Boxing
Mosley: "I can go to 45 or 46, 47 if I want to"
Lyle Fitzsimmons

By Lyle Fitzsimmons,
Contributing Boxing Editor


Ocala, FL (Sports Network) - Shane Mosley has been here before.

More than once, as a matter of fact.

In 2004, shortly after claiming a championship at 154 pounds, a pair of desultory title-fight losses to Winky Wright left more than a few folks whispering "Sugar" should hang it up.

Instead he fought on, winning five straight to earn a shot at then-unbeaten welterweight belt-holder Miguel Cotto, who dispatched him via narrow, but unanimous decision.

After the loss, the same voices returned, suggesting Mosley had nothing left to prove.


Shane Mosley will take on Sergio Mora on Saturday.
Fourteen months later, he engineered one of the biggest upsets of 2009 -- stopping ersatz "Most Avoided" champion Antonio Margarito over nine superb rounds in Los Angeles.

The win yielded the now 39-year-old's biggest payday, but the one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the actual May 1 fight has got the question machine going once again.

Recent headlines, as Mosley prepares for Saturday?s post-Mayweather return against "Contender" alumnus and former 154-pound title claimant Sergio Mora, included these queries:

How Much Sugar Does Shane Have Left? Mosley Turned 39 Today -- Is He Going To Get Beaten By Mora on 9/18? Will Sergio finish Shane off?

Needless to say, Mosley expects definitive answers on his Staples Center home turf.

"I can go to 45 or 46, 47 if I want to. But it just depends on how I feel if I do it," he said. "I keep myself in great shape all the time regardless if I have a fight coming up or not. I think that's why I'm able to fight at this level of competition for so long. I'll definitely know what it's time to hang up the gloves.

"Right now it's definitely not the time. I feel great and I'm in great shape. I love the sport of boxing. I love the excitement. I love the challenge."

In Mora, who -- at 6 feet -- stands three inches taller and has spent the bulk of his career at middleweight, the former 140-, 147- and 154-pound kingpin faces a foe who's naturally bigger and perceived as equally fast, though the size and speed have translated into just six KOs in 22 wins.

That said, the East Los Angeles native is coming off an impressive seventh- round TKO of Calvin Green on the Hopkins-Jones II undercard in April, and scored one win in two previous fights against the late Vernon Forrest -- whom Mosley lost to twice at welterweight in 2002.

"When do I have the leisure of a loss?" Mora said. "I think when you're talking to a fighter they're always scared to death to lose. They have a lot of pride and they don't want that embarrassment. Nothing else matters but to win. It's a must-win. Every fight for me is a must-win. Whenever things go well for me in camp and I have no excuses like I did for this camp, I really feel that I can beat the best."

Team Mosley had initially tried to re-engineer a match with WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto that had been canceled in January, but negotiations failed to advance.

He was then presented with the opportunity to meet Mora, which he accepted.

"I thought a fight at Staples Center would be a great fight for me and Sergio Mora. I took to it and I agreed," Mosley said. "A guy from East L.A., he beat Vernon Forrest once. I never beat him. It would be a good little fight at Staples Center. So we took it and ran with it."

Saturday's fight will take place at 154 pounds and headline an HBO PPV broadcast which begins at 9 p.m. ET and has a suggested retail price of $44.95.

Additionally, NCM Fathom will broadcast the card to more than 300 movie theaters nationwide. Tickets to see the fight on the big screen are available at participating theater box offices and at www.fathomevents.com.

With a victory, Mosley said he'd continue to seek big-name opponents, including a shot at the winner of November?s Pacquiao-Margarito fight in Dallas, or rematches with either Mayweather or Cotto.

Mayweather hasn't fought since beating Mosley in Las Vegas.

Cotto won the WBA's 154-pound title in June with a TKO of Yuri Foreman at Yankee Stadium.

"He looked actually a little better than I've seen him. He looks more comfortable at 154," Mosley said. "So I think that the type of guy that he's fighting he looks real good with, and (I would) definitely have a fight with him in December if (promoter) Bob (Arum) can make that match. Like I said, there (are) big fights out there and I'm prepared to do them."

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TV TOPICS (Some fights may not be televised)

FRIDAY

ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes -- Cancun, Mexico Edrin Dapudong (20-2) vs. Wilbert Uicab (29-5-1) Alisher Rahimov (20-0) vs. Jose Emilio Perea (18-0) Gilberto Keb Baas (32-20-4) vs. Josue Vega (0-3) Sergio Thompson (14-1) vs. Adrian Olvera (1-5)

FOX SportsNet -- Baltimore, Md. Jessie Nicklow (20-2-2) vs. Julius Kennedy (7-1)

FOX Sports Espanol -- Ontario, Calif. Hector Serrano (13-0) vs. Jose Reynoso (12-1-1)

SHOWTIME -- Primm, Nev. Freddy Hernandez (28-1) vs. Mike Anchondo (30-2) Luis Franco (6-0) vs. Wilton Hilario (12-1-1)

TeleFutura -- Los Angeles, Calif. Jose Navarro (27-5) vs. Nestor Rocha (22-2) Luis Ramos Jr (16-0) vs. Eric Aiken (16-7-1)

Telemundo -- Polanco, Mexico Daniel Hernandez (9-5) vs. Adrian Tellez (11-6-1) Armando Torres (13-7) vs. Omar Rosales (11-0)

SATURDAY

FOX SportsNet -- Culiacan, Mexico Humberto Soto (52-7-2) vs. Fidel Monterrosa Munoz (23-1) -- WBC lightweight title

HBO PPV -- Los Angeles, Calif. Shane Mosley (46-6) vs. Sergio Mora (22-1-1) Saul Alvarez (33-0-1) vs. Carlos Baldomir (45-12-6) Daniel Ponce de Leon (39-2) vs. Antonio Escalante (24-2) Victor Ortiz (27-2-1) vs. Vivian Harris (29-4-1)

Lyle Fitzsimmons is a veteran sports columnist who's written professionally since 1988 and covered boxing since 1995. His work is published in print and posted online for clients in North America and Europe. Reach him at fitzbitz@msn.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/fitzbitz.

Jabs, hooks or knockouts, Lyle Fitzsimmons can be reached at fitzbitz@msn.com.

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