Three-division world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley, his trainer Naazim Richardson and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum participated in an international media conference call on Tuesday to discuss Mosley’s upcoming fight against Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight championship on Saturday, May 7, at the sold out MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.
What the participants had to say on Tuesday:
Bob Arum: “Both fighters have been working extremely hard. Many of you have visited the fight camps and can attest to that. Both fighters and their camps have been extremely cooperative in helping make this such a huge event.
'I’m particularly grateful for Shane Mosley and Naazim Richardson who have been so helpful throughout. Shane Mosley is one of the great fighters of our era. He has fought everyone in his weight category and even some above. He has consistently fought with valor and has brought glory to the sport.”
Shane Mosley: “Training camp has been going very good. I’m expecting a very exciting fight on May 7 and a lot of big fireworks. I’m expecting to be able to control the fight and to be victorious.”
Do you buy into the notion that your best chance because of your age is to get to Manny early and that that’s your only chance to win this fight?
Mosley: “No, I don’t buy into that. I’ve knocked people out early and I’ve knocked people out late so I don’t buy into that.”
Richardson: “Most of you saw the Erik Morales fight. And most of you saw the Pascal-Hopkins fight. And we keep counting these guys out. These aren’t just old men who box. These are legendary fighters who have age on them now. There’s a difference between a legendary fighter who has age and an old boxer. These aren’t just men.
"When these guys were in their prime they were exceptional. Michael Jordan could probably still come out now and make the starting five on any team in the NBA. We discount these older guys but we forget these were special guys. When special gets old you can still be extraordinary.”
You’re approaching 40 years old yet you continue to fight the world’s most popular fighters. What do you attribute that to?
Mosley: “I think that people see my power and they know I will bring an exciting fight. I think that’s what it is. They think that if they can get past the power then they can win the fight. And also the fans choose to see knockouts. They want to see someone who has some power. They want to see a fight were there is risk being taken.
"So for this fight it’s very risky for someone like Manny Pacquiao to fight someone like myself. So people want to see what’s going to happen. Is Manny going to get knocked out? Or is Manny going to knock Shane out? The unpredictability of the fight arouses people around the world. Anything can happen.”
Do you have enough speed to hang with Pacquiao?
Mosley: “Well, I look at different fights and I see in the Margarito fight that Margarito landed the most punches ever on Manny Pacquiao. So if Margarito is fast enough to land punches on Manny Pacquiao than I know I am fast enough to land punches on Manny Pacquiao.
Do you think your fights against Sergio Mora and Floyd Mayweather will give us any indication of how you’ll do against Pacquiao?
Mosley: “I don’t think they will have anything to do with what I do against Pacquiao because styles make fights. But if it wasn’t for those two fights I probably wouldn’t be here today. So those fights were needed.”
What about Manny’s preparation for this fight?
Richardson: “I think Manny is focused and I think his camp is totally focused. I don’t think his job in the government is a different distraction and I don’t think that Freddie Roach going to England with Amir Khan is a distraction. I think their sole focus is on Mosley. And like I’ve said, when “Sugar” Shane Mosley scores this incredible victory over Manny Pacquiao I don’t want Manny to be de-clawed or de-fanged.
"I don’t want people to reduce Manny into distraction. I don’t want to hear that Manny is only two inches tall and weighs 32 ounces. I don’t want to hear any of these things that I’ve heard. They say he’s a killer and the most monstrous fighter out there today so Shane should get his full amount of due when he pulls this victory off.”
Does being the underdog give you that much more motivation in this fight? Do you understand why you are such an underdog?
Mosley: “It gives me a lot of motivation to overcome. I don’t read too much into it. I don’t care that people are saying I’m an underdog or not. What matters is what happens in the ring. It only matters what happens on May 7. That’s the only thing that matters.”
Do you have any opinion that Top Rank supposedly has offered a fight in the fall to Manny to fight Juan Manuel Marquez while they are promoting your fight?
Mosley: “That’s fine. Sometimes as business people you have to look to make the next fight and the next fight. I think that’s what makes Top Rank such a great promoter. That’s for them to think that way and not for me to think that way. I have to think about May 7 and take care of May 7.”
Bob, can you address that?
Arum: “You take whatever (Richard) Schaefer says as gospel so we’ll leave it at that. We have no comment on whether we are offering a fight, which is absurd because Manny has a very tough fight with Shane Mosley. Just carry on and listen to Schaefer all you want and write your stories accordingly.”
Is it more or less of a challenge preparing for a fighter like Pacquiao than it is preparing for a defensive fighter like Mora or a extreme technician like Mayweather?
Richardson: “I said something to Shane the other day and I still hold firm with it, which was, ‘You’ve never been hit by Shane Mosley.’ You see, I’ve been hit more times by Shane Mosley than Shane Mosley has been hit. So Shane Mosley is quick to say this guy is a gladiator and this guy is going to fight me. But it doesn’t matter.
"I have to prepare Shane Mosley for a defensive fighter with every man he faces because if Shane hits you solid you’re going on the defensive. I don’t care how much of a gladiator or how tough you were before, when Shane tags you, you’ll be a defensive fighter. So he doesn’t see it the way I see it. So Pacquiao could become a defensive fighter in this fight too.”
Do you think Pacquiao has that ability to stick and move and to be elusive?
Richardson: “Fighters at this level have had to do everything it takes to get this far in boxing. They had to work the punches, they’ve had to get off the canvas. Fighters of this magnitude have probably seen every scenario you can see in the ring.
"And Pacquiao, too, can become a boxer and a mover and a jabber and a stick and move when he gets in there with Shane. Shane Mosley is special. You can say he has age on him or say whatever you will but Shane is still special.”
Do sparring partners matter in training camp?
Richardson: “The last fighter I saw who fought like Pacquiao was Aaron Pryor. If anyone was fighting like Pacquiao they’d be off somewhere defending their own title and they wouldn’t have time to come to our camp. So all you can do is pick athletes and ask them to bring in attributes that are most common to Pacquiao. So all you can really do is mix and match athletes and put together the best scenarios you can so that Shane’s going to leave with that high volume.”
Can you elaborate on the comparison between Pacquiao and Aaron Pryor?
Richardson: “The reason I compare the two is that Aaron Pryor was an all-action fighter. He had a decent punch but he was all-action. You could just see his energy level was just extraordinary. And Pacquiao brings the same level of energy into the ring. And it’s difficult to answer because he’s so consistent.
"After he’s fought bigger guys his fights have gotten easier because the high energy guys are at the lower weight classes. So when he’s fought bigger guys he’s actually had an easier time.”
You’ve been at the top of this game for a very long time. How much pride do you take in that?
Mosley: “I’m very happy to have been at the top for so long. It’s a great feeling to do the work and my career has been great. I think it’s just taking care of myself. When I’m not getting ready for a fight I’m still in the gym keeping my body healthy and in shape.”
How shocked were you that Pacquiao has been able to rise in weight and still have so much success?
Mosley: “He was a very good fighter at 130 in a very tough division and passed all the tests and had to move up several weight classes and has done the same thing. I think it’s remarkable. You have to take your hat off to him and say that he is one of the greats of this era.”
Do you feel like you see things in him that others maybe don’t see; where you see some weaknesses?
Mosley: “Yeah, I have a lot of advantages over him and now all I have to do is exploit his weaknesses. Once I exploit them I should be able to take care of business.”
Who is the opponent you’ve faced who is most similar to Pacquiao?
Mosley: “I really don’t know but I fought a guy back in the day named Oscar Lopez. It was the first time I went the distance. I was 9-0 with nine knockouts when I faced him. He was a southpaw and had the same type of awkwardness. That would be the one I would say who was most similar to Pacquiao.”
Richardson: “Like I mentioned before I compare Manny most to the great Aaron Pryor. A lot of it has to come from your boxing IQ and the formulas you put together. So we’ve fought southpaws before, and we’ve fought speed before and we’ve faced tenacity before. So now you just have to draw from all those experiences to formulate a game plan that will exploit the flaws that Pacquiao does present and be able to exploit them for all 12 rounds.
Don’t some of Manny’s punches come at you from difficult angles that sometimes can catch you off guard?
Richardson: “If a bullet misses you by two inches it’s just as dangerous as a fly. It only matters if they land. And right now Shane’s in the gym landing some beautiful punches.”
Is the accuracy of punches more important than landing a greater volume of punches?
Mosley: “You have to land a lot of punches. You have to land a high percentage and more every round. It’s like when I fought Margarito - before he was throwing like 1,000 punches but when I fought him he only threw 500. It’s all the angles and the way you move and how you turn him to where you make him not throw as many punches.”
Arum: “The reason Shane was selected for this fight is because we know that we are in the entertainment business. And we know that Manny Pacquiao against Shane Mosley will be one hellacious and entertaining fight. We picked Shane to fight Miguel Cotto a couple of years ago and to fight Antonio Margarito a couple of years ago. Shane is an all-action fighter and when he is in with a guy who is an action fighter as well you are going to see fireworks and a real exciting fight.”
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions, Tecate and MGM Grand, the four-fight Mosley-Pacquiao pay-per-view extravaganza will be produced and distributed live on Showtime PPV.
Closed circuit tickets, priced at $50, are on sale and available at all Las Vegas MGM Resorts properties.
The Pacquiao vs. Mosley pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $54.95, will be produced and distributed by Showtime PPV. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. For Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight week updates, log on to www.sports.SHO.com or www.toprank.com.