Notebook: Boxing writers unanimous in picking Mayweather
LAS VEGAS – Two reporters were taking separate polls of their fellow boxing writers, asking who they believed would win the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Shane Mosley fight and how, and had collected quite a few picks.
Every response was exactly the same: Mayweather by decision.
“No one picked Mosley to win or Mayweather by knockout?” someone asked one of them.
“Not one person,” he said.
Mosley was asked after the formal portion of the news conference Wednesday at the MGM Grand what he thought about the writers’ predictions. He didn’t seem to care much either way. He’s been the underdog before.
“That’s what Mayweather normally does,” said Mosley, surrounded by reporters. “He normally beats guys by decision. He moves around and outboxes his opponents. Maybe they’re [the writers] going for the safe bet, if you will.”
Mosley has pointed out that people also made him an underdog before he fought Antonio Margarito early last year.
That was the case in part because Mosley looked sluggish before finally stopping Ricardo Mayorga in the final round of his previous fight and in part because Margarito was destroying his opponents, including Miguel Cotto in his previous fight.
“I told everybody that (Margarito) can’t beat me with that style,” said Mosley, referring to the Mexican’s face-first aggression. “Margarito threw a thousand punches the fight before. They thought I was too old to keep up with that, that if he didn’t knock me out, he’d win by decision. That didn’t happen.
“ÔÇª I don’t really care. People picked Margarito by a landslide. They were talking about my health, whether he was going to retire me. That’s not going to be the case (on Saturday). I’m telling you guys: He’s not going to beat me.”
Mayweather was a 4-1 (-400) favorite Wednesday afternoon at the MGM. Mosley was a 3-1 (+300) underdog.
Subdued: The formal portion of the news conference on Wednesday, the final one before the fight Saturday, was remarkably cordial.
That could be expected from Mosley, one of the most-respectful men in the sport. However, the masters of trash talk, Mayweather and his relatives, father Floyd Sr. and uncle/trainer Roger. also couldn’t have been much nicer.
“You know what was newsworthy about that press conference? Not a single swear word,” said one knowledgeable boxing observer.
Mayweather the fighter got in a subtle dig at Mosley’s trainer, Naazim Richardson, complimenting Richardson on his ability to respond to trash talk in kind.
Richardson, not really amused, just shook his head at that notion. The dignified man had no intention of slinging mud back and forth with someone like Mayweather. He was just defending his soft-spoken fighter from attacks.
“There’s been a lot of back and forth on (HBO’s) 24/7,” Richardson said. “Something was pulled out of contest in reference to me. ÔÇª I’ve been around a long time. I’m aware when someone puts things out because they want to intimidate you. I’ve said if I got on camera I would never turn into a buffoon. I never said I wouldn’t speak on behalf of my athlete, to defend my athlete. That’s something I still stand by.”
Richardson then praised Mosley but also might’ve gotten in his own little jab.
“I would rather see my fighter behave like Shane Mosley than see him fight some of the great fighters out there,” he said. “I’d rather see him have the character, the conduct of Shane Mosley because the world is watching. We always represent more than just ourselves.”
Cotto fight: Mosley was asked how he can expect to outbox Mayweather when he couldn’t outbox Cotto in November of 2007, a fight he lost by unanimous decision.
Mosley said he expected the then-unbeaten Puerto Rican star to try fight aggressively but was surprised when Cotto decided to box instead, implying that in effect he failed to adjust well in the fight.
“I’d never seen him box anybody,” Mosley said. “I always saw him walk people down. I was like, ‘What? He’s boxing?’ I let my guard down a little bit. I thought, ‘He can’t outbox me. He’ll have to try to fight me and knock me out.’
“I didn’t know he could box that well. I thought afterward, ‘Now, let’s do the rematch. I know he can box a little.”
The rematch never happened.
Rematch clause: A rematch clause in their contract gives Mayweather the right to demand a second fight if he loses to Mosley.
However, Mosley said he would’ve given Mayweather a rematch — passing up a possible fight against Manny Pacquiao — regardless of the contract because he’s so grateful for this opportunity.
“I have an obligation to fight Mayweather again because he fought me,” he said. “He chose to fight me first. I have to do that favor for him. He would be the first one I talk to (after Saturday). Then I can go to the next step.”
Mosley has had four rematches — against Oscar De La Hoya, Vernon Forrest, Fernando Vargas and Winky Wright. He’s 2-2 in the first fights and 2-2 in the rematches, having beaten De La Hoya and Vargas twice each and losing two fights to both Forrest and Wright.
Drug tests: Mosley said he has had eight drug tests under the Olympic-style system during his training camp, including four blood tests and eight urine tests.
He said eight tests “is a little excessive.” He suggested that three tests are reasonable, one at the beginning of camp, one in the middle and one toward the end. And he laid a potential problem with random testing for many non-heavyweight boxers. What if he’s trying to make weight but must drink water to produce a urine sample in the final days leading up to the fight?
That could cause him to come in overweight.
“Like told them, you can’t knock on my door and expect me to try to make weight after drinking a gallon of water to do a urine test getting that close to the fight,” he said. “Maybe I can do blood test ÔÇª but I’m not able to drink that water for a urine test.”
Mayweather, speaking with reporters, said he had no problem with the testing and took the opportunity to criticize Mosley. Mosley admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs before his fight against De La Hoya in 2003.
“I’m not really sure,” Mayweather said when asked how many tests he’s had. “But I’m glad. ÔÇª I want to show the world I’m a clean athlete. I don’t have to cheat. When I go to the Hall of Fame, I want to have done it the old-school, hard way. I worked my way from the bottom to the top.
“ÔÇª I’m not saying (Mosley’s) not a future hall of famer but we don’t know how many fights he fought being clean. Even the Margarito fight. We don’t know if he was on nothing or not.”