your money just to call yourself a champion. That's just our opinion," said Ellerbe, whose fighter stands to make upwards of $35 million against Mosley.

"For some of the younger fighters, the belt makes a difference. But Floyd's already won six world titles, and the model that he has put in place is the model that fighters from this generation and the next generation should look at and admire," said Ellerbe.

"And I'll hypothetically throw out a number," said Ellerbe. "If there was a half a million dollar sanctioning fee, that half a million dollars, Floyd has four kids that he could throw a half a million dollars into an additional fund for them."

A source close to the negotiations said that the sanctioning fee was "never really discussed" by the Mayweather camp because "it was made clear during the early discussions when the fight was made that Floyd doesn't want to fight for the belt."

On the other hand, Mosley always has wanted to fight for the WBA belt.

"Shane has always wanted to fight for and defend the WBA title, because he's the champion, and, so, he's obviously going to defend his belt," Schaefer said. "So, now, we're going to be sitting down with the WBA this week, and we're going to see what can be worked out."

Mosley will earn a guaranteed $7 million purse, according to Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman, Keith Kizer, plus an upside to pay per view.

"Obviously, I can appreciate a three percent sanctioning fee, but I think that once you get into this level of fights, I think that a three percent sanctioning fee is actually excessive," said Schaefer.

"You look at, for example, the WBO, and they have a cap on their fees, which is actually $150,000 -- irrespective of the purse amount, which I think is actually reasonable," said Schaefer. "So it's a matter of sitting down with the WBA and seeing if an agreement can be reached for Shane."

Author: Lem Satterfield

Mayweather: The Best in The Department of Self–hyping Read more:

As far as the sweet science of boxing is concerned, Floyd Mayweather Jr. certainly deserves a room among the most gifted technical fighters down the stretch of boxing history, but it’s simply hard to buy his claim to be the greatest, so as to tower Mohammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard. Being undefeated is the only credential he could present in order to substantiate such an audacious claim. What a plain absurdity; to nullify his argument is no hard as eating fried chicken. After all, the gravity of his undefeated record is hardly stronger in comparison to the equally unblemished records of Ivan Calderon, of the now retired Joe Calzague, and that of the late Edwin Valero. Mayweather’s only strong point over those people is his being a multi-division world champion but only at the expense of lesser opponents who have had no potential at beating him.

For his apparent mastery at the art of ducking, Mayweather has been flooded with adverse criticisms and people starts branding him a coward, quiet safe to give credence to it. Fearing defeat and possible punishments in the ring once he obliged at the clamor of the fans, he elects to abide by his habit of running away from real opponents as if they are hungry crocodiles chasing him; in addition he refuses to abandon his fighting style that seems to rain down the crowd with sleep-inducing medical tablets.

His immaculate record as a marketing tool now becoming less attractive, the shrewd native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, visibly changed strategy by making out of himself the most villainy character in boxing- past and present. And, because gallantry appears to be out of the stuff he is made of, Mayweather, a five-time world champion, resorts to mind-boggling trash-talking which he often than not fail to live with it. Fight history wise, during the promotional days of his fight against Oscar dela Hoya in 2007, he, appearing like a tiger ready to devour the former, made it known the world over that he would beat Oscar dela Hoya, so brutally. But come fight day, Mayweather made a running track out of a boxing ring; he was lucky enough to escape defeat via controverisial split decision.

Time dragged back to 2009 and fresh from a tad worthless victory against the bloated lightweight inhabitant Juan Manuel Marquez, the egotistical American champion did not budge from his ways. Month's later, in a supposedly gigantic ring confrontation against the current pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, it appeared everything was already falling smoothly in place, until in an apparent display of cowardice like a subdued dog in the face of intimidation, Mayweather came up with a quite bizarre idea of demanding Pacquiao to undergo the unprecedented Olympic drug testing style in professional boxing; albeit, Mayweather himself included. Pacquiao whose tenure of fighting in the US now borders to a decade and never for a time tested positive of allowing himself a drug-enhanced fighter, cried harassment and refused to concede to Mayweather’s caprice, resulting to the collapse of the fight, leaving fans by the millions in bitter disappointment

In the subsequent and still hot people’s debate, Mayweather is slowly seeing himself at the receiving end of his very own canny trap, whereas, Pacquiao, leaning on the more rational side, is winning the sympathy of the people. Some goes to the extent of rallying a boycott against Mayweather’s fight with Shane Mosley on May 1. From the looks of things, it is seeping through the veins of Mayweather; so to thrust himself in the market that appears to be swiftly losing the appetite to buy his fights, Mayweather as fast as his running in the ring, sticks to his marketing tool many notch higher.

In a clear display of disrespect to the worthy greats like Mohammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson as well as to the intellect of the people, Mayweather proclaims he is the greatest fighter of all time. And quite strangely he brands HBO commentators except Lennox Lewis to be incompetent for their jobs and of course how would he be able to let pass Pacquiao? Mayweather questions the Filipino’s hard-earned achievements without any qualms about it. Nonetheless, these are just major revisions of his old music. All he wants is to poison people’s mind with hatred because it seems to be the only way he could sale his fights most effectively. With that being said but with due respect to his talent, when he retires, Mayweather will find no trouble claiming a place in boxing history as the greatest ever in the arena of self-hyping.

Author: Unofre Pili


Floyd Mayweather Vs. Shane Mosley: Keys To The Fight, Part II

So continues our marathon coverage of Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley on May 1, one of the biggest fights of 2010. Previously: the meaning of Mayweather-Mosley; Mosley's pivotal weapon; keys to the fight, part I. Next: final preview and prediction.

Mind. Matter. How do Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley stack up in those categories? In the second of two parts, we compare their attributes that are more mental than physical.

Offense. Mosley is the more offensive-minded of the two -- he's busier, and far less cautious. He's aggressive at all times, whether he's leading or counterpunching. His right hand, sometimes thrown as a hook and sometimes more of an overhand shot, has deadly power, but he knocked out Ricardo Mayorga with a left hook. He'll also hook to the head and body. You know how every sport has weird terminology that makes you laugh, like "has a big ass" in basketball? One of boxing's is "hooker," as in, "someone who likes to throw hooks," not as in "a lady of the night," and Mosley is a hooker. Although his emphasis is on power punches, he has at times used his jab to great effect, as he did against Antonio Margarito in his last fight. It's commonly thought a good jab is the key to beating Mayweather, as it disrupts his rhythm, although Juan Manuel Marquez' good jab did him no favors against Mayweather. Mayweather is fond of pointing out that Mosley throws wide punches and swings with his eyes closed, which is sometimes the case, but sometimes Mosley throws short shots, and he's never really lacked for accuracy.

Mayweather is a pot-shot artist and natural counterpuncher, prone to absurd connect figures. His lead right is his favorite, and after more or less abandoning his jab to the head for a long period of time (his paralyzing jab to the body never really left), his jab was back in full force against Marquez. He's a good body puncher with a nice left hook and he has a better uppercut than Mosley, who throws his with a wildness when he throws it. He was busy by his standard of late against Marquez, but his tendency to fire punches in moderation, with minimization of risk of return fire the primary objective, is a potential weak spot. Both men are adept at fighting inside and outside, by the way. Edge: Mosley

Defense. Even the most grizzled, hardcore "no boxer today is as good as any boxer from years ago" historians admire Mayweather's defense. He is at least in my view one of the best defensive fighters ever. He made Marquez, a talented offensive fighter, look hopeless trying to connect on him. With his shoulder roll defense, it's usually easier to connect on his body even with his left arm guarding it, because he keeps his chin tucked and his right hand high, plus his face is farther away. When he's not in the pocket using the shoulder roll, he's also shown he can move and duck or even come straight forward in a more traditional, high guard posture. The stuff that makes me "ooo" and "aah" about Mayweather isn't his offense, which is tepid -- it's his defense, which is a real pleasure to watch.

Mosley isn't bad on defense when he's focused on it. He rarely is. His instinct is to brawl, and that means he gets hit. Against Antonio Margarito in his last fight, though, he was a whole new fighter on the defensive end, employing a strategy that new trainer Naazim Richardson called "swim without getting wet." He was aggressive, but he didn't take many shots in return. He relies primarily on head movement, rolling with punches and quick feet, historically, although against Margarito he would just get off then tie up his man. Mosley's reflexes have been on the downturn, and he's always been a sucker for getting jabbed, something even the slow Margarito did to him at times. I wonder if Mosley will be still more improved on defense under Richardson, but there's no chance it will be enough to keep this one from being... Edge: Mayweather

Intelligence. No one would pick Mayweather to lead a class in, say, logic, or rational thinking, but in the boxing ring, he's freaking Socrates. He has a real knack for pinpointing an opponent's weaknesses before he steps between the ropes, something that trainer Roger surely helps him with, even if Roger's training credentials haven't been proven outside of his nephew. It's his in-ring adjustments that stand out. Outquicked by Zab Judah, Mayweather threw a different defensive stance at him and came forward rather than counterpunching, and Judah was clearly confused. He does stuff like that all the time. If you have success against Mayweather, it won't usually last long.

One of the major knocks on Mosley, for people who say he can't beat Mayweather, is his ring IQ. It's true that he's struggled with good boxers like Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright, but he's also defeated his share, like Oscar De La Hoya or, if you want to go a bit purer but lower in class, Luis Collazo, the latter of whom he defeated easily. It's also incorrect to say he doesn't make adjustments. In rematches against Forrest and Wright, he performed much better even in losing efforts. But it's also true that he's been outboxed, as he was by Miguel Cotto, even though Mosley made at least two major adjustments in that fight I can think of, i.e. going from toe to toe to counterpuncher at mid-fight, then stalking Cotto and cutting off the ring late. As I wrote earlier this week, this is where Naazim Richardson comes in. He's great at crafting game plans against tricky opponents, and he's good at noticing things mid fight. As crucial an assist as Richardson will offer, though, the combined brains of Mosley and Richardson don't eclipse the combined brains of Mayweather and Mayweather. Edge: Mayweather

Heart. I've never heard anyone question Mosley's fighting spirit. Even when outgunned, his reaction has been to fight back harder. There's no quit in him. And listen to him talking about this fight. He believes in himself with every ounce of his being, and you get the impression he'd do anything to beat Mayweather.

Mayweather's heart is more of a mystery. Like his chin, it's rarely been tested. There's a view in boxing that he's terrifically insecure -- thus his obsession with his perfect record -- and that if someone shakes his confidence, they'll have him. But there's also a driving desperation to his insecurity that makes it so he responds well when in brief moments of difficulty. I suspect Mayweather's got a bigger ticker than we realize, but when in doubt, I'm going to go with the person whose heart has repeatedly passed the test. Edge: Mosley

The Rest. Both men have distractions: Mosley is dealing with some revelations about his usage of performance enhancing drugs, while there are hints that prosecutors might be trying to finger Mayweather in a shooting plus uncle Roger is dealing with allegations that he assaulted a woman. Mosley has admitted to sometimes struggling with outside distractions, but all accounts are that he's at peace right now. Mayweather has always had distractions and it's never seemed to be an issue before.... Can you remember either man ever suffering a bad cut? I can't either. How do you think Floyd would react? I guess this falls under heart, but it's a real question because I think Mosley may try to rough up Floyd some; I'm inclined to think Mosley handles a cut better if it comes to it... Both have tons of big fight experience and experience fighting a variety of different opponents, so while I don't think either man has ever encountered anyone exactly like the other and I think they're both very confident on the big stage. That said, Mosley's deer-in-the-headlights routine in the first meetings with Forrest and Wright suggest to me that if experience is a factor, Mayweather will have the advantage, even with fewer fights....

Then there are the officials. Although I've talked about Mosley getting rough, Mayweather's not above playing dirty, particularly with those elbows and forearms of his. Kenny Bayliss, the referee, has a sterling reputation for controlling fights and not letting them get out of hand. So, neither man gets the advantage here... As for the judges: If it goes to the scorecards, and the scenario is "Mosley was more aggressive but Mayweather was more accurate," will the judges favor Mosley or Mayweather? I'm guessing Mosley would get the nod... Edge: Push

Author: Tim Starks


Shane Mosley predicts upset against unbeaten Mayweather

LAS VEGAS — Roger Mayweather offered perspective at Wednesday's final news conference in trying to describe the magnitude of the welterweight showdown Saturday night between the fighter he trains, his nephew Floyd Mayweather Jr., and "Sugar" Shane Mosley, the WBA welterweight champion.

"If it wasn't a great fight, all you people wouldn't be here eating this free food," Mayweather told the gathered news media stuffing their faces at the MGM Grand.

Thus it was as the fighters met the press for the final time before Saturday night's mega fight (HBO pay-per-view, 9 p.m. ET) at the Grand Garden Arena.

Both men appeared relaxed and ready for what is undoubtedly the biggest fight to date for Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) and Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs).

Mayweather, who could make more than $40 million, as usual focused on the subject of his nickname, "Money."

"Other young up-and-coming fighters ask, 'Why does Floyd make so much more money?' " Mayweather said. "But they fail to realize that Floyd Mayweather's keeping the sport going. I'm the face of boxing.

"You put in the hard work, dedicate yourself, put together the best team, you're going to get the biggest and best payday. Of course you have to have great results once you get inside the ring. I've always had great results."

Mayweather's unbeaten record helped make him a 4-1 favorite at Las Vegas sports books Wednesday. The boxer, whose speed and defensive prowess might be second to none, addressed the question of why some find his fights a bit boring.

"I can't help that it's so one-sided they say the fight is boring," Mayweather said. "That's not my fault. I'm just that good. Some fighters are God-gifted. I just happen to be one of those athletes that are God-gifted. That's no different from a Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. Those are God-gifted athletes.

"A lot of fighters are just very talented. That's the difference between me and a lot of (others)."

The biggest difference, Mayweather, 33, says, is his nearly impenetrable defense.

"It's that defense. You can't break through that defense," he said. "It's not cool to take punches. If I was in a bunch of wars, I probably wouldn't be here giving you guys interviews right now."

Mosley, 38, smiling broadly, brushed off his underdog status.

"At this point it doesn't even bother me," he said. "They were picking (Antonio) Margarito to win, too, by a landslide, and people were talking about my health, that he was going to retire me.

"I'm telling you guys, (Mayweather's) not going to beat me."

Mosley, who will make at least $7 million, is happy to finally be in a fight of such magnitude.

"To be beating the best people and not getting the biggest fights, that's been a down part of my career," he said. "I'm happy to be in a mega fight, and I'm going to give everything I got to the fans to show them that I'm the best fighter. To show them who 'Sugar' Shane Mosley really is.

"Like Roy Jones said, 'They must have forgot.'"

Author: Bob Velin


It’s all sugar from Mayweather in a news-conference upset

LAS VEGAS – Only news conferences are supposed to be predictable. But one Wednesday for Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Shane Mosley wasn’t. It was tame, almost as peaceful as a church picnic.

Mayweather’s appearance at a press luncheon is almost always a screaming succession of four letters from erupting into a food fight. But Kumbaya was the main course at the MGM Grand.

Mayweather, perhaps in another one of his many roles, sprung an upset by just being nice. Who knows? Maybe, Mosley has a chance to spring another one Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena over Mayweather, a 4-1 betting favorite Wednesday afternoon and an overwhelming pick in an informal poll of writers to win by decision.

“Maybe, you’re going for the safe bet,’’ Mosley told a circle of writers after the news conference.
Maybe, safe is for suckers.

Or, maybe, Mayweather as Mr. Nice Guy is just a con, a feint before the counter.

Nobody can ever be sure what side of Mayweather will show up from day to day. It’s just that a low-key Mayweather was almost out of character for a stage that seemed to demand an over-the-top personality that has been there before.

Mayweather’s unpredictability might be one mechanism in a defense that has kept him undefeated and mostly unmarked.

“It’s not cool to take punishment,’’ he said, repeating a comment that has almost become his mantra.

When asked if he ever just wanted to abandon the defensive mechanisms and indulge in a free-for-all exchange of punches, Mayweather started chuckling.

“Ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha,’’ Mayweather said. “Nobody is messing up this nice face.’’

It’s hard to hit what you don’t know, and it is virtually impossible to know what move or mood is about to appear from Mayweather, who is either mercurial or maddening or both. Let’s just says that Mosley and trainer Naazim Richardson don’t sound as if they’re sweating it out. In fact, if there was a theme to the news conference it was simply the absence of nerves. Both fighters played it cool.

At 38, Mosley seems to be enjoying his moment back on the big stage. He doesn’t have to act. Unlike Mayweather, he doesn’t tell anybody he is the face of boxing or better than Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.

“Shane Mosley is an HBO fighter,’’ Mayweather said, suggesting that Mosley has bit part in his ascendance. “Floyd Mayweather is a mega-superstar.’’

All the better, Mosley seemed to say.

Mosley has been cast in the support role often. Consider a couple of results: He upset Oscar De La Hoya and then Antonio Margarito. It’s almost as if he has spent his career rehearsing for Saturday, although even he might be surprised if he delivers the knockout he promised.

“I’d be shocked to see him there, flat on his back,’’ Molsey said. “Happy, but shocked. I’d also be concerned. Fighting me can be hazardous.’’

Safe to say, Mayweather wasn’t concerned. There’s plenty of talk about Mosley’s perceived weaknesses, including an inconsistent jab and a layoff of more than 15 months since his stunner over Margarito.

“I’ve already read him,’’ Mayweather said as if he has studied, cover-to-cover, everything there is to know about Mosley.

However, Mayweather conceded one detail remains unknown, which at a news conference was exactly what Mayweather wanted. Molsey’s widely-reported links to Balco and performance-enhancers have dogged him since 2003.

“We don’t how many fights he was in when he was clean,’’ Mayweather said. “Even against Margarito, we don’t know.’’

At Mayweather’s insistence, he and Mosley are undergoing random Olympic-style drug testing – urine and blood. As of Wednesday, Mosley had undergone eight and Mayweather seven. The testers, showed up, unannounced, at Mosley’s door.

“Eight times at my house is a little excessive,’’ said Mosley, who says he has been eating natural and feeling stronger than ever over the last several years. “This thing (Balco controversy) has been played out, over and over again. I don’t know why.

“But I’m a clean product.’’

A confident one, too.

Author: Norm Frauenheim


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