Q&A Mosley: ‘I’m not washed up’
RingTV.com caught up to three-division titleholder Shane Mosley, of Pomona, Calif., who was on a beach in Cancun, Mexico, on Sunday, basking in the afterglow of the previous evening’s unanimous decision victory over Mexico’s Pablo Cesar Cano.
Mosley (47-8-1, 39 knockouts) outpointed Cano (26-3-1, 20 KOs) by unanimous scores of 115-113 in his first action since last May, when he lost a unanimous decision to Saul Alvarez in a junior middleweigfht title bout.
Against Cano, Mosley returned to the 147-pound division for the first time since losing to Manny Pacquiao in May of 2011. A future Hall of Famer, Mosley hopes to return to the ring prior to his 42nd birthday, which is on Sept. 7.
Known for amassing a record of 21 straight wins over Mexican rivals before losing the last bout to a then-21-year-old Alvarez, Mosley’s legacy is one of a man who has taken on all challenges and rarely being involved in a boring fight.
Among Mosley’s career-highs are a pair of victories over Oscar De La Hoya, two consecutive knockouts over Fernando Vargas, and stoppage wins over Antonio Margarito and Ricardo Mayorga. Mosley also has triumphed over world titleholders Jesse James Leija, John John Molina, Phillip Holiday and Luis Collazo, knocking out Leija and Molina in lightweight title bouts.
Mosley’s losses include two-each to Winky Wright and the late Vernon Forrest, as well as to Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto. The second win over De La Hoya was at junior middleweight, as were the losses to to Wright and the draw with former titleholder, Sergio Mora.
Prior to facing Cano, Mosley had considered a return in April against WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi before talks for their bout fell through. In his previous fight, Cano lost a split-decision to Malignaggi last October.
Heading into his fight with Cano, Mosley was 0-3-1 since defeating Margarito.
RingTV.com: Where are you right now?
Shane Mosley: I’m still in Cancun. I’m in my room. I just went to the beach and kind of chilled a little bit. I got some of that salt water on me. I was on the beach for about an hour.
But I’m getting ready to fly back right now. I’m packing up after a really good weekend. I’m at my beach house as we speak and I’m watching the waves come in.
RTV: How did you feel, physically, compared to your last few fights against Mora, Mayweather, Pacquiao and Alvarez?
SM: I was better, but there are still some improvements that need to be done. I have been reading some of the highlights and there are still some improvements that can be made.
I think there are some things that I can do better and I’m going to work on those things. Being on my toes a little bit more. Not necessarily running away from the guy, but being able to move more about. I want to be a little less flat-footed. Because when you’re flat-footed, you get hit (with) some punches. I got hit more and I think that was because I was a little more flat-footed than I should have been. I learned some things in the fight that I used to do that I could have done a lot more of.
RTV: Do you feel, however, that you really had to fight much the way that you did in order to gain the respect of Cano and the judges in Mexico?
SM: No. I think that his whole thing was to box me and to try to use his legs to outpoint me. He had good power. I thought he had good hand power. He’s heavy handed.
He doesn’t look like maybe he punches that hard, but you feel the sting when he lands. So you’re like, “Oh, he does have a little punching power.” So when he knocked Paulie down, I guess that it was justifiable.
RTV: How is your punching power now compared to that with which you hurt Mayweather in the second round of your fight with him?
SM: Well, he took a good punch, also. I wobbled him in the first round the first time that I really punched him. The first time that I hit him, he was already ready to go.
So I do have hitting power, still. But he was just tough. He’s young and he’s tough, you know? So he had a strong will.
RTV: When was the last time in your career that you feel you were capable of stopping a young guy like Cano?
SM: I’m getting close to that point again. I’m getting very close to that again. I just need a couple of more of these types of good fights, and to get back into the gym and stay in shape work on these things with my father.
I think that I can move a little better. Everything is coming together. I’m just excited to get back into the gym and to start training again and working toward being the best.
RTV: Did you come into the ring at 100 percent, physically?
SM: Yeah, the only thing that I had to worry about was my feet. Pretty much, I didn’t have any injuries. The only difference is that, before, I didn’t have to do all of these different things, like massages and things. Now, I have to make sure that everything is perfect and just right before I get into the ring. That was the only difference.
RTV: What do you need to emulate from this training session leading up to this fight so that you can have similar confidence heading into your next one?
SM: I’m looking to get better. This is only the first step. This was the first step, getting back with my father. There were a lot of things that we wanted to do.
But we didn’t want to overdo it for this fight. Now, we’ll go back to the drawing board. We’ll go back into training and go back to working the speed bag.
We’ll work on the things that I need to do to get back to the level where I need to be at; to get back to where I can be dominant in there with anybody.
RTV: When you watch yourself in this fight, what will you look at to improve on at your age?
SM: I believe that I can improve on my head movement and that I can let my hands go more. I think that there were times in the fight where I was looking at that perfect shot.
I have that power, that punching power, where I was looking for that one good shot where I could hit you and knock you out. So I have to get back to, when I was younger.
I had those sparring partners who could take my power and I would have to just keep punching and punching. I would punch back with them and nothing would happen.
So when I fought, I would just let my hands go and I wasn’t just expecting to knock them out because of my sparring.
So I have to get back to the point where I’m just letting my hands go instead of looking to throw that one right punch to knock them out.
RTV: Do you hope to be in the ring before or after Sept. 7, which is your next birthday?
SM: I’m looking to face maybe some tough guy. My team and I will be talking about it. It has to be the right fight. I think, right now, that I’ve put myself in the position to be in there with some of those elite fighters.
I want the let the world know that, “Yes, I am ready to fight at that level.” That was my whole thing from doing this fight was to let them know that I’m still here.
I’m not washed up, I’m not too old. I’m older, but I’m not too old. I’m still smart and I can still run down these young guys. So I would hope to be in the ring before my 42nd birthday.
I think that I can out-last them still. I’m not 43 years old. I’m 41. I have more energy at the end of the fight. It’s not like, “Oh, I’m 43, or I’m 44, or I’m 45.” It’s not an thing for me anymore.
Age right now, that’s just a number. It’s more about how I feel and what I want to do. I want to be in the ring before my 47th birthday. If Bernard did it, I can do it too.
Photo by Donald Miralle-Getty Images
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]