After going the distance in a loss to Floyd Mayweather in May, “Sugar” Shane Mosley (46-6, 39 KOs) will return to the Staples Center in Los Angeles to face Sergio Mora (22-1-1, 6 KOs) September 18.
If you’re one to believe in luck, tradition, or superstition, Mosley stands a great chance to get back into the win column. In two previous outings at Staples, the Pomona fighter logged two victories, defeating Oscar de la Hoya and Antonio Margarito. He’s also never been defeated in the state of California.
Though Mosley looks to extend his streak at Staples to three, the venue has been kind to “The Contender” winner as well. Mora’s last fight at Staples came in 2005 when the former junior middleweight champion defeated Peter Manfredo via split decision.
The bout, which falls on Mexico’s Bicentennial Independence Day weekend, proves to be a turning point for both men. Mora, 29 sees this as a coming out show, of sorts, and made no attempt to hide his respect for the legendary fighter he’s slated to face, at a press conference held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas last weekend.
“It’s an honor to be fighting ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley,” the Dean Campos protégé said before blasting others who criticize his opponent over superficial things. “I think it’s pretty ignorant for a man that steps in to the ring to put down Shane for how he wears or what he looks like, and I would never attempt to do that.”
The former WBC light middleweight title holder also made it clear that while he respects Mosley, when the bell sounds on fight night, he’s more than willing to go to war with the legend.
“With that said, we’re under the same Golden Boy banner,” Mora continued. “I respect him, but come September 18, it’s not only the Sugar Shane Mosley show; it’s the debut of ‘The Latin Snake’.”
“The Latin Snake” set his sights on toppling Mosley as a young professional. The two men have known each other for a decade and developed a collegial relationship during training sessions at Big Bear. If there’s one thing Mora isn’t, it’s discrete as Mosley noted that he saw the Golden Boy rising star coming back then.
“[Mora’s] been eyeing me since he was 1-0,” Mosley said. “He’s been in the gym eyeing me. He’s thinking, ‘[Shane’s] getting a little older, now I can take him. That’s all right; I’m going to give the young guy a chance to see what he can do. He beat Vernon Forest, he beat all these great guys he won ‘The Contender.’ Now he’s going to get an opportunity to take on a great warrior like myself. Maybe he can be one of the Mexican stars that can beat me at the Staples Center, which is my home.”
The September 18 bout will be a rubber match of sorts. Mora and Mosley have already squared off twice.
“A lot of people don’t know that me and Shane have already fought twice last year,” Mora revealed. “We were on the ‘Fight Night’ game and we were supposed to use our avatars to fight each other. The first time I beat him via decision with my slippery style.
“The second time he knocked me out. We’re 1-1. This is going to be our trilogy,” he said to laughter.
One man who knows and respects the potential of Mosley is Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar de la Hoya. During the Golden Boy’s career, the two men met twice, with Mosley emerging victorious in their 2000 and 2003 bouts. Like Mora, de la Hoya also recognized the living legend and noted that even as he ages, Mosley remains one of the sport’s best.
“Shane Mosley is a combination of the warrior, he has the speed, he has the intelligence,” de la Hoya said. “He’s ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley and he’s a great, great fighter. I’ve known Shane Mosley for a long time and one great thing about him is that he hasn’t changed. He’s the same person, the same hard worker. I’m sure Shane Mosley is going to fight until he can’t fight anymore because that’s who he is. He loves the sport of boxing.”
In addition to the fight taking place on the weekend of Mexico’s Bicentennial celebration, an additional historical significance looms over the contest. Mosley has fought and defeated some of the biggest fighters of Mexican ancestry during his storied career. It remains to be seen whether or not Mora’s name will be added to the list of greats to fall by Mosley’s hand, or do the impossible and separate himself from the legendary pack.
“Obviously he’s going to come to do what a lot of fighters of Mexican including myself, [Fernando] Vargas and [Antonio] Margarito can do against Shane Mosley,” he said of the tall order in front of Mora. “This is an interesting fight for Sergio Mora and we really feel that this match can be one of the best fights of the year.”
To be clear, the stakes are high for the surging Sergio Mora. Defeating “Sugar” Shane Mosley places him in the company of some of boxing’s best fighters.
Defeating “Sugar” Shane Mosley in a bout commemorating Mexico’s two hundredth year of independence—that’s the stuff of legend.