Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Mayweather vs Mosley
By Lance Pugmire
One possibility, says Shane Mosley's trainer, Naazim Richardson, is that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be boxed into the corner of caring more about money than his zero.
Richardson, in Pasadena on Monday with Mosley to show off the work they've done in preparing for an anticipated May 1 welterweight bout against Mayweather at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, has crafted a fight plan to pressure the fast and defensively sophisticated six-time world champion who — for anyone who's still unaware — is 40-0.
"We could get through five rounds of this thing up 5-0," Richardson said. "At that point, Mayweather may just say, ‘Forget it, I've got a rematch guaranteed. Try again next time.' "
Mayweather wasn't exactly willing to do whatever possible to make a fight earlier this year against Manny Pacquiao, and now he's confronting a 38-year-old from Pomona who's been desperate for another super-fight and is sculpted accordingly.
A Mayweather loss, according to the fighters' contract, would create the rematch and another eight-figure payday — something the Las Vegas fighter nicknamed "Money" has a well-known interest in obtaining.
"It's something that could happen," Mosley said Monday inside the dressing room of the Classic Kickboxing Gym. "I feel good. Things are going pretty well for me. I'm excited about this fight; I'm ready to make history. We've worked diligently on this fight plan. It's a great one, it's going to work."
As he spoke about the matchup recently in a separate interview inside his Big Bear training compound, Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) only occasionally tipped his hand about how he plans to beat Mayweather — noting Oscar De La Hoya's split-decision loss to Mayweather three years ago came because De La Hoya quit jabbing, reminding that he too can employ a counterpunching plan, and contending that he's on equal athletic footing with the fast-punching, defensive style of his 32-year-old opponent.
"I'm not giving him nothing; he can figure out what I'm going to do May 1," Mosley said.
Said Richardson: "Mayweather has a chess match on his hands. For once, the guy across the ring from him now has as high a boxing IQ as he's ever seen, and is just as fast. Think about it. Have you ever seen Mayweather fight someone who's equally as athletic?"
Mayweather's uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, scoffed at the notion of the rematch clause affecting his nephew's effort.
"Floyd is the most skilled … fighter in the sport," Roger Mayweather said. "He doesn't care about a rematch. That doesn't mean [anything]. [Richardson's] only saying what Shane has to do to win the fight. Bring all the pressure he wants. Floyd's more skilled, and I've been around boxing longer than [Richardson]."
One of the boxers' closest observers is fight promoter Richard Schaefer, who assessed Mosley "looks like a kid in a candy store. He's wanted a fight like this for a long time, he knows the magnitude, and he's in tremendous shape, physically and mentally. It's the most important fight of his life, and I'm very impressed with how calm and focused Shane is. He and Naazim are a team on a mission."
Schaefer, assuring live-gate and pay-per-view customers that the rematch clause will not affect the May 1 performance, contends there'll be no quit in Mayweather.
"That zero is clearly at risk, but he fights to maintain that zero," Schaefer said. "Floyd is very proud of that zero. He'll give whatever's in his arsenal to win that fight."