Moretti: 8 fighters, 4 fights, 2 world title fights but no bigger name on the card than Shane Mosley. Shane is returning to the welterweight division, which is probably his best division. I know he feels a lot more comfortable at 147. He’s in with a real tough guy, David Estrada, who is with Angelo Dundee. You can come back against a lot of guys after a loss, but taking on someone like Estrada shows that Shane is ready to get right back into it. Fighting Estrada reflects that and what is Shane has done his whole career.
Mosley: I’m in Big Bear training very hard and I’m ready to go.
Why did you decide to move to welterweight?
Mosley: I wondered whether it would be a problem or not, but right now I’m at 52. I’m pretty good, about 5 pounds away. When I fought my second fight with Winky I made the weight so easily – I was at 154 two weeks before the fight. I was like wow. I feel a lot sharper and a lot faster in my workouts now. If there was a weight class, 150 would be a great weight class for me, but 147 with the smaller gloves is also great for me.
Has wearing smaller gloves had an effect?
Mosley: I think it will be a big difference. I already feel the difference, but not only the gloves. My punches seem to come out a lot faster and a lot stronger . . . After my fight with Winky I was trying to maintain my weight and get down a little bit because I knew I was going to 147. My punches were coming off a lot harder in my second fight with Winky and I though that was fine. They were a lot quicker and a lot sharper. I think I am going to be phenomenal.
You changed trainers and are no longer with Joe Goossen.
Mosley: John David Jackson now in Big Bear. I think the change was because of the location. Joe wanted to train in Van Nuys. John has proven to be a good trainer. He’s a good coach and has a lot of knowledge. Things I got away from and making little mistakes like drawing back on my punches. Not going away, stand up straight, upright. We are doing a lot of things and he is a very smart coach. He is a two-time world champion.
When was the last time you saw Estrada fight?
Mosley: I don’t think I ever met David Estrada. I have watched him on tapes. He’s a consistent fighter and he’s always in shape. He’s a little awkward at times. He has a style like Zack Padilla. I don’t know if he’s seasoned enough yet, but I’ll find that out.
Might you have grown a little complacent against this opponent?
Mosley: I would never be complacent with any fighter. When I come to training camp I train very hard and I have to make a statement that the welterweight division better watch out because I am going to pick off each and every one of them. It doesn’t matter who it is. I am working very hard for every single fight. I am working exceptionally hard not only because I have to make weight, but I want to make a big impression on the welterweight division. I have a fire in my belly and I haven’t felt this way in a long time. I sit and watch some of my lightweight films and I have a hunger now because of the critics and haters that are out there. I really want to put a mark on the welterweight division. They are going to know that Sugar Shane is going to be here for a while.
How did this fight get made?
Mosley: There were a few phone calls. Lou DiBella said why don’t you fight my guy David Estrada. I said, yes. I hadn’t even looked at the tapes or seen the guy fight. I knew that he fought Ishe Smith and then he had Chris Smith . . . At this time I feel that I am a top fighter and he is a tough fighter and he’s going to come to fight. He’ll be in tremendous shape watching his fights and I just know he will come with a lot of intensity. But moving down in weight brings my energy up and my intensity up. I will throw a lot more shots and they will be harder and crisper. Working with Armonda Velardez and Kenny Robinson, it is an overwhelming difference in my ability.
How far away are you from being the Shane of old?
Mosley: I am right there. I am so fast it tickles me right now. I just want to get in there and get going.
What about the relationship with your father?
Mosley: My relationship with my father is still the same. The only difference is that he’s not my coach. I still go over to the house and my kids hang out for the day. We talk every now and then about different things, things that I should do and shouldn’t do. It’s pretty much the same.
How motivated can you get for Estrada?
Mosley: I don’t know if the motivation is because of David Estrada. It is to get in the ring and putting together a lot of combinations. To be slick and move, that is the motivation. That’s really the motivation that I need for this fight or for any fight, really.
Would you have stayed at 154 if you beat Wright?
Mosley: I probably would have stayed for a little while. God works in his ways, so it’s something that is a little better for me to move to welterweight.
If you are having trouble, why not stay at junior middleweight?
Mosley: The 10-ounce gloves make a little bit of difference also. The 10-ounce gloves are just fine. The smaller gloves are better for me the way I fight. And at the lighter weight, I can feel myself bouncing along a lot better. I’m a lot faster.
Do you have any particular opponents in mind for after this fight?
Mosley: I just want to fight at the welterweight division. Kind of like what Bernard Hopkins is doing. Just kind of hang out there for a little while.
Did Oscar De La Hoya have any part in your decision?
Mosley: That was something that I wanted to do as well at 154. I could fight those different guys but I want to hang at 147, but if there was a fight or two at 154, why not? But I think I would still stay at about 150 because I think that is my greatest strength. What happened to me in my last couple of fights was I became a puncher first and a boxer second. But when I started my career I was a boxer first and a puncher second, and I want to get to the way it was when I started. I have the knockout power.
How are you keeping the weight down?
Mosley: As far as nutrition is concerned, I eat as healthy as possible and I don’t really lift as much - at all actually - because I had to neutralize the muscle mass. I am doing the same basic stuff.
I want to make 147. I know it is best to make 147. I’m sure he’ll come in great shape as well. There are going to be two guys that are in great shape.
I could have fought for a welterweight championship my next fight, but I chose not to. I want to get two fights under my belt. Maybe my next fight could be against Margarito or Cintron. I don’t know and it really doesn’t matter to me at this point. I just want to go out there and dominate.
I heard that I was No. 1 in the ABC rankings. I am a major force there and I want to come and do my best.
I became a puncher first and a boxer second. In my lightweight and welterweight days I was a boxer first and a puncher second. I maybe became a little more flat footed and a little lazier. I’m working on that with John David who is an excellent boxer type of trainer. I’ve been working on punching too, but a lot of movement - Forward/backward and side to side. With Joe Goossen I worked on placing my punches. It doesn’t matter who I am working with. I am the type of fighter who learns something and holds onto it.
It’s not really changes. It’s things he (Jackson) just brings back to mind. Moving around with John David, he can still box real good. He’ll capitalize on different thing and say this is why I say OK. We’ll talk about different things and it’s great. John is a good coach.
There are critics and doubters out there.
Mosley: Psychologically it is a motivational tool. It gets the fire in my belly. It’s actually helping me out. I need that type of criticism. I can then focus all of my attention on who is in front of me. It is a positive. I don’t talk about it when I am training. When I’m training I really don’t see a lot about what they are saying or doing. The glimpse I get watching tapes and hearing commentary brings back different things. There are going to be guys for you and guys against you. I am an overachiever, so I want to achieve and be the best.
How do the fans treat you?
Mosley: They always call me the champ. The majority of the people on the street come up to me and say: How are you doing champ? So I’m still the champ. I reached the mountain and I overcame. I won a lot of great fights. It doesn’t bother me on the street. The streets are fine.
What about not being main event?
Mosley: My ego is not that big where I have to be the main event. If I had to be the main event then I wouldn’t be on the card. I’m happy to be on the card and enhance the card and make it better. I love to fight and I love to get in the ring. I love to give the fans great fights. It is going to be a great night, a wonderful night. There are some great fighters on the card.
It wasn’t like the card was set up for me. I could have had a card set up for me and waited a couple of months and fight the fight and have it be just me. I don’t have to be the main event. I just want to get back and keep fighting. I want to stay active and get good fights out there. When I was coming up I would fight three or four times a year and I want to get back to keep punching.
I talked to HBO and let them know that I had a prior commitment to Main Events to fight on this card and maybe the next big fight I will fight on an HBO card. I am very happy to fight on this ESPN PPV card. It will bring more viewers to watch boxing that may not watch boxing.
Moretti: David Estrada is coming off a sensational victory over Chris Smith. What gets our blood going really is that we are back at Caesar’s Palace in an outdoor arena and I’m surprised this guy doesn’t have his own wing there because he built half of it. We have the great Angelo Dundee with us and it is a pleasure.
Lou DiBella: I would like to thank Main Events and ESPN for this great opportunity. David has proven that he is the real deal and a major contender in the welterweight division. We want to thank Shane Mosley for being the kind of champion that moves down to 147 to take a guy like David who is going to be all he can handle. It’s going to be a great show from top to bottom.
David, how does it feel to be close to a championship and fighting Mosley?
Estrada: It feels like any other fight. Like getting ready for any other fight. That other stuff comes after this fight but right now I am focusing on this fight. I think Sugar Shane is a good fighter and I think it’s going to be a great fight.
What about Shane dropping in weight?
Estrada: I don’t think it is going to affect him at all. He’s going to have the same strength and speed. He trained for the fight so it shouldn’t make a difference.
Angelo, how does it feel to have a go against a guy named Sugar?
Dundee: The last name is Mosley I think his name is– forget the Sugar. The unique thing is I’m an advisor to this kid. This kid trains boxercise in the South Florida boxing gym. His old man was up there one day and I liked what I saw. Do you mind if I get involved? I think I can do a little something with your son. The old man was very happy. We’ve had a nice time for the last three years. We didn’t want too much ink or any publicity. But this kid’s been ready for quite a while. But naturally we have to go up slowly and fight the good fighters. But I’m happy that Shane Mosley wants to fight this kid. We are in a good position. We’re one fight away from fighting for a world title. I was waiting for Tommy Hearns to come in, but the guy can’t fight welterweight no more.
People are not giving you much of a chance, David. Is that motivation for you?
Estrada: I really don’t pay attention to who’s going to be taking me seriously or not. When I get ready for a fight, I do what I gotta do. I go in the ring and I fight. All that other stuff really doesn’t matter to me.
Do you have weight difficulty?
Estrada: Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. It depends. I think I’m pretty much on schedule for this fight.
Angelo, what do you do to convince David he can beat Mosley?
Dundee: I don’t have to convince him, he knows. The other guy who does the day-to-day training and David and I are all of one mind. We’ve already got what we need to do to beat Shane Mosley. Shane Mosley is not an easy guy to beat. In fact, he’s a heck of a fighter. He’s been around quite a while. This kid you haven’t seen like I’ve seen. It’s not going to be the same guy you saw before. Because he fights the fight according to what he’s fighting. He’ll be so ready for Shane Mosley, I’m not concerned. I don’t care if he fought the guy at 50 it wouldn’t make any difference - because this kid is that kind of a fighter. He’ll rise to the occasion. It’s going to be a great fight and he’ll lick this guy . . . Shane Mosley has his own style, his own idiosyncrasies, which he bounces once in a while and he flicks with his jab. I have a pretty good idea what this kid’s going to do. David has got to blend. He’s got to do his thing and he knows that. If David fights the fight that we’ve got figured out, then he’s the winner. Then we’re going to fight for a title and that’s what I’m here for.
What does he need to do to beat Mosley?
Dundee: He’s just got to be David Estrada. He’s a multifaceted type of fighter. This guy is an instructor. I got a hard time telling this guy. It’s like a teacher talking to his pupil. This kid trains business people every day. He works at it. He’s like an old-time fighter. He’s always in condition. If I tell him there is a fight next week, he just asks “Where is it at?” Never asks who it is. He just wants to fight. We’re pleased. We have plenty of time and he’s working hard. I step in once in a while and we have a conversation and let me tell you: we know Shane Mosley. We don’t know which is going to show up so we have to be prepared for a multi-faceted fighter.
David, what will you do to win?
Estrada: What I’ve got going for me is I keep putting pressure on whoever I’m fighting and I just keep putting pressure on them the whole fight until they break down. That’s all I have to do. Until he wants to stand there and go to war and then that’s it. I have it made. I’ve done my job.
When did you know you were going to fight Mosley?
Estrada: When I was still in the ring (after the Chris Smith fight). There was no hesitation at all. They asked me if I was interested in fighting Sugar Shane . . . I didn’t hesitate. I told them straight up, yes, I’ll fight him. I didn’t ask any questions. That was it.
Did you follow Mosley's career?
Estrada: I used to watch him fight and always thought he was a good fighter. He was always a few years ahead of me. When I was watching him fight I wasn’t really sold yet. I was still an amateur. But as I turned pro I kept up with his fights. I watched what he did and thought he was a good fighter. When this came up it was just out of the blue.
Do you feel like your getting you just due?
Estrada: I feel like I’m getting some respect now but it really doesn’t matter because when it comes down to it, I just have to train and I just have to fight. What everybody thinks and says really doesn’t matter because it is not going to affect the way the fight turns out.
Angelo, what makes Estrada so special?
Dundee: What impressed me is he learns something from each and every fight. He adheres to it and he listens to what is being told. He’s an easy guy to work with because he’s been around. Great amateur background and he’s been all over the country. He fought amateurs in Texas. He’s fought all over the place. And he comes out of Chicago. He’s not a Johnny-come-lately kid. He just came along nicely. I think he has more talent than he realizes he’s got. He’s easy to work with because he has talent.
Why hasn’t he been discovered sooner?
Dundee: I take the blame for that. I never blow this kid’s horn until recently. I figure now it’s time to let it go because he’s fighting a former champion . . . If he does a number, people will say, hey, where has this kid been? I feel good about it because we did keep it that way. I knew this kid could fight right from the get-go. He’s never given what I think he could give.
What would it mean to him?
Dundee: It’s a step up and he’s fighting a better fighter. We’re fighting on a big show at Caesar’s Palace. Two title fights on the show. This kid’s been twelve rounds a couple of times.
Will anything affect him?
Dundee: I think he’ll only be concerned that I get a suntan. I don’t think anything is going to bother this kid.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV