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Trainers clash at Mayweather-Mosley

Story by Andreas Hale

On May 1, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Shane Mosley will clash in a highly anticipated matchup of welterweights that is sure to draw fireworks between two of today’s pound-for-pound best fighters in the world. But behind every great boxer, there is a great trainer. On a recent conference call Naazim Richardson and Roger Mayweather stated their case for their respective fighters and discussed everything from drug testing to HBO 24/7.

Naazim Richardson has been masterful at creating successful game plans for his fighters. He is the man who assisted in structuring the correct blueprint to take out Antonio Margarito in Mosley’s masterful performance over a year ago. If you look further back, Richardson was the one who orchestrated Bernard Hopkins demolition of the then-undefeated Felix “Tito” Trinidad. Simply put, the man makes a living out of fine tuning his fighters who may be against all odds.

“I feel as though if you check the history you've never seen Shane Mosley in let alone a bad fight, you've never seen Shane Mosley in a boring fight,” Richardson says when discussing what to expect on May 1st. “ I don't see that changing at all in this fight, especially with an outstanding athlete such as Floyd Mayweather Jr. This will be a matter of us putting the strategy together and seeing what the outcome is.  In fact, both of us have exceptional athletes, but I'm still confident that our guys can get the job done.”

If you ask Roger Mayweather about Mosley’s chances against his nephew, Roger won’t bat a lash at Mosley’s record over the years. He will acknowledge that Mosley is good, but he believes his nephew defines great.

“There are a whole bunch of guys that are good,” Mayweather says. “Good and great are two different things, and he's on the verge of greatness, so when it comes May 1st, when all this is said and done, I won't even have to talk about how good Floyd is or how great he is or how, I won't even have to say anything because all that's going to be shared in the books and the papers.”

It is suffice to say that Mosley will be Mayweather’s toughest test to date. Mosley is easily the closest to match Mayweather’s speed and many will argue that he possesses greater power. But Roger brushes all of the talk away

“I'm not saying what Shane Mosley can't do, but whatever he can do, he can't do it better than Floyd.  That's what I'm saying,” he says. Never one to shy away from confidence, Roger says there’s one thing that Mayweather can’t do. “Floyd knows how to win. Obviously, he doesn't know how to lose.”

It wouldn’t take long for the discussion to turn to the now infamous drug testing that derailed the proposed superfight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather has been often discussing “cleaning up the sport” by employing Olympic style drug testing to ensure that boxers are stepping into the ring clean of performance enhancing drugs. It is also no secret that Mosley was involved in the BALCO scandal back in 2003 when documents were seized stating that Mosley used designer steroids “the clear” and “the cream.” Although Mosley has maintained that he was unaware that he used any steroids, Mayweather wants to be sure that he is clean on May 1st.

When talk turned to Mosley’s power, Roger Mayweather took the first shot at Mosley’s past.

“What do you mean, the power that he's got with the steroids, or the power that he's got just naturally?”  Mayweather bristled. “I don't know what you're talking about.  I'm talking about the power with the steroids that he's taking or the power just naturally gifted to him himself.”

Richardson, obviously tired of the steroid talk, was quick to defend his fighter before delivering a question himself about Mayweather’s brittle hands. There have been rumors that Mayweather has injected licocaine into his hands. The drug is supposed to provide numbness as an anesthetic and its something that Richardson questions if it is an illegal drug.

“I was told you can’t stick needles in your hands, “Richardson said. “Like I said, I come from the 'hood, and the only caine I want to here is Big Daddy Kane.  I don't want to hear nothing else about caine in any athlete or anybody else.  To me that just doesn't seem right, so I need more information on that even from USADA… If you're sticking a needle in your hand, it's not all-natural.”

CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, stepped in to clear that situation right up.

“Just for the record, Floyd Mayweather doesn't shoot anything in his hands, and that's for the record,” Ellerbe explained. “That was a nasty rumor that was spread out there just because people like to do those kinds of things.  Floyd is a clean athlete, and he's been a clean athlete from day one.  Floyd Mayweather doesn't shoot needles in his hands.”

“This is a problem where people just keep running their mouth about things that have nothing to do with the actual boxing,” Richardson responded. “When you bring up the boxer, talk about the boxer, but if every time you crack your mouth open you're running your mouth about some nonsense from before, then everybody's going to start asking questions about everything.”

“Shane has never tested positive for anything,” he continued. “He agreed to the test, but now every time they bring his name up, you've still got to hear about steroids this and steroids that.  Okay, the man already agreed to your test.  What do you want him to do for you now?”

Ultimately, the fight on May 1st won’t have anything to do with battling trainers, drug tests or smack talk. It will be about two men looking to prove that they are the best fighter in the world.

“Both guys have tremendous ability, but the only way you're going to find out who's the best fighter here on that date,” Mayweather said. “If you come to the fight, if you pay for the fight, then you'll see the fight, and then you'll see the verdict when the hand gets raised, and then that way you'll have a greater understanding as to what I said about Floyd and what Naazim said about Shane.”

Mosley knows he has a tough hill to climb and Richardson is preparing his fighter to be in the best shape possible on Saturday night. He knows that in order to defeat the “Money” Mayweather dragon, he has to prepare Mosley to become the dragon slayer – literally.

“If Floyd Mayweather turned into a dragon in the middle of the ring, then Shane has to step on his tail and hit him with a body shot.  Whatever comes to pass, he has to endure it, deal with it, make the adjustment, and then execute.”


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