Sugar Shane Mosley defies conventional nature. The 39-year-old boxer known for lighting hand speed and deceptive punching power has been rocking opponents like Oscar De La Hoya and Ricardo Mayorga for 17 years and has no intention of retiring soon. After a disappointing loss last May to boxing’s current best Floyd Mayweather Jr, Mosley is ready to get back on the winning track with tomorrow’s Lightweight bout against Ford tough former champ Sergio Mora. During this last week of training Shane gave VIBE a call to discuss his Eric B & Rakim motivation, son being his secret weapon and strategy for tomorrow.
What artists do you train to?
I listen to a lot of Drake but for this match I kind of went back to the old-school and playing a lot of Eric B & Rakim. Paid In Full, The R, all that.
Was there anything specific that you worked on in preparation for this match?
I got my jab a little stronger and worked on stronger defense. I worked really hard in camp so I think I’m ready.
What are the keys to beating Mora?
The key is to make sure Sergio doesn’t out work or out hustle me. He work hard and fights hard and that added weight could help him out. So I have to make sure my endurance is up so I can throw a lot of punches.
Your last fight against Mayweather you were criticized for losing steam in the later rounds. Was your conditioning a factor?
No. Conditioning didn’t play a part in that loss. What did play a part was my neck got tight. I just didn’t have a good night. I got a good shot in but after that, that was it. If you can go ten more rounds after two you’re in pretty good shape.
What lead to your neck stiffening?
If you watch the fight you can see he hit me in my neck like seventeen times, but I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do to win the fight: do anything possible.
You’re a living legend in the sport of boxing. Your legacy is already secure. So what motivates you to continue boxing?
Trying to win. There’s still a lot of good fights out there. You have Manny Pacquaio, [Antonio] Margarita, [Miguel] Cotto and I’d like to fight Mayweather again. I think I had an off night against Mayweather. I think if I get him again things will be a little different. Everybody knows now that I can hurt him.
Is that the fight you most want?
Yeah it is. I think it would be a huge fight. Plus it’s kind of a redemption thing. People will get a better fight from me.
What do you make of the legal trouble Mayweather is in right now?
It’s kind of crazy. I hear it’s been going on for ten years. Hopefully he can get out of it and get back to boxing. It’s unfortunate but sometimes you have that baby mamma drama.
You’re 39 and you look physically better than most of the younger guys in your weight class. How do you stay in such great shape?
It’s the off-season training. My son boxes too so I spar with him and do the runs with him and stuff. He’s keeping me young and that’s what’s allowing me to box more.
How good is your son?
He’s pretty good. He’s still an amateur but he’s getting better. When we do our mile runs, he’s leading the pack. He has the talent he just needs the aggressiveness that I have. He has good form, good technique, good punching power and speed. He has the perfect boxing style. He just has to get that hunger that I had when I was his age. But I started at 8-years-old. He didn’t start until he was 16.
Non-competitively, purely as a fan of boxing, who do you love to watch?
I really enjoy watching Manny Pacquiao fight. He’s explosive and I love when he gets hit he starts banging himself and wants to fight more. I like to watch Andre Berto––he’s a pretty good fighter. He’s not the best but he can fight. He’s got great hand speed, good power and he can fight.
Weren’t you supposed to fight Burto?
Berto is from Haiti and when the earthquake happened some of the people in his family got hurt so he had to go deal with that. We have the same birthday September 7. He’s a good kid.
Your career has been pretty sterling on a performance and image level. Do you cringe at the one blemish on your image: the steroid use in 2003?
It could be a chink in the armor if you will. It’s something that got blown out of proportion. It’s really nothing. I just have to keep going on. Four or five years more people will see. Usually when people use steroids and they get to my age their joints go bad, they start getting sick, etc. So later they’ll say “Man this guy must really keep himself in great shape because he’s still fighting.”
How much longer do you want to fight?
I got about four, five years left.
You’re gonna be like the Bernard Hopkins of your division?
Definitely gonna be the Bernad Hopkins of my divison. I might even go up to 160 pounds and grab a belt. You never know.