There was no anger with Mosley. In fact, he was getting a kick out of the whole situation during the summer before he decided to go Down Under and give it a shot.
“If I’m going to go way to Australia, if you offer me a million dollars to fight at 154, a weight class I’m really not at and you want to underpay me, you want to play around - I don’t have time,” he said. “I can go over here and fight for $100,000, $200,000 or $250,000, fight one of these guys at ‘47 because I know I’m fighting at 147. I know I’m going to be world champion [at 147]. That’s where I really want to be.
“The only reason why I take that is because you say you’re willing to give me a million, million-point-five. That’s why I’m going to fly way across the world. If you’re not going to do that, then there’s no need for us to talk. What are we talking about? There’s no need to fight. What am I fighting for? I’m not fighting for a spot at 154, a title belt or nothing like that stuff.”
And from the reports out of Australia, it looks like the stipulations set by Mosley and his representatives were not met. According to Richard Schaefer, CEO for Golden Boy Promotions, Mosley is entitled to the money already sent to him. “Yes, it’s non-refundable,” he told Maxboxing."He’s not going to come home with empty pockets.”
Vlad Wharton, the promoter of this event, has a bit of a sketchy reputation in the business. There aren’t too many people in the industry surprised by this turn of (non-)events.
(OK, this was the original lead story for today. As I was typing this up on Monday afternoon, the news broke. Regardless, with or without this Mundine fight, Mosley will continue punching for pay, so this story is still very applicable. Enjoy...)
There is a classic line from “Rocky” that is often overlooked and forgotten. During Rocky and Adrian’s first date at the skating rink, Adrian asked Rocky why he boxes, to which the “Italian Stallion” answers, “Because I can’t sing or dance.” Shane Mosley (who may or may not be facing Anthony Mundine this week in Sydney, Australia this week - more on that later) understands this sentiment.
This is basically all he’s ever wanted to do and he’d like to do it as long as possible. In many respects, it’s all he’s ever known.
And age 42, even with his physical prime in the rear view mirror and his best earning days behind him, Mosley’s in no mood to sing or dance.
“With me, I don’t want to go to a job and work. I don’t want to be the promoter holding all the stuff. I want to be the guy in the ring working. I want to be the trainer. I want to be interacting with the fight. I want to be in there; y’ know what I’m saying?” Mosley said in late August outside his cabin in Big Bear, where he dropped by Saul Alvarez’s open workout for the media before “Canelo’s” September hook-up with Floyd Mayweather.
He continued, “I don’t want to have to go and take care of people and watch the fighters doing whatever they’re doing. I want to be in there fighting. I’m going to do it as long as I can. I want to fight as long as I can and then, once I’m finished fighting, then I can deal with my son [Shane Jr.]. I can get in there or I can get in there with people like ‘Dynamite’ [Karl Dargan], teach them different things but in the mix, I want to be in the corner. ‘Throw that jab! Go to the body!’ - giving them that knowledge. That’s what I like about boxing. That’s what I love about the sport. That’s what I can’t get away from.”
Yeah, Mosley’s a boxing lifer. He’s got that bug and he’s always going to have it. Regular civilian life just won’t sit well with him. But he did retire from the sport temporarily after dropping a lopsided verdict to Alvarez last May. It capped a three-year stretch where Mosley went 0-3-1 since his destruction of Antonio Margarito in January of 2009. Worse than losing to the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Alvarez, it was the fact that he looked so impotent and ineffective during these fights.
The loss to Alvarez was thought to be his swan song.
“The retirement was based on emotion but it’s also based on my injury and saying, ‘OK, I don’t know if I can be 100 percent again. Am I going to be 100 percent? Am I going to be able to contend with these guys? If I can do what I want to do in the ring and I can’t fight the way I want to fight, then I need to retire.’ I got young guys like ‘Canelo’ beating me and I can’t move and I can’t do what I want to do. I fight [Manny] Pacquiao; I can’t move. I can’t do what I want to do. I fight [Floyd] Mayweather; I can’t do what I want to do. I crack him and almost have him knocked out [in their second round] but I can’t jump on him and knock him out. I need to retire because I have these injuries that are holding me back,” said Mosley, who claimed to have issues with this foot and Achilles tendon that hampered his efforts in those bouts.
Are these the alibis of a faded athlete who can’t grasp the reality of his own ring mortality? Perhaps. But the great Ray Robinson once stated that part of being a champion is believing in one’s self when nobody else does. Mosley is steadfast in his own belief that he still has something left. And he’s given himself a clean bill of health.
“Now that the injuries are gone and I don’t have that no more, I can go in there and fight,” he asserted. The bottom line is Mosley wants to lose on his terms, not what he considers unfortunate circumstances. “They made me think, ‘You have to retire.”
And he wants to make it clear; he is not fighting because of any financial difficulties or his divorce from his ex-wife, Jin.
“No, not at all. I mean, I can continue getting money. I’m a multi-million[aire] over and over again. So let’s clear that up - I’m a multi-millionaire.”
But Mosley does cringe as the public speculates as to why he’s still fighting on. Boxing has a long and sad history of boxers who simply couldn’t throw in the towel on their own careers. Joe Louis fought long after his apex because of problems with the IRS. Muhammad Ali, because of his own vanity. Roy Jones, who, at one time, was a pound-for-pound colleague of Mosley, is now reduced to fighting the likes of Bobby Gunn.
Mosley insists he’s fighting not because he has to but because he wants to.
“I cringe at this f*ckin’ bullshit and [Jin] still gets money,” he said, laughing, “but I mean, it is what it is. As long as she’s taking care of my three beautiful kids the right way and they’re happy, they’re able to live comfortably, then I’m happy because that’s what it’s about. We fight for our family. Most guys fight for the family.”
And Mosley will fight on, regardless.
In case you missed it, here’s my weekend recap of Ruslan Provodnikov’s battle with Mike Alvarado and my flight with one Mike Tyson. And this email had me chuckling since it featured the guy in the story (http://www.maxboxing.com/mile-high-thumping) taking a photo with “Iron” Mike:
Steve’s photo of Mike Tyson and Heejin
(Photo © K9 Photos)
A friend of mine sent me this article. http://www.maxboxing.com/news/main-lead/mile-high-thumping i guess you were the korean guy Mike was saving a seat for on the plane. I am the guy taking the "selfie" with Mike. I was blown away when he saved you that seat. I was like damn whos THIS GUY! (i’m pretty sure everyone else thought the same thing). I wanted to ask him for a picture during the flight but there was not much time. I was so stoked i was able to get that photo. But i think your photo is much better than mine, do you think you can send it to me? I’d really appreciate that. Thanks.
And yes, for the record, I did email him the photo.
I’m still amazed that I took a better picture than anyone with the phone I have.
Here’s the latest edition of “The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly, where we review Ruslan Provodnikov-Mike Alvarado and preview the upcoming Showtime card:
On Monday afternoon, ESPN sent out a release announcing that they would be streaming Mosley-Mundine on Wednesday morning. I guess we can all go back to our regular sleep patterns now...The NSAC announced that both Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez (and everyone else on the cards taking place on Oct. 11th and 12th) in Las Vegas passed their drug tests...The Colts seem a bit undermanned but look at the teams they have defeated this year - but Reggie Wayne not being there is like the sun not coming up in Indy...What’s going on at Grambling? Geez, Eddie Robinson must be rolling over in his grave…