Does Sugar Shane Mosley Know The Art of Beating A Mexican?

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Two years ago Golden Boy Promotion’s CEO Richard Schaefer asked what I thought about a fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Sugar Shane Mosley. In my opinion the Mexican redhead wasn’t ready.

Now, with several veteran fighters’ scalps hanging on his waistband, it seems Mexico’s favorite son has the “ganas” and experience to beat Pomona’s Mosley. Or does he?

WBC junior middleweight titleholder Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs) seeks to prove he can beat the Mexican-beater Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) in the semi-main event on Saturday May 5. The “Ring Kings” match up will be held at the MGM in Las Vegas and televised on HBO pay-per-view.

It could be a reverse Cinco de Mayo should Mosley derail Alvarez’s ascent toward super stardom. The last time someone thought Mosley was done came in 2009 when Mexico’s Antonio Margarito found out otherwise.

Of course Mosley hasn’t had his hand raised in victory since then, but he hasn’t fought a Mexican.

Mosley grew up in the gritty Los Angeles gyms slugging it out with Mexican fighters of all sizes, moustaches and backgrounds. Whether they were reared in East L.A. or came from the center of smoggy Mexico City, the Pomona prizefighter never said “no” to an invitation to fight a Mexican.

“I know how to fight them,” Mosley says.

In the early 1990s it was common to see Mosley lacing up at the Brooklyn Gym located on Cesar Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights. The open air gym was on a gas station that was converted from a place to work on cars, to a place to work on prizefighters. It was a virtual heaven for boxing lovers.

Where else could you see Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya and many others battle for free?

Mosley was a regular customer and his ring wars with former junior welterweight world champion Zack “Attack” Padilla and the late Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez were legendary. These guys would blast each other so mercilessly that some of the concussive blows would make you wince.

Whenever a Mexican prospect arrived they would immediately go to the Brooklyn Gym and there would be Mosley ready to greet them. Whether they were brawlers, body punch artists, elbow throwing experts or proficient head butters the Pomona speedster sparred them all and gained not just their respect, but valuable inside knowledge on the art of beating a Mexican prizefighter.

“You could say I fought a lot of Mexicans over the years,” says Mosley with a chuckle. “I know their style.”

Alvarez comes with a hybrid form of modern Mexican prizefighting that encompasses more defensive technique and boxing rather than straight out brawling. But let’s face it, not many Mexicans make it to the top without a willingness to fight toe-to-toe. It’s the Mexican way.

The virtual kid from Guadalajara has shown a great instinct for utilizing his perfect timing to catch foes in between punches. That timing has elevated him to a simple fighter with strength to the current undefeated 154-pound prizefighter. Can he catch Mosley in between blows?

“I've learned a lot. How he punches and how he counter punches, his movements and everything. I've adapted it to my own style, but I've learned a lot from Shane Mosley,” said Alvarez, 21, about studying Mosley’s style over the years. “We admire him. It's an honor for me to be fighting him, but once I step into the ring, that all goes out the window.”

Mosley, 40, doesn’t have the quickness of feet that he possessed when he fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2000 and 2003. Nor does he have the incredible stamina that allowed him to win last minute knockouts over Wilfredo Rivera and Ricardo Mayorga. But his hand speed is still there for at least five or six rounds. Will that be enough?

“I fought Mosley and everyone knows what happened,” said De La Hoya who lost twice by decision in 2000 and 2003. “You can never count out Sugar Shane.”

Big Bear Lake

Both Alvarez and Mosley trained a block away from each other in Big Bear Lake and smiled when asked about it.

“This is about the third or fourth time I trained so close to my next opponent,” said Mosley. “I was training in the same gym as Vernon Forrest, Antonio Diaz. And when I fought Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas they were just around the corner too. It doesn’t matter.”

De La Hoya, president Golden Boy Promotions, said the winner can expect a bigger prize.

“You can either face the winner of Andre Berto/Victor Ortíz or you can face the winner of Floyd Mayweather/Miguel Cotto. So, this is a very important fight,” De La Hoya said.

Fights on television

Fri. Fox, 8 p.m., Daniel Ponce de Leon (42-4) vs. Eduardo Lazcano (24-2).

Sat. ESPN2, 5 p.m., Demetrius Andrade (16-0) vs. Rudy Cisneros (12-3).

Sat. Fox, 5 p.m., Nate Diaz (15-7) vs. Jim Miller (21-3).

Sat. HBO pay-per-view, 6 p.m., Floyd Mayweather (42-0) vs. Miguel Cotto (37-2); Saul Alvarez (39-0-1) vs. Shane Mosley 46-7-1); Jessie Vargas (18-0) vs. Steve Forbes (35-10); Deandre Latimore (23-3) vs. Carlos Quintana (28-3).

Comment on this article


-ultimoshogun :

This is gonna be a fun one...may even steal the show. Sugar Shane better not underestimate Canelo come fight night though. He's already sent out a public apology for whats gonna happen to Canelo on Cinco de Mayo.

-DaveB :

He won't be beating this Mexican. This Mexican is going to beat his banjo like it was a ukulele. He is stuck in his "glory days".

-SouthPaul :

Good read. That first bout with De la Hoya was a fun match up. It wasn't so much Shane's boxing ability that won it as it was the speed and stamina mentioned by David Avila. Shane from round 1 stayed a few steps and few punches ahead of 'em till the end. Canelo isn't overly impressive to these eyes but he's solid and capable with a dash and sprinkle of Top Rank hype. I have no doubt Shane still possesses enough speed and power to test those cinnamon colored whiskers of his. It'll be interesting to see how well he takes those shots.

-riverside :

Canelo needs to walk the fine line, box, jab and move, Take the sugar man to the late rounds and stop him or win ud. I will not be surprise if Shane stops him, if sugar shane hurts him, he will go for the kill. We shall see the best fight of the card.

-deepwater :

The question is " is mosley shot?" and does the young protected future superstar have enought tools to knock him out. Canelo has to knock mosley out; anything else will be a moral victory for old mosley. if bad chad was pound for pound he would of overwhelmed hopkins by the end of the fight.

-Radam G :

Hehehehehe! I see DaveB is gettin' on his comedy and causing muthasuckas to laugh like hyenas and dey mommas. Wow, DaveB, that was some witty, funny shooting at a Golden Oldie. And you could be right. But I ain't in it. Holla!

-The Good Doctor :

Canelo needs to walk the fine line, box, jab and move, Take the sugar man to the late rounds and stop him or win ud. I will not be surprise if Shane stops him, if sugar shane hurts him, he will go for the kill. We shall see the best fight of the card.
Absolutely agree. Maybe I'm nuts here, but I am not impressed with Canelo. He does hit hard and has a decent uppercut and cross. However, he lacks head movement, has subpar footwork and can be hit pretty easy. I think Shane can take the kid out in the late rounds.

-casual fan :

Sugar of my favorite fighters, and old school throwback who fights everyone, even when "good business" says he shouldn't. Shane fought and lost to both Vernon and Winky when the other top dogs wouldn't touch those guys. He's been written off over and over, but finds a way to surprise us. He's been in some wars, lost to the best, and lost some key parts of his game, but I hold on to the old adage that every great fighter has one great fight left in him. Question is, was that one great fight the win over Margarito, or does he have another rabbit in his hat? Does this young gun Canelo really have the seasoning to do what only the best of the best have done to date? Here's hoping that Mosley surprises us again!

-ali :

Shane has a great chance early but if he's unable to get rid of Canelo I think he could end up getting stopped late due to fatigue.

-Tancylee :

Still not sold on Canolo, however I think he will be too much for this version of Mosely. Suger has not looked very good since that one round against Mayweather, and 19 years of fisticuffs have caught him up. Fight might be lively for 2 or 3 rounds then I expect Suger to lay off and try and preserve his record. Wide (ish) UD for Mexican Boy, hopefully pointing Sugerman to retirement.

-riverside :

Hehehehehe! I see DaveB is gettin' on his comedy and causing muthasuckas to laugh like hyenas and dey mommas. Wow, DaveB, that was some witty, funny shooting at a Golden Oldie. And you could be right. But I ain't in it. Holla!
RG, What is your input on the Mosley/Canelo fight? I'm not too convinced on Canelo.

-Radam G :

Canelo is no doubt protected like number one world billionaire Carlos Slim is protecting his moola. I musta' fo'got! Mexican citizen Money-FAT-a$$ C Slim is protecting the redheaded hype, who is just as much Lebanonese-and-Aztec Mexican warrior as the Money-FAT dude. [Don't be fooled for a sec. WBC chief Jose Sulieman, Money-FAT-a$$ and Canelo Alvarez are probably descendants of the three rich-a$$ wise men from the East, who took the new-born baby Jesus gifts. Hehehehe! They were following the Stars like a three paid muthas. Hehehe! How times have changed. Now their descendants' all up in sinning in Sin City!] If Sugar Shane has just a bit of courageous and kick-a$$ left, he is going to KAYO the superhype in five rounds or less. Make his arse QUIT! I have doubts, though, that Sugar Shane still has kick-a$$ in him. But he has the darn old wise-a$$ Genie Naazim spittin' up in his ear in that corner, so anything can happen. WTF! That darn Genie Naazim used his power to cheat Da Manny out of a kayo of the Sugarman. Don't be surprised if that darn Genie Naazim won't be in the corner sprinkling invisible courage and whup-a$$ powder on Sugar Shane, and we just cannot see that syet. Hehehehe! I ain't got genie eyes for it. WTF! Maybe we can purchase some genie glasses or some syet. Hahaha! I'm having too much fun! Anyway! Everything should go smoothly for the redheaded hype, and unless he is more of a protected boksing bytch than I think, I'll say Canelo by split, majority or close unanimous decision. But if Sugar Shane knocks his arse out, I'm not shock. Sometimes not even money and payoffs can help a protected charge. Holla!

-riverside :

I'm not counting out sugar shane, We were teenage friends, always sporting his colgate smile from ear to ear, Most of his friends were mexican, he sparred with mexican, he's got their number. Canelo needs to be real careful