For Sugar Shane Mosley, his May 1 mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather cannot come soon enough. Having longed for this fight for many years, he is mentally and physically ready for battle, with training preparations well underway. Following a three-city media tour which wrapped up in Los Angeles on March 4, Mosley immediately returned to Big Bear, Calif., where he owns a home and has trained since 1996. In the serene mountain environment, Mosley is relaxed, but working extremely hard in preparation for what he knows will be one of the toughest battles of his career. The fact that Mayweather steps into the ring with a record of 40-0 is not intimidating to the former pound-for-pound champ who is ready to take back his throne.
"I was 38-0 with 35 knockouts when I stepped into the ring and lost for the very first time," said Mosley. "So when you say 40-0, that doesn't mean a thing to me. All it means is that I'll be the one giving him his first loss. No disrespect, but I really don't think he's been in there with a fighter like me, and I believe that when I beat Floyd, I will send him into retirement. May first will be May's first loss."
The calm, quiet, and relaxed atmosphere that Mosley is enjoying at camp has been coupled with intense workouts. He and the rest of the Mosley Tribe (as Shane refers to them) stay on the property Mosley has owned since 2000, which includes his private home and a boxing gym. There is also plenty of room for housing sparring partners recruited to help with training. Running begins by 7:00 a.m. each morning and is followed by work with fitness trainer and massage therapist Gustavo Satragni, who is in camp with Mosley for the second time. Satragni, who has worked with the likes of Carlos Baldomir as well as some of the top soccer players from his native Argentina, concentrates his attention on improving Mosley's stamina, balance and flexibility. Then it is off to breakfast with his team and a small group of familiar faces including his trainer Naazim Richardson, his best friend from childhood and second assistant Hassan Abdulrahim Jr, Elliott Ness who handles personal security, sparring partner Karl "Dynamite" and most importantly, his son Shane Jr. Mosley eats healthy, though weight is not a problem. After doing media interviews and resting during the day, it's back to the gym in the evening, this time to concentrate on boxing training with Richardson and Hassan. In addition to hitting the heavy bags, mitts, and sparring, the team works on a full arsenal of strategies. After boxing, Mosley's day wraps up with some additional stretching and a massage.
"I love Big Bear and have gotten very comfortable with the surroundings and the people who live up here," said Mosley. "It's quiet, peaceful, the air is clean and the altitude can't be beat. There is no other place that I could feel more relaxed and ready to prepare for a fight, particularly a big one like this."
It not the competition you would expect the five-time World Champion and current WBA Welterweight World Champion to be up against, but every Tuesday night at 6 p.m., he is battling against local bowling enthusiasts...at the Bowling Barn in Big Bear, where Mosley joined a team of town merchants just over two years ago at the encouragement of a local restaurant owner, and competes in a weekly league. With a high score of 242, the bright lights of the league have him hooked, giving Mosley an opportunity to remain competitive out of the ring. Before taking up bowling, Mosley used to spend his spare time in camp snow boarding until Richardson put a halt to him doing so when he assumed the role of head trainer in late 2008.
"Bowling is something I just really enjoy," said Mosley. "It's a chance for me to relax with my tribe and people from this community, hone my skills and have a good time. Just like when I step in the ring, when it comes to bowling and basketball, another favorite sport of mine, I want to win."
Mosley has been a fan of HBO's Emmy award winning 24/7 since the series debuted in 2007. With the show's first episode set to air on April 10 at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, Mosley, along with Mayweather, who has appeared on the show three times before, has allowed cameras behind-the-scenes to capture moments the often reserved Mosley has never shared before. Mosley was asked if he was concerned about the expected on-screen battle with the entertaining Mayweather.
"People who watch HBO 24/7 will get to see the real me. I'm not worried about being over the top and doing anything crazy like Floyd. He's playing a character and doing his thing. I'm just excited to let the fans in and give them a glimpse of my life and what it's like leading up to one of the biggest fights of my career."
Mosley head trainer Nazim Richardson has been a busy man over the last six months. Working with both Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins, who just scored a unanimous decision victory over Roy Jones Jr. this past Saturday night in Las Vegas, Richardson has been away from home since December 15, a week after Hopkins fought Enrique Ornelas on December 2 in Philadelphia. At the time, he joined Mosley in Big Bear to begin training for his fight against Andre Berto which was originally scheduled to take place January 30 before Berto withdrew due to losing several members of his family in the earthquake in his home country of Haiti. With the Mayweather fight being signed for May 1 shortly after the cancellation, there was not much of a break in training for Team Mosley
"Other than a short break to visit my family and the time I was gone to train Bernard for the Jones fight, Shane and I have been with each other a lot. We had such a long camp for the Berto fight and we were working on speed and movement anyway. We got right back in rhythm and have moved forward with a very intense, but well paced training camp."
Richardson's background includes years of training amateurs, and he remembers both Mayweather and Mosley as talented young fighters who would one day be the professional World Champions they are today.
"I have a tape of Floyd from the amateurs and guess what? He was saying the same things back then that he says today. That's Floyd, but Shane's a different story. He always had that mild-mannered way about him and it's a great attribute of his character and his success. I told him this fight is to solidify his legacy and become the 3rd Sugar in boxing worthy of being recognized for greatness."