How wrong is Mora’s style for aging Mosley?
It’s inaccurate to call Shane Mosley a washed-up fighter based solely on the shellacking he took from Floyd Mayweather last May. Mayweather has made other fighters as good as Mosley look impotent.
This is very nearly indisputable, in the same way it was that Mosley’s upset of Antonio Margarito in 2009 served as poor evidence that Mosley had discovered (yet again!) the elixir all fighters seek in the hope of restoring the vigor and recklessness of their youth.
During a recent conference call meant to promote his bout against Sergio Mora on Saturday night, Mosley said, “It’s evident that I can go until I’m 45, 46, 47 if I want to. It just depends on how I feel. I’ll know when it’s time to hang up the gloves. Right now is definitely not the time.”
For perspective, consider that Mosley also offered that his great trouble against Mayweather was not Mayweather, per se, but a stiff neck. No one volunteered the possibility that it was made stiff by the considerable stress it labored under keeping Mosley’s head attached to his torso while Mayweather went to town.
Whether that makes fight writers respectful or cowardly you can decide.
At any rate, the best available evidence suggests that against face-first pressure fighters, Mosley could likely fight at a high level well into his Viagra years. He knows how to handle those guys as well as any fighter alive, having grown up in gyms on the West coast, where practitioners of that style abound.
In a war, it doesn’t matter that Mosley doesn’t jab or throw combinations or move his head. He knows he has the strength and chin to meet pressure fighters on their terms and his power and speed and sheer love for combat will be too much for them — even now, at 39 years old.
Conversely, against defensively adroit boxers, Mosley will labor hard and often falter. See his struggles with Winky Wright and Vernon Forrest, and also, perhaps to a lesser degree, against Miguel Cotto, who jabbed Mosley silly through most of their meeting in 2007.
All of this brings us back to Mora, who is the antithesis of a pressure fighter in spite of the stereotype that mandates that any prizefighters of Mexican extraction born in East Los Angeles necessarily loathe defense.
Many find Mora’s complete lack of hitting power a turn-off, and it might be true that if he were a better puncher, he’d be farther along than he is. It’s at least as true that it’s the very lack of a serious punch that resulted in the creation of a technique that, while unlikely to produce knockouts, can nevertheless be entertaining to the discerning fan.
Hardcore observers will find objectionable the mere suggestion that a fighter who cut his teeth on “The Contender” reality show and twice struggled to beat Peter Manfredo could stay with any edition of Mosley, even this older, somewhat worn version.
It says here that Mora’s speed, work rate and great self-confidence will give Mosley all he can handle.
Joe Goossen, who trained Mosley for the second fight with Wright, picks Mosley to win Saturday night but with some reservation.
“I have to favor Mosley a little bit but it’s certainly a fight where Mora could pull a rabbit out of his hat,” Goossen said. “A lot depends on Shane and the age factor. We know Shane Mosley six or seven years ago, there’s no question what he’d do to Mora. There’s a question today.
“Shane is an extraordinary guy,” Goossen said. “He’s taken great care of himself. But there’s no denying that this type of fighter can pose a problem – guys who ÔÇª have pretty good punching and boxing skills and can move quite well. Mora’s got a lot of herky-jerky movements, he’s very fleet of foot, and has fast hands.”
It might be that Mosley’s best hope is that Mora will find himself overly respectful, as it appeared a young Luis Collazo might’ve been when Mosley decisioned him in 2007.
Mora seemed to be aware of this possibility when he told the press, “It is an honor to be fighting Sugar Shane Mosley. I respect Shane, but Sept. 18 is not the Shane Mosley show. It’s mine ÔÇª the Latin Snake’s real debut.”
Mora certainly didn’t grant Vernon Forrest too much respect when he out-hustled and out pointed him in their first fight. That he wasn’t able to repeat that kind of performance in the rematch with a better-conditioned Forrest three months later is what Mosley backers are recalling while betting their man in big numbers.
But better, younger fighters than Mosley have lost to guys whose styles were all wrong for them. We’ll find out Saturday night how wrong Mora’s is for Mosley.
Some random observations from last week:
I don’t care at this point whether Wlad Klistchko is any good. He bores me. I’m allowed. ÔÇª
Kudos to HBO’s Max Kellerman for his common sense rant before the Boxing After Dark main event Saturday night against the sanctioning bodies and their “interim” this and “super” that. Just because the fight against sanctioning body madness has been lost — and clearly it has — doesn’t mean we have to keep our mouths shut about it. ÔÇª
The most surprising thing about the Ricky Hatton cocaine-snorting story is that anyone can tell where the coke ends and Hatton begins. Ricky must be hitting the tanning booths lately. ÔÇª
Why is everyone shocked when an immensely popular, wealthy, unattached athlete is found to be living like a rock star? Isn’t that the whole point of being a popular, wealthy, unattached athlete? ÔÇª
All right, I’ll be the one to say it: Juan Manuel Lopez is one weird-looking dude. ÔÇª
Yuriorkis Gamboa is probably the most prodigiously gifted fighter since Roy Jones Jr. I still say Erislandy Lara is the better long-term investment. ÔÇª
Kudos to Brandon Rios, who walked through some hell to convince Anthony Peterson to DQ his way out of a fight that was only to get worse for him. ÔÇª
Most egregious case ever of false advertising: Tyson Fury-Rick Power. ÔÇª
Devon Alexander reportedly has signed to fight Tim Bradley, which is great news for everyone but Devon Alexander. ÔÇª
Marcos Maidana sure talks a lot for a guy who’s slower than erosion.
Bill Dettloff, THE RING magazine’s Senior Writer, is the co-author, along with Joe Frazier, of “Box Like the Pros.” He is currently working on a biography of Ezzard Charles. Bill can be contacted at [email protected]