Danger lurks for Sugar Shane Mosley.
Pomona’s three-division world champion has agreed to fight Brooklyn’s Luis Collazo on Feb. 10 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. It’s not a world title bout but a return to the welterweight division for Mosley.
Danger sometime comes in small packages.
It’s the first time in years that Mosley (43-4, 37 KOs) has fought someone shorter. Usually the Southern Californian opposes fighters much heavier or much taller. Not since 2001 has he met someone shorter than himself. Now he faces Collazo who is listed at five-feet-nine-inches, but seems more like five-eight.
Is this a warning sign?
Worse yet. He’s a southpaw.
“I’ve never fought a southpaw like him,” said Mosley, 35, who last fought someone shorter than himself when he met Adrian Stone in Las Vegas in 2001. “He kind of reminds me of Hector Camacho and Pernell Whitaker.”
When you look at Collazo the first thing you notice is the lack of scar tissue or bumps and bruises. In fact, he looks like he never fought in the ring in his entire life, let alone formerly held the WBA welterweight world title.
Collazo smiles almost embarrassingly.
“I’m still the same humble guy,” Collazo, 25, says.
Though only four weeks remain before the showdown, Collazo doesn’t mind that he was second choice for the meeting with Mosley.
“In this game if you have to be ready in case your name comes up,” Collazo (27-2, 13 KOs) said, adding that he heard the rumors he might get the call. “I’m the type of fighter who is in the gym in case opportunity comes. Opportunity comes when you least expect it.”
For weeks Mosley’s group, Golden Boy Promotions, had been negotiating with IBF welterweight titleholder Kermit “The Killer” Cintron. But a promotional contract the titleholder had was unable to be legally untangled. So they looked elsewhere and found the Brooklyn prizefighter.
For Collazo, his crash into the upper tiers began on April 2, 2005, when the Brooklyn boxer challenged then WBA champion Jose Antonio Rivera for the welterweight title. He took a split-decision against the hometown hero. Then he accepted a challenge against Mexico’s Miguel Angel Gonzalez. He stopped the former WBC junior welterweight titleholder in the eighth round by technical knockout.
Eight months ago, Collazo lost a unanimous decision to Ricky Hatton who was making his first world title attempt as a welterweight. Though the British boxer dropped Collazo in the first round, by the middle of the scheduled 12 rounds it was apparent the southpaw was able to confuse Hatton.
“He was a speedy southpaw,” Hatton said by telephone. “Luis Collazo was a lot better fighter than what people gave him credit for actually.”
Though he lost the WBA title to Hatton, many boxing fans saw the clever skills and speed of Collazo.
“He gave Ricky Hatton some problems,” Mosley said. “A young tricky southpaw is hard to handle.”
Collazo smiles embarrassingly. But not because of a lack of confidence, he knows its true.
“It’s time for him to pass the torch,” Collazo says to a crowd of 50 people as Mosley listens.
Pomona’s former three-time division world champion barely blinks.
“I’m hitting pretty hard and I’m pretty quick,” Mosley says forebodingly. “It’s going to be great.”
Jack Mosley opting to train Oscar
Jack Mosley, who trains his son Shane Mosley, announced he is seeking to become Oscar De La Hoya’s trainer too.
De La Hoya has not announced who will train him for his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 5. Because longtime trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. is his opponent’s father, the East Los Angeles fighter is hesitant about hiring him for the biggest fight of his career.
Mosley feels he is the answer.
“I trained Shane to beat Oscar twice and trained him to beat Fernando Vargas,” said Mosley last Thursday. “I deserve some credit.”
Other trainers are under consideration such as Freddie Roach and Mexico’s Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain, who trains both Juan Manuel Marquez and his younger brother Rafael Marquez.
Mosley says he has been studying Mayweather’s boxing style for years in anticipation of a showdown with his own son Shane Mosley.
“I know his style inside and out. He hasn’t done anything different all of these years,” Mosley says. “If Oscar De La Hoya were to hire me he would have me in his corner and Shane too.”
Meanwhile Floyd Mayweather Sr. is still waiting for an answer from his fighter De La Hoya.
“I trained Oscar since 2000 and we’ve done a lot,” said Mayweather by telephone. “He knows what I taught him. It’s up to him to make the decision.”
Mayweather, who is currently training Chad Dawson and Laila Ali, maintains that he knows not only his own son Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s strength and weaknesses, but De La Hoya’s as well.
“I know what he needs to work on to beat Floyd,” said Mayweather. “Me and Oscar have been a team for a long time. I know Oscar very well and what he needs.”
Fights on television
Fri. ESPN, 5 p.m., Randall Bailey (34-5) vs. Michael Warrick (18-4).
Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Victor Ortiz (16-1) vs. Marvin Cordova (12-0).
Sat. HBO, 6:45 p.m., Ricky Hatton (41-0) vs. Juan Urango (17-0-1);
Jose Luis Castillo (54-7-1) vs. Herman Ngoudjo (15-0).