No more Mr. Nice Guy
On the night of Aug. 29 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, boxing’s version of the crosstown rivalry takes place when Leo Santa Cruz faces Abner Mares on a nationally-televised card on ESPN. Meanwhile, at the Forum that very same evening, Shane Mosley is scheduled to face Ricardo Mayorga in a pay-per-view bill.
Yeah, it seems almost inconceivable that these two cards are taking place in the same city on the same date but logic has never been this sport’s strong suit. But you have to wonder why Mosley – whose company is actually promoting this event – doesn’t move off this date.
After all, Santa Cruz-Mares is being televised on the “Worldwide Leader” and this other fight, which features a main event in which the participants have a combined age of 84, is looked upon in many circles as merely the latest freakshow between two geriatrics with nothing better to do.
But Mosley remains steadfast, telling UCNLive.com, “I decided the date a long time ago. The PBC [Premier Boxing Champions] guys took this from under us. We had the Staples Center first; we put the Staples Center on hold and then we put the Forum on hold. We weren’t sure what we were going to do but they came in and snatched the Staples Center and put on the Mares-Santa Cruz fight.”
OK, with that said, wouldn’t the next prudent step have been to move his event?
“No, no, no, we can’t,” answered Mosley. “We’re already selling tickets; we already have DirecTV and iNDEMAND. Those things are already set up. It’s been set up.”
Perhaps they really had no choice; venues such as the Forum (a popular destination for concerts and such) are difficult to book. But you wonder just how much interest there is in this rematch when both boxers are so far removed from their physical primes.
So just how did this come about?
“Y’know,” said Mosley, who pauses for a bit before explaining, “it’s Twitter. I’m tired of people talking shit. So I was like, ‘Let me go back and show these people what time it is.’ I mean, these guys are running around; I don’t know what they’re doing, touching each other. I’m ‘Sugar Shane.’ Let’s fight. I mean, if you want to, you can come to the gym and watch me work with anybody. I was working with Shawn Porter, getting him work before the Adrien Broner fight. I was working with the the guy [Nadjib Mohammedi] that fought Sergey Kovalev the other day. I was working with him in Big Bear, a few rounds.
“I’ve been in the ring with top guys and giving them work. So I can go.”
But it’s one thing to be able to move around the ring with 16-ounce gloves and headgear, boxing at a certain pace, in which punches are oftentimes pulled. It’s whole ‘nother thing to face live bullets. The last we saw of Mosley, he was getting stopped by Anthony Mundine in seven rounds in Nov. of 2013 due to back spasms, which is usually the sign of an aging fighter who is breaking down.
Mosley says, by that point, “I was hurt for years.” He speaks of having a pulled groin and a popped Achilles tendon, among other injuries. “I was never healed,” he added. At that point, he took up yoga and meditation – and good, old-fashioned rest to rehabilitate his body, which had been worn down from years of boxing. His problems went beyond the physical.
“The mental problems with the divorce, I mean, it was just so many different things going on in my head, relationships, just everything. It was crazy,” said Mosley, citing the separation from ex-wife, Jin, and then other unions he had. All of them were played out in public to a certain degree. “Nobody had my back; I was alone,” says the affable Mosley, who simply wasn’t going to take it anymore.
They often say it’s easy to mistake kindness for weakness and perhaps Mosley was too damn nice for his own good. If you follow him on Twitter, it’s almost impossible not to notice a shift in his personality. In retrospect, he wishes he would have stood up for himself sooner.
“Yeah, I do,” he admitted, “I’m older now,;I realize that people really don’t give a shit. They really don’t give a shit. One way or the other, they only ask for you when you’re winning but when you’re losing, they don’t give a shit. They don’t care about what’s going on with your life; they just want you to win. When you don’t win or something’s wrong with you – if you pop your Achilles or hurt yourself.”
As he says this, he chuckles and then launches into an example, citing Manny Pacquiao and his recent bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“[Pacquiao] hurt his arm; they all knew it. He’s asking for a little shot to cure his arm, so they know and he can’t get the shot. He can’t get hydrated; he can’t do nothing. They knew this and, still, even though quiet is kept, [Pacquiao] probably won the fight. He probably really won the fight. Looking at the fight and being there in person, he threw the most. They switched the cards around – they do all this sneaky stuff, y’ know what I’m saying? He really won,” opined Mosley, whose statements are sure to raise a few eyebrows.
“And they’re going to say, ‘Oh, we’re going to sue you because you said your shoulder was hurt and you were lying.’ You’re going to sue him and he already told you before that his shoulder was hurt and he wanted something to heal it. He’s going to fight regardless. I mean, a hundred million? I’m getting in the ring. I wouldn’t care. I could be on the deathbed. I’d be fighting.”
Yeah, this is a newer, bolder Shane Mosley. He’s gonna talk shit and basically not take anymore of it.
“I’m a nice guy but I’m tired of people taking advantage. That’s why I’m like, ‘If they can dish it out, they should be able to take it.’ I’ll give it back to ’em. Now, I’m going to say what I want to say, be what I want to be,” he states. Perhaps it’s not quite as shocking as Hulk Hogan becoming a heel in the NWO but this is a stark contrast to the Mosley we’ve known in the past.
So why Mayorga, who he stopped with one second remaining in their initial match-up in 2008?
Mosley explained, “He was the one who took the fight. He was talking mess and he was mad because I knocked him out with one second to go. I told him that he made history by me knocking him out with one second to go and he was just upset. So I was like, ‘OK, well try again then.'”
Mosley doesn’t plan to make this a one-and-done venture.
“Oh, no, this is definitely not a one-shot deal. I’m going to go ahead and knock out Mayorga, all the guys I lost to because now I’m healed; now I feel better. I mean, it’s crazy how good I am right now and I need to show the world that I’m exciting,” says Mosley, who is now also training fighters. For this fight, he is employing his father, Jack, once again. Yes, “power boxing” has returned. “They’re going to see knockouts and see people fight. That’s what they’re going to see in this fight.”
Yeah, many of you may think this is foolhardy or grandiose but Mosley is convinced he’s still got something left in the tank. He says with conviction, “I have that knot in my gut like I used to have when I was ready to kill somebody. Mayorga’s just somebody that’s in the way right now but he’s just an opponent. To me, in my mind, I’m ready to take on those top guys and really knock ’em out because I know I can do it.”
Perhaps this is a Quixotic quest – much like his decision to stay on Aug. 29 on pay-per-view – but he’s more than willing to put his money where his mouth is. “This is MY promotion. I put a million dollars in myself, my own money, my own sponsors, everything. This is on my back.”
And yes, contrary to what has been speculated, perhaps Mosley isn’t broke.
“Yeah,” he says, “I guess that’s self-explanatory. It should show people something.”
I was stunned and saddened to hear about the passing of one “Rowdy” Roddy Piper at the age of 61 from cardiac arrest on Friday. As a WWF fanatic in the ’80s (I actually went to WrestleMania II, the portion that took place at the LA Sports Arena), he was my absolute favorite and, in my view, every bit as important as Hulk Hogan in that era of the company as it became the most important brand in pro “rasslin.”
The day he broke the platinum album over the head of “Captain” Lou Albano at Madison Square Garden was when the WWF truly arrived, as it lead to the inaugural WrestleMania.
In the following WrestleMania, Piper was paired with Mr. T in a boxing match and was “trained” by none other than Lou Duva.
Nobody was better in his role than Piper.
There was nothing quite like “Pipers Pit” (and, yes, I even bought the “Roddy Piper Story” DVD years back that had many of the classic episodes) and nobody could taunt and incite the masses quite like this guy. He was the ultimate entertainer and instigator.
All kilts should be hung at half mast for the time being.
The ESPN broadcast sure tries like crazy to push the PBC; doesn’t it? I mean, they are ALL in…By the way, are they not allowed to say the name “Gennady Golovkin”?…Has the Ronda Rousey main event started yet? Good grief; how long was that UFC pay-per-view card…So how much is HBO willing to fork out for a Tim Bradley-Brandon Rios fight?…NFL training camps are in full effect. Yes, the official countdown to pigskin is now on…OK, so Floyd Mayweather will make some sorta announcement regarding Sept. 12 soon, right?…Ray Donovan has been great thus far on Showtime…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.