Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mosley Gets One More Opportunity With Alvarez

By Rich Mancuso

After Shane Mosley met Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden in New York City the day after, he was still a popular fighter. As he took a walk around Times Square fans would tell him that he was a champion. Mosley would hear that it was a fight he won, and he would still be a factor in the welterweight title mix.

“Boxing fans in New York know I won the fight,” Mosley would say. But, the judges thought otherwise about the welterweight title fight in November of 2007. Two of the three had Cotto winning the unanimous decision by a round, and there was a split consensus from media at ringside. Mosley could have won the fight or scored a draw with a good and final 12th round.

After that Ricardo Mayorga, Antonio Margarito, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sergio Mora and Manny Pacquiao have been in the ring with Mosley. So, there can’t be talk that “Sugar Shane” has avoided anyone, or that he quit in his quest to continue on as a three-time division champion. He is headed to the Boxing Hall of Fame though no longer considered the best pound-for-pound fighter.

“This is more of a fight to prove to myself that I still have it,” said Mosley when it became official last week that he would be opposing the junior middleweight title holder Canelo Alvarez, May 5th at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. Mosley and Alvarez is one of the highlight undercard bouts prior to the Miguel Cotto-Floyd Mayweather main event at 154.

“This is another chance for me,” commented Mosley (46-7-1, 39 Kos) from his home outside of Los Angeles California. Golden Boy Promotions, where Mosley has some business interests, with Oscar De La Hoya, approached him about the fight. Alvarez was available when he did not become the opponent for Mayweather.

So how seriously should fight fans take to Mosley? He looked like a finished and old fighter last May 11th after losing every round in a title fight with Pacquiao. Mosley went down in the third round and could never recover. Mosley said he went in the ring with an injury to his left foot, later revealed as an Achilles tendon.

The Achilles seemed to be an excuse, though medical reports confirmed that Mosley fought Pacquiao with an injury. “I did not want to disappoint the fans, HBO, or the promotion and did what I could do against Pacquiao,” he said. “One thing I have learned in this sport is to always give your best no matter what the circumstance, and I believe fans now know that I did my best as an injured fighter that night.”
Under the circumstances that can be permitted as a valid reason as to why Mosley may have looked like a diminished fighter. His age is also a factor, leading many to believe that taking on Alvarez, a much younger fighter at 21, will put Mosley into retirement. Alvarez has become one of the rising stars in the sport and for him there is more to come.

“I want to get in the ring, fight a world champion and get another title,” said Mosley. “He is tough and young, I know that. The fans know what Alvarez has done at his age and that is also a credit to his talents. He is good for boxing. There are a lot of guys who would love to be in my position and I am taking advantage of the opportunity.”

Gone are the rumors and talk, the evidence of a Balco steroid case. Mosley has always avoided the question about using body enhancement drugs. No fighter or athlete in the steroid era could avoid the issue. However, Mosley faced the questions and continued his quest to the Hall of Fame. He has been through adversity, with his former wife and business partner, and has a good working relationship with Golden Boy after a brief separation because he took the fight with Pacquiao and Golden Boy rival Top Rank.

“I wanted this fight and did what I had to do to get it,” he said. Alvarez had to agree at first because of his contract with Golden Boy and how he gains revenue from a fight. Mosley is not the main event, and it could very well be with Alvarez, and that does not seem to be an issue.

Another factor is, Alvarez could be the first to stop Mosley. He has become the newest sensation in Mexico with talk he will move up in weight and take on middleweight champion Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. He respects Mosley, and is enthused about taking on an experienced opponent on Mexico cinco de Mayo weekend. “It’s youth against experience,” says Mosley. Maybe it could be a defining moment or walk into the sunset for the future Hall of Fame inductee.

This post is sponsored in part by Nassau County Rentals & Woodmere Real Estate

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