Thursday, January 26, 2012
Mosley in the mix for 'Canelo' and Khan?
By Dan Rafael
Shane Mosley, the former pound-for-pound king and three-division champion, is 40 now. He is 2-3-1 in his previous six fights, and he has looked particularly poor in going 0-2-1 in his past three since his upset knockout of plaster-less Antonio Margarito in 2009.
The last time we saw Mosley, he was knocked down in the third round and lost a shutout decision to Manny Pacquiao in their massively hyped -- and even more disappointing -- welterweight title bout last May.
Since then, Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) has kept a low profile. But now he says he is ready to return, that he is healthy and that his manager, James Prince, and attorney, Josh Dubin, have been approached by Golden Boy -- the fighter's former promoter before their falling out prior to rival Top Rank signing Mosley for the Pacquiao fight -- to gauge his interest in two potential bouts.
I talked to Mosley the other day, and he said he was asked a couple of weeks ago about his interest in a fight with junior middleweight titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, who holds one of Mosley's old belts. In recent days, Mosley said, he was asked about his interest in facing former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan.
"They offered me a fight with Canelo and I was like, 'Yeah, I'll take it,'" Mosley said. "Then they came back to me and said, 'What about Amir Khan?'"
Mosley said that fight was also of interest to him, although not at the weight that was suggested: 145 pounds.
Khan, who lost his two junior welterweight belts to Lamont Peterson in controversial fashion on Dec. 10, wants a rematch first and foremost. But Golden Boy knows there are issues there and is looking ahead because Khan had talked before the Peterson fight about moving up anyway.
"I said, 'No way at 145.' I might do it if it was at 147. I was thinking 149 or 150," Mosley said. "It's possible, but I would want to be sure everything is right. It's interesting, but it depends on the setting, the weight, what type of money."
Of the two names brought to Mosley's attention, he said he prefers Alvarez, who has been mentioned prominently as a potential May 5 opponent for Floyd Mayweather Jr., who soundly outpointed Mosley in May 2010.
With Mayweather and Pacquiao trying to finalize opponents, because it seems very doubtful they will fight each other next, everyone else in the hunt is jockeying for position, including Mosley.
"I haven't fought in a while and would have to make weight properly if I was going to fight Khan," Mosley said, adding that he weighed about 168 when we spoke a few days ago. "Now that I am healed properly, I can get back to work again."
Mosley said he injured the Achilles tendon in his left foot several weeks before the Pacquiao fight and that it hindered him badly in the fight. He said he had issues with his other leg also. The injuries have taken some time to heal, but he said he would be ready for a fight in the spring, which is when Alvarez and Khan are both expected back in action.
"I wanted to take some time off and heal properly," Mosley said. "I'm feeling a lot better and ready to go. I'm not hurt. If Golden Boy is willing to put their guy, Canelo or Amir, up to fight me, so be it. I'm excited to get back in the ring. I want to prove to everybody what happens when I am 100 percent."
I don't see the Khan fight happening and remain hopeful a rematch with Peterson will come to fruition. It makes too much (dollars and) sense not to happen.
When I asked Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer about Mosley's claim that he is being considered for the fights, he said only, "My full focus in on the Peterson rematch."
I think Mosley is a long shot, at best, to face Khan. Besides, it remains to be seen if HBO or Showtime would be interested in either bout. But I'll say this: As disgusted as I was with Mosley's performance against Pacquiao -- and it was a fight I killed even before it took place, and wound up playing out even worse than I had predicted -- I think Mosley, even at this stage of his career, would be Alvarez's toughest opponent so far. Alvarez has been very protected.
"I'm better than anyone Canelo [has] fought," Mosley said. "By all means, put me in with him and let me knock him out. To me, Canelo is a warm-up for me to another fight. We can definitely do that."