Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Mosley fights on -- without his father
By Steve Kim
When Shane Mosley tries to exact revenge on Winky Wright on Saturday night
at the Mandalay Bay for the undisputed junior middleweight championship of
the world, he'll be doing so without his father and longtime trainer, Jack.
After his decisive loss to Wright in March, Mosley made a decision that he
had gone as far as he could with his father in the corner.
While the union between the Mosleys ended unfortunately like most
father-son teams in the business, it was also far more successful than most
others. During their run together in the professional game, Mosley won
titles in three divisions and gained acclaim as one of the elite prizefighters
in the world. The father won "Trainer of the Year" honors in 1998.
But after his loss to Wright, Mosley is now being trained by the respected
Joe Goossen, while his father is now training fighters like Paul Briggs,
Steve Parker and Jay Horton.
But he will not be in Shane's corner when he tries to resurrect his career
against Wright in Las Vegas.
"It's strange," admits the father. "He should be with me instead of Joe
Goossen, I know that. Because I taught him everything he knows. He should be
with me because we made it to the top together. We did everything together
in spite of what everybody else says, some of these guys that are Jack
Mosley-haters. They just don't like my style for whatever reason, I don't
know. But I think we made stardom together and not Joe Goossen."
Goossen has recently turned around the fortunes of one Diego Corrales, who
has a revenge win over Joel Casamayor (his former fighter) and a knockout
victory over Acelino Freitas under his watch.
Can he do the same for Mosley?
"I don't know what he can do to change Shane around or anything like that,"
said Jack, exclusively to MaxBoxing. "I taught Shane everything he knows and
he's won three world titles, y'know? So what can you do to change a guy
who's won three world titles, a pound-for-pound fighter, 'fighter of the
year' and all these different things?
"Plus, we beat his fighter, Wilfredo Rivera, knocked him out; beat Rafael
Ruelas," recalled Mosley of their 1999 fight against the game Puerto Rican
and two amateur bouts against one of Goossen's first world champions. "I
don't think he can change anything that Shane does. I mean he can motivate
him, 'Oh, Shane go ahead you're doing a great job.' Yeah, well, anyone can do that."
In the immediate aftermath of his son's latest loss, he was given the news
of his dismissal. It was news that Mosley says shocked and disappointed him.
"I mean, why would your son do that to you?" he asked, with the bitterness
evident in his voice. "You're taking money from your family and giving it to
somebody else. Basically, that's what you're doing because what else can he
do for you? Other than motivate you and take your money. So I'd rather give
my money to my father and mother, sister and my family.
"Because in the beginning it was all me and nobody else. Who else was there
when we started out together? Nobody. I had to spend my money, I got sick on
the job and stuff to get him ready, I did that. So who was out there at the
beginning? Nobody. But once you become a star, then everyone wants to come
around and take over."
Mosley is convinced that the decision to relieve him of his duties did not
come directly from his son.
"I think he's got a lot of people around him, legal people, too, as well,"
says Mosley, without mentioning specific names. But it's clear that the
father is fingering Shane's wife, Jin, with whom he has had a shaky
relationship in the past and Judd Burstein, who is Shane's business
lawyer. "The people around him influenced him. Now, he might say it was his
decision; he was trying to protect them and that's very noble of him. But I
already know and everybody else knows."
But perhaps it was time for the Mosleys to go their separate ways. It
happens all the time in boxing; even the tightest relationships can hit a
wall. Even fighters like Thomas Hearns and Ray Leonard didn't spend their
whole careers with Emanuel Steward and Angelo Dundee. Also, the recent
results have spoke for themselves.
Since blowing out Adrian Stone in July of 2001, Mosley has a record of 1-3,
with one no-contest. Perhaps it was time to pull the plug on "power boxing."
It's ironic to note that according to the father, it was right around the
time of the Stone fight that he saw his son losing the focus he once had.
"I looked at a tape recently and I could see, after I looked at that tape,
it was just like yesterday when I looked at it -- I seen right there some
responses and some things he was doing in the ring," explained the elder
Mosley. "Even though he beat Adrian Stone handily, I said, 'Man, that didn't
sound like Shane.' He was asking for a towel or something and the tone of
his voice and the way it sounded, it didn't sound right.
"But I didn't pay attention to it then. But after I looked at that tape, I
said, 'OK' but that was around the time that stuff started happening, I
think. The distractions were beginning. It seems like he was distracted,
even in that fight, even though he won the fight handily. I could see the
distractions, I could just see it in him."
Things came to a head in their preparation for the first face off with
Wright. Both the son and father have pointed the finger at each other as
being distracted. Each claim that it was the other party who was not focused
fully on the fight at hand.
"There was just too many things going on in the camp," says Jack. "Just too
many distractions and stuff like that. Of course, I felt I couldn't really
do what I wanted to do. Because if I did I'd be stepping on some toes or
something like that. So I just kinda laid back to see what would happen. But
I really couldn't do what I wanted to do, what we normally do, just me and
him. Not the variables around us and stuff."
So Mosley, who began taking his son to the gym just a month before his
ninth birthday, is no longer in his corner.
"I never thought that would happen at all because we're father and son and
stuff like that," he says. "We worked together and I gave up half my life to
train him. I gave up my life, really 20-something years, that was my life as
Mosley says his family took the news of his dismissal hard.
"They didn't like it at all. They felt betrayed."
But this won't be the first time that Shane has boxed without his father in
"Shane has boxed without me because he traveled around the world with the
United States boxing team," said Mosley. "So he knows how to fight whether
Joe's in the corner, it doesn't matter who's in the corner, he already knows what
to do with an opponent because I've trained him to adapt to the guy's style,
to watch different things.
"Now, whether he can reach back and retain that stuff that I showed him,
that'll be seen. Now, my thing is, the last time I talked with him - which
was last week -
I told him he's going to have to be busy, throw a lot of punches."
Jack says he still communicates with his son.
"He comes by and drops the kids off and everything, so we talk," says
Mosley, who claims there is no awkwardness between the two. "No, no, I'm not
changing myself like that. I don't feel awkward because I know I did the right
thing. So I don't feel awkward or anything like that. I just hope the best
And while he won't be in his son's corner, he says he will be in
"I should be there," he says, "come to the press conference and everything.
I'll probably be watching the fight."
He does note that as of right now, he doesn't have a ticket. But what will
be going through his mind as Shane steps into the ring without him?
"I just hope he does a good job and does like I said, throw a lot of
punches, be busy, keep your jab in his face and work angles."