Mayorga looms, but Mosley also has other fights on his mind

Updated: September 25, 2008

Tom Hogan/Golden Boy

"Get down from there and stop embarrassing yourself!" You never know what Ricardo Mayorga is going to do next.

Mosley still craves big fights

For most of the past decade, Shane Mosley has been one of boxing's biggest stars and big fights were there for him, win or lose. There were two career-defining wins against Oscar De La Hoya and two knockout victories against Fernando Vargas. There also were two disappointing losses to Vernon Forrest and two to Winky Wright.

Now, at 37, the former lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight champion is in the twilight of his Hall of Fame-caliber career with nothing left to prove, yet he still craves the competition he can only find inside the boxing ring.

Ten months ago, in his last fight, Mosley gave younger Miguel Cotto all he could handle before losing a tight decision to the then-welterweight titleholder. Mosley briefly considered retirement afterward, but that didn't last long, not for such a gym rat.

"I really don't know exactly when I want to retire," he said. "But like right now, if you ask me am I going to retire, I'll say no. In fact, I really just don't know when I will retire. I mean, I still have a love for the boxing game."

His next fight quickly was set up for May against former undisputed welterweight champ Zab Judah, but that was scrubbed a few weeks before the bout because Judah severely cut his arm. Mosley and his team at Golden Boy Promotions moved on and found fellow former welterweight and junior middleweight titlist Ricardo Mayorga, the trash-talking wild man from Nicaragua, ready to rumble.

So, Mosley (44-5, 37 KOs) and Mayorga (28-6-1, 22 KOs) will meet Saturday night (HBO, 10:30 ET) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in a 12-round 154-pound fight. Also on the card, Andre Berto (22-0, 19 KOs) defends his welterweight title for the first time, against Steve Forbes (33-6, 9 KOs).

Shane Mosley

Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

Mosley has turned a deaf ear toward Mayorga's brash mouth.

Mosley-Mayorga is an interesting matchup to be sure, given their crowd-pleasing styles, but not necessarily the big fight Mosley had hoped for. He is a 9-1 betting favorite, according to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. No wonder Mosley sounded as if he was looking past Mayorga to bigger fights down the road.

"Mayorga tells a lot of jokes and stories, but he always comes up short," Mosley said. "Yes, he won against Fernando Vargas in November, but he didn't knock him out."

Although Mayorga has two upset wins against Forrest -- who beat Mosley twice -- he never has been able to get over the hump against other top fighters, going 3-3 in his past six, including knockout losses to De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad along with a points loss to Cory Spinks. Mayorga's only victory of note in the stretch was the decision against Vargas, who was coming off back-to-back knockout losses to Mosley.

Forgive Mosley then if he is looking ahead. He spent much of his time on a conference call with reporters this week talking about potential opponents, not Mayorga.

Mosley's No. 1 target is titleholder Antonio Margarito, who stopped Cotto in an epic battle in July.

"Well, I think that the biggest fight out there right now is Margarito," Mosley said. "He's the best welterweight out there."

Mosley has wanted to fight Margarito for more than a year, but their schedules didn't mesh. He also would like a rematch with Cotto, but Mosley likely won't get either because Margarito and Cotto are on a path to a summer rematch.

Mosley didn't seem bothered by that, figuring some other significant fight would come along, especially as he has no problem fighting at either 147 or 154 pounds.

"That just lets me know that they want no part of me," said Mosley, a Southern California native fighting at home for the first time since his first victory against De La Hoya in 2000 at the Staples Center. "I'm still the top fighter out there, and I continue to go out there and fight. Maybe there's some other fights out there that I can look forward toward doing."

Mosley said he still has a desire to fight.

"I have this taste in my mouth where, you know, a taste for blood," he said. "And I'm just ready to pull the trigger on everybody.

"I'm motivated right now to be the thorn in everybody's backside. I'm just going to push the door down and then make the fans and everybody say, 'Oh, we want to see Sugar Shane fight this one, Sugar Shane fight that one. So I have to continue to look impressive and continue to beat fighters."

Others raised as potential future opponents for Mosley were Floyd Mayweather Jr., should he come out of retirement, welterweight titleholder Paul Williams, maybe even a third fight with either Forrest or De La Hoya (Mosley's business partner at Golden Boy).

"There's a guy that actually about a year ago beat Margarito in a pretty exciting fight, and that man is Paul Williams," Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said. "In my opinion, Williams has as much of a claim to be the guy at a 147 pounds as Margarito. So, yes, there is potentially a Paul Williams fight. There is potentially as well an Oscar fight. There is potentially, if Mayweather returns, a Mayweather fight.

"So I think I'm not really worried that Shane will not be able to secure next year a megafight. We're not really that worried about it."

Regarding Forrest, Mosley said, "Vernon Forrest is still lurking out there. … It doesn't really do me any good really to fight him right now. But it's just more a personal thing with me. So maybe I might look into that.

And on Mayweather, he added, "I don't think Mayweather really wants to fight me. I've been trying. I talked about fighting Mayweather here and there but, hey, you know, I think Mayweather is looking more to fight Oscar for real, real big money. So that's fine. I just continue to go ahead and fight until he's ready to fight me. If he's not willing, then I'll just move on and fight the next fighter."

Prediction time

Mayorga has never been shy about making predictions. Mosley doesn't usually make them, but he has been bold heading into this fight.

All along, Mayorga has been predicting an early knockout, which should come as little surprise.

Has he ever not predicted an early knockout?

Ricardo Mayorga

Chris Pizzello/AP Photo

Mayorga always promises a knockout but hardly ever delivers.

"If he stands toe-to-toe with me in the middle of the ring, I'm going to knock him out in the first round," Mayorga said. "If he runs, it's going to take from two to three rounds to knock him out."

He also predicted that he would send Mosley into retirement like he did with Vargas.

"I already retired Fernando Vargas, an L.A. boxing icon, and I plan to retire another on Saturday night," Mayorga said. "Mosley needs to be at home doing the dishes for his wife. His wife is the one in charge, so he needs to go home and listen to her."

Mosley agreed it would end in a knockout.

"I think it's going to end in a knockout. I think he's right," Mosley said. "The only thing is I think I'll knock him out in maybe five rounds. But, you know, I feel so good that if he comes out reckless and crazy, then he might go a little earlier. So it's really up to him how long he wants to go."

Donaire ready for second defense

Flyweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (19-1, 12 KOs), idle since stopping Luis Maldonado in the eighth round of his first defense in December, has been itching to get back in the ring. With his promotional situation settled -- he split with Gary Shaw and signed with Top Rank, which has promised to keep him more active -- Donaire will face South African mandatory challenger Moruti Mthalane on Nov. 1 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay in the co-featured fight on Top Rank's "Final Impact" pay-per-view, which is headlined by the junior middleweight rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez and Matt Vanda.

Nonito Donaire

Emily Harney

Time for business: Expect to see Nonito Donaire strutting his stuff in the near future.

"I've worked too hard to earn this title, and there is no way I'm letting anyone take it away from me," said Donaire, who scored a sensational fifth-round knockout to take the title from Vic Darchinyan in July 2007. "Mthalane is going back to South Africa without the only souvenir he craves most, my world championship belt."

Mthalane (22-1, 15 KOs) has won nine fights in a row since his only loss, in 2004, earning the mandatory shot by outpointing former title challenger Hussein Hussein in July.

"This is my first fight outside of South Africa, and I intend to make the most of it," Mthalane said. "I'm going to be in the middle of the ring. Donaire will not have a problem finding me. Let's see how he handles my pressure when he does."

If Donaire wins and interim junior bantamweight titleholder Jorge Arce defeats Isidro Garcia on the Nov. 1 card, Donaire will move up in weight and challenge Arce early next year, Top Rank's Bob Arum told

Arum said the fight would take place in April in the Philippines, where Donaire is from.

"If they both win, Donaire and Arce will fight in Manila," Arum said. "That's what we hope to accomplish. There's a lot of money in the fight, and Donaire wants to move up. Both fighters have signed on for the fight, and they'll make record amounts. Everybody is on board. They just have to win.

Donaire manager Cameron Dunkin said that he had spoken to Arum about the fight and that their side is in.

"That will be some fight. It's a fight everyone wants, and Nonito would love for it to be in the Philippines," Dunkin said.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for



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• Promising junior welterweight Victor Ortiz, who recently signed with Golden Boy and has been taken under the wing of company boss Oscar De La Hoya, returns on the undercard of De La Hoya's Dec. 6 HBO PPV showdown with Manny Pacquiao, manager Shelly Finkel told Ortiz, 21, was being considered for the opening bout on HBO's Nov. 22 Ricky Hatton-Paulie Malignaggi telecast, but he preferred to fight under De La Hoya, whom he looks up to. In his first fight under contract to Golden Boy, Ortiz (22-1-1, 17 KOs) blew out Roberto Arrieta in five rounds on the Sept. 13 Joel Casamayor-Juan Manuel Marquez undercard. HBO and Golden Boy continue to discuss a Nov. 22 co-feature, but it won't involve middleweight prospect Daniel Jacobs, who had been a possibility. HBO likes Jacobs but views him as too inexperienced for such a high-profile spot this early in his pro career, so the network and Golden Boy are discussing other options.


• At long last, David Haye (21-1, 20 KOs), the cruiserweight champion moving up in weight, has an opponent for his heavyweight fight Nov. 15 at London's O2 Arena. Haye will fight Monte Barrett (34-6, 20 KOs), the fringe contender from New York. Barrett got the fight after Haye and manager/trainer Adam Booth ran through numerous possible opponents before settling on Barrett, 37. After losing three bouts in a row -- title bouts to Hasim Rahman and Nikolai Valuev and a stunning second-round knockout loss to journeyman Cliff Couser -- Barrett has won three in a row, including a second-round knockout of Couser in a rematch and a first-round knockout of Tye Fields in June.


• With Barrett getting the fight with Haye, that means Eddie Chambers didn't. He had been the other leading candidate in recent days. Instead, Chambers will go through with a fight Oct. 3 ( at the famed Blue Horizon in his hometown of Philadelphia against Livin Castillo. Chambers (31-1, 17 KOs) and Castillo (14-5, 9 KOs) have one common opponent, Alexander Povetkin, who outpointed Chambers in January to earn a shot at Wladimir Klitschko. Povetkin knocked out Castillo in four rounds in 2006.


• "The Contender" alumni card for Nov. 13 (Versus) has been tweaked. Third-season winner Sakio Bika still faces first-season star Peter Manfredo in the main event in Manfredo's hometown of Providence, R.I., but the other bouts have been overhauled. In the new co-feature, second-season winner Grady Brewer, who won earlier this month after a two-year layoff caused by a serious knee injury, will face second-season star Cornelius "K9" Bundrage in a junior middleweight bout. Anthony Mundine, the former super middleweight titlist from Australia, was slated to appear against first-season participant Miguel Espino, but Mundine backed out. Also, second-season runner-up Jaidon Codrington will not appear as originally planned.


• Ex-welterweight titleholder Kermit Cintron's return from a crushing knockout loss to Antonio Margarito in April will come against former junior welterweight titlist Lovemore N'Dou, who is moving up in weight after a second defeat by Paulie Malignaggi, promoter Lou DiBella told He said the fight has been finalized and will be on the Nov. 15 card headlined by the Jermain Taylor-Jeff Lacy super middleweight eliminator in the arena at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Cintron, who is working with trainer Ronnie Shields after parting ways with Emanuel Steward, will face N'Dou in an eliminator in which the winner moves a step closer to a mandatory shot against titlist Joshua Clottey. "I think it's a very interesting fight, a good comeback fight," DiBella said. "It ain't easy. Lovemore doesn't fall over for anybody. Lovemore is another one of these dudes who is always in supreme condition. I think it's a statement return for Cintron and if Lovemore beats a guy like Cintron, he's a contender at 147." Also, light heavyweight contender Shaun George will be on the card in his first bout since signing with DiBella.


• Idle since being knocked out in the seventh round challenging then-junior welterweight titleholder Junior Witter in England last September, former titlist Vivian Harris (28-3-1, 18 KOs) is mounting a comeback. The Brooklyn, N.Y., resident faces Octavio Narvaez (13-4-1, 8 KOs) Oct. 29 in Lyndhurst, N.J., on the debut card of Mike Indri's Dignity Promotions. "I am forgetting about the past," Harris said. "I am rededicated to making it back to the top. My first step will be to make a big statement on Oct. 29." Also on the card is New Jersey's Wayne Johnsen (17-3, 9 KOs), a third-season participant on "The Contender."


• Super middleweight Allan Green (26-1, 18 KOs) signed this week with DiBella, making a deal that had been in the works for weeks official. Green's former promoter, Tony Holden, made a deal with promoter Lou DiBella to take over the contract after he and Green had a falling out, in part because of a deal for a fight with middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik went south as well as Green's pulling out of a February ESPN2 show at the last minute without notification. Green remains on suspension in Louisiana for pulling out of the fight. "We'll look for the best opportunities at 160 and 168 pounds," DiBella said. "First, I need to speak to Louisiana authorities to get him off the suspension list. Then I need to get him a fight, have him sharpen up and then go after something big. I promise you he will not price himself out of what's there like he did with Pavlik. He knows he has to be realistic. He will accept an opportunity when the opportunity is right."


• Promoters Don King and Main Events have been unable to reach an agreement, so a Tuesday purse bid has been ordered for the mandatory fight between cruiserweight titlist Steve Cunningham and former light heavyweight belt holder Tomasz Adamek. If Main Events wins, one possible scenario could see Adamek challenge Cunningham on Dec. 11 in Newark, N.J., on Versus.


• Antonio Pitalua, fresh from his sixth-round knockout of Jose Armando Santa Cruz in a lightweight eliminator Saturday, likely will next face Edwin Valero, the former junior lightweight titlist who gave up his belt to move up in weight. Pitalua and Valero have been ordered to meet before the end of the year for an interim 135-pound title, available because champion Manny Pacquiao is facing Oscar De La Hoya at welterweight Dec. 6 and won't defend his title anytime soon.


• Bastie Samir, a 2008 Olympian from Ghana, is moving to Las Vegas to pursue a professional career under manager Cameron Dunkin and promoter Chet Koerner of TKO Boxing. Samir, 22, was 96-7 as an amateur and made an impression on many with his exciting style in the Beijing Olympics, where he was the victim of one of the more curious scoring decisions when he lost 9-7 to Brazil's Washington Silva in the tournament's second round. "He fought at 178 in the amateurs, but he was weighing in at 170 or 171. So he's going to fight at middleweight as a pro," Dunkin said. "He's a hard puncher and very strong, truly the assets that will help him more so in the pro ranks. Chet and I are very high on him. We've heard people compare him to John Mugabi, which is a great compliment."


• With Joe Calzaghe vacating a version of the super middleweight title, Carl Froch (23-0, 19 KOs) and Canada's Jean Pascal (21-0, 14 KOs) will meet to fill the vacancy Dec. 6 in Froch's hometown of Nottingham, England. The fight kicks off a deal between Hennessy Sports, Froch's promoter, and British network ITV -- akin to ABC in America -- for Hennessy to provide the network with 26 cards over the next two years. Froch, sitting as a mandatory for some time, is excited to get his opportunity to fight for a title. "I'm very excited at the prospect of facing a top fighter like Pascal for the WBC belt," he said. "It's something I've waited my entire career for. Big credit for Pascal for taking the fight. I've had two so-called superstars flat-out run from me this year in Joe Calzaghe and Jermain Taylor. But Jean Pascal stepped up, and on Dec. 6, you're going to have two undefeated fighters in their primes fighting for a world title. It doesn't get any better than that."



"After fighting [Bernard] Hopkins, my biggest wish was to fight Roy Jones Jr. I watched him in the Olympics; I watched him against [Felix] Trinidad; and I knew I wanted to fight him. The best way to finish off my career is to fight one of the best, at the best place to fight, Madison Square Garden. So I got my wish. This guy is going to try to take my head off on Nov. 8, and I am going to take his. This fight is going to be tremendous. It is going to be the fight of the year." -- World light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe, on his upcoming showdown with former champ Jones, during their recent media tour.



"Joe Calzaghe is like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going. He will start throwing punches on Friday and won't stop until Sunday. I am 39, and he is 36. He is not that much younger than me, but at 39 I have to be careful because I have to keep this face looking cute." -- Jones, on Calzaghe.