No easy fight
Both Margarito, Mosley promise victory—but a tough fight
Story and photos by Chris Cozzone / Fightwireimages.com
One week away from their showdown, next Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, welterweight kingpin Antonio Margarito (37-5, 27 KOs) and former champ “Sugar” Shane Mosley (45-5, 38 KOs) have two things in common.
They both predict a tough fight next week, and they both expect to win.
“He’s a great champion, a great fighter,” Margarito said during a national teleconference held yesterday. “I’m not going to underestimate him.
“But this is my moment, my time to shine.”
In his 51 bouts, Mosley has never lost to a Mexican fighter—but he has lost to Miguel Cotto, whose sole loss, last year, was courtesy the “Tijuana Tornado.”
“I’ve wanted to fight Mosley in the last few years,” said Margarito. “Now that the opportunity is here, I will take advantage of it.”
Despite criticism that Mosley may be past his prime, Margarito does not allow such talk to enter his training camp.
“I take him seriously. I don’t see an easy fight,” he said. “I know how difficult this is … I know, in the ring, anything can happen, and I’m going to be ready for anything.”
Now training under Nazeem Richardson, Mosley vowed that fans would see a new and improved Sugar Shane, “crisper” and “faster” than the one who defeated Ricardo Mayorga last year.
“I didn’t have the proper shoes on,” Mosley said about his difficulties with Mayorga. “I had a blister on my right foot. Plus, he was ten pounds heavier than me. I was fighting out of my weight class.
“You’ll see the old Sugar Shane next week.”
Though he said Cotto gave Margarito a great fight last summer, several mistakes were made—mistakes that he will capitalize on at the Staples Center.
“He had a little mental breakdown,” said Mosley, of Cotto. “Margarito caught up to him with his body shots and sealed the deal in the last two rounds. Cotto was not familiar with what Margarito brought to the table.
“But I am. I know that style . . . I know how to stay away from his pressure, but get my shots in, too.”
The pressure, the body shots and Margarito’s advantage in height does not worry Mosley.
“I don’t see any problems,” he said. “I’ve seen him fight several times. He has a difficult style, but it’s a style that my style can beat.”
Big stakes and bigger purses should follow the winner next week, but neither fighter was willing to name their next opponent beyond each other.
“All I’m thinking about is Mosley right now,” said Margarito, who said he was “not really that interested” in a showdown against Manny Pacquiao. “Right now, it’s about getting over Mosley, and winning.”
Mosley, on the other hand, would consider Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton or the winner of a Margarito-Cotto rematch.
“If they want to fight each other first, that’s great,” said Mosley.
“There’s always someone out there to fight. I’ll just stay consistent in the gym and train until the next victim comes along.”