That should have been the theme song for the final stop of the Sugar Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto press tour that began a week ago and ended this past Monday in the film entertainment capital of the world – Hollywood, California.
Like the movie facades that litter the lots of motion picture studios in the area, Hollywood and its surrounding communities is no “La-La Land” as naïve out-of-towners are so fond of muttering. Tell a person from East L.A. or South-Central that he or she comes from La-La Land and you’re lucky to return home with a full set of teeth.
In many ways Mosley is like Hollywood. He’s got the glamour, the money and looks like a pushover with his friendly smile and easy-going manner.
You couldn’t be more erroneous.
Mosley’s like the tough Pomona streets that spawned him and Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto, no shrinking violet either, will discover that fact when they meet on Nov. 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The fight will be televised on HBO pay-per-view.
It’s the big Hollywood smile that fools people into thinking Mosley’s not hungry or young enough to fight the wrecking-machine that is Cotto. People tend to forget Sugar Shane’s conquests, until the bell rings. Then it’s too late.
Growing up in L.A. is not easy.
You have to understand there are invisible boundaries that cross all sectors of the vast city of the Angels. In East Los Angeles alone there are about 70 hardcore gangs that have existed for more than 80 years and have no problem putting you underground just for staring too long or shouting an insult. Boasters and braggers don’t last long and ultimately end up in the many cemeteries that exist in East Los.
Mosley trained for years in boxing gyms located in the heart of East L.A. and gained a reputation for all-out wars with some of the toughest boxers you never hard of. But in those same gun-toting neighborhoods, the Pomona native gained a reputation as a “Mexican-tough” fighter who could battle with anybody.
“I used to go in the morning to the Brooklyn Gym (a gym in East L.A.) and spar 10-12 rounds with the Mexicans, then at night I’d go to Azusa and spar 10 more with Zack Padilla who threw a lot of body punches,” said Mosley explaining his early experience with body punchers. “I grew up with Mexicans that liked to throw body punches. That’s why I like to throw body punches too.”
Mosley’s reputation grew so quickly that in 1999 when a boxing magazine asked him to pose for photos on Whittier Boulevard, a street that serves as the aorta for East L.A., dozens of people gathered to get autographs from Sugar Shane though it was six in the morning.
Now the Pomona speedster faces Puerto Rico’s Cotto who’s quickly established a reputation as the new king of body punchers with recent demolitions of Zab Judah and Oktay Urkal.
Jack Mosley, father and trainer of his son Shane, says they welcome the challenge.
“We know he likes to throw body shots,” said Jack Mosley. “We’ll be throwing body shots right back.”
Cotto, ever the gentleman, refuses to brag of his recent exploits or make boastful predictions. But the left-hooker carries that quiet and deadly confidence that only a world champion with an undefeated record manifests.
“All I can say is I will be the winner,” said Cotto who trains in Puerto Rico.
Mosley says to forget his own success, there’s a hunger that burns on the inside despite the $2,000-suits he dons.
“I can see myself boxing for a long, long time,” he said.
As the press conference ended at the House of Blues located on the famous Sunset Strip, it’s easy to identify the area as a glitzy spot where the beautiful people gather. Never realizing that a few doors to the left and right were places like the Trocadero and Ciro’s that were regular haunts for gangsters like Mickey Cohen and others.
Appearances can be deceiving.