LOS ANGELES-Smug as usual, the brassy face of Nicaragua’s Ricardo Mayorga sat there with a long cigarette puffing away with Sugar Shane Mosley sitting a few feet away laughing at his next opponent’s antics inside the plush Biltmore Hotel on Thursday.
Nobody lights up a press conference like Mayorga.
“I knew something was going to happen,” said Mosley (44-5, 37 KOs), still chuckling at Mayorga’s illegal puffing inside a California facility.
Mayorga and Mosley expect more than smoke to happen when they meet on Sept. 27, at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Both expect to win and move on to better things after their welterweight clash. It will be shown on regular HBO and will co-feature Andre Berto defending the WBC title against Steve Forbes.
First off, Mayorga wants a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya if he beats Mosley. Asked if he’d fight Antonio Margarito he replied:
“Who’s he? Some taxi driver?” said Mayorga (28-6-1, 22 KOs). “I want De La Hoya because if I beat the man who beat him twice, then I deserve the fight.”
Of course Mayorga knows that De La Hoya is poised to meet either Manny Pacquiao, Sergio Mora or even Winky Wright.
“Winky Wright calls the office every day,” said Eric Gomez, matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions. “Nothing is set.”
Mosley, who is probably the only fighter on earth not calling out De La Hoya, said if he beats Mayorga he would gladly fight Antonio Margarito.
That quieted the room. Nobody expected it.
“I’ve always wanted to fight the best to prove I’m the best,” said Mosley, dressed in a dapper suit as usual. “Margarito beat Cotto so he’s the top guy. I think he saw how I was able to pressure Cotto the last four rounds and used that. I should have done what he did and pressure Cotto from the start. Sometimes you learn after a fight.”
But all eyes were on the flamboyant Mayorga who arrived in a sharp dark blue pinstripe suit and looked ready to fight immediately.
“I come from a country where real men are born,” Mayorga said. “He lost to Vernon Forrest twice and I beat Vernon Forrest twice. He beat Oscar twice and I lost to Oscar. But he can’t hurt me. I’ll stick my chin out to show him he can’t hurt me.”
“If he sticks his chin out for me he’s going to get hurt that’s all I can say,” Mosley replied.
Mayorga attempted to present Mosley with pink boxing gloves, but they were refused. All the time Mosley couldn’t hide his laughter at Mayorga’s usual press conference antics.
“I’m crazy, I’ve always been crazy,” Mayorga said, with a what’s new shrug.
In the Nicaraguan’s last fight, he captured a majority decision over Oxnard’s Fernando Vargas. At first it looked like he would simply steamroll past the Ferocious one but after a knockdown the former junior middleweight champion found his footing and proceeded to battle it out.
It was a very entertaining fight.
“Ricardo Mayorga is not only a great fighter, but also one of the greatest showmen of the sport,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO for Golden Boy.
Mosley recently returned from Australia where he supported Billy Dibs in his featherweight title win. He had been set to fight Zab Judah but that fight was scrapped when the Brooklyn fighter suffered a gash on his arm. Judah recently lost a technical decision to Joshua Clottey after suffering a cut above the right eye.
“I knew Clottey was going to be too strong for him and put the pressure,” said Mosley, who watched the fight last weekend.
The press conference was crowded with many English and Spanish media outlets. Most know that Mayorga is always up to something.
“It’s only going to take three rounds for me to knock him out,” said Mayorga with his cigarette blazing away. “I don’t need more than that.”
Mosley simply smiled at the boast.
“I agree, it will take only about three rounds,” said Mosley.
Both fighters wrapped their country’s flags around their shoulders. Mayorga put on the blue and white Nicaraguan banner and Mosley the red, white and blue.
“Real men come from Nicaragua,” said Mayorga.
Schaefer stepped to the mike: “One is the bad boy of boxing and one is the gentleman of boxing.”
The winner moves up. Mosley wants Margarito and Mayorga wants De La Hoya.
Pretty good prizes.
Tickets are now on sale at a reasonable $50, 75, and $300. Most of the seats are at the lower prices.