Earlier today Shane Mosley and Sergio meet the press to begin the hype for their September 18 junior middleweight showdown.
After losing nearly every round to Floyd Mayweather in May, many speculated that Mosley would announce his retirement. He acknowledged his upcoming 39th birthday, but says he is determined reestablish himself as an elite fighter at 154 pounds.
The site will be the Staples Center, where Mosley scored the two biggest victories on his career over Oscar De La Hoya and Antonio Margarito. The two wins occurred in 2000 and 2009 respectively.
“This is going to be a great night of fighting at the Staples Center,” said Mosley. “Mexican Independence Day is September 15. My birthday is September 7. I am transforming into a Mexican on that day.”
His trainer Naazim Richardson attributes Mosley’s popularity amongst the California Mexican community to his willingness to go to war with the best Mexican fighters out there.
“Shane has a huge following in Mexico also, that’s why he has the title the ‘King of California.’ I have always said that he is a great fighter because he’s had to face that Latino opposition,” he explained. “There’s no way you can underestimate Sergio Mora, but we have to put a game plan together to deal with this young man and we will.”
“I don’t care if you’ve seen him recently or have not seen him for a while, if you went to a Shane Mosley fight you got up off your seat. He can take his worst night and still get you off your seat. You’re going to see an outstanding performance.”
To date Shane Mosley has defeated every Mexican opponent he’s faced. The two most prominent victims are Fernando Vargas and Antonio Margarito. That fact provides extra motivation for Sergio Mora, who not only wants to build his career off Shane, but be the first Mexican to defeat the future Hall of Famer.
“I want to be the first Mexican that beats Shane. I want all the support of the Latino community,” said the Latin Snake, who won his last fight by TKO in April over Calvin Greene. “We both went 24 rounds with the late great Vernon Forrest, that shows that styles make fights. I got my cuts, and struggled and came back from behind. I know what it’s like to fight in the lime light. This is for everyone in LA. To fight in the arena that the LA Lakers won [the championship] in is an honor.”
On the undercard popular 20 year old prospect Saul Canelo Alvarez (33-0, 25 KOs) will face iron-chinned former welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir (45-12-6, 14 KOs). And 23 year old Victor Ortiz (27-2-1, 21 KOs) takes another step up in his rebuilding phase when he faces Vivian Harris (29-4-1, 19 KOs).
The competitive undercard follows a trend Golden Boy began last September with Floyd Mayweather’s PPV comeback fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. This card’s opening bouts may have been the catalyst for HBO renewed involvement. Last month, the network originally opted not to finance the PPV.
“Breaking news! This event is now going to be fully supported by HBO Pay-Per-View including their production and broadcast team,” confirmed Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. “This reinforces the strength of the event.”
Tickets for Mosley-Mora are on sale now for $200, $125, $75 and $20. The PPV will retail for a price of $44.95.
If you’re going to make it PPV, at least stack the undercard. It’s a simple philosophy. Don King used to do that a lot in the 90s. And even in this century, I remember the Hopkins-Joppy PPV having Rahman-Ruiz, Spink-Mayorga and Zab Judah as the opener.
Still, a solid card doesn’t necessarily warrant paying $45. And I think Shane has his hands full with Mora. The Latin Snake may have no power, but he keeps up a high, intense work rate. Vernon Forrest as a veteran couldn’t keep up in the first fight and was drowned down the stretch. In the rematch he adjusted by keeping Mora off-balance with his great jab and solid right hand.
Mosley doesn’t have the length and size to outbox Mora that way. For victory, Mosley has to dominate a war of attrition that may be too much to ask of a 38 and soon to be 39 year old fighter.
Either way there’ll be great exchanges and taunting from Mora. It’s just a shame that the PPV will limit the audience.