MANILA, Philippines - Former IBF lightweight, WBC welterweight and WBC/WBA lightmiddleweight champion Sugar Shane Mosley said the other day he’s planning to visit Manila for a few days before starting heavy training for a proposed comeback fight against WBA welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi in Brooklyn on April 27.
“I know Manila’s a big boxing city,” said Mosley who was in his Los Angeles home when contacted by The STAR for an overseas telephone interview. “I’ve got a lot of Filipino friends. I’m set to go once my team puts it together. I think it’s a great time to visit and experience the life and culture of the Philippines. I’m not sure about the timing but it could happen this month or the next. Maybe, it’ll be a three or four day visit. It all depends on what my team arranges.”
Mosley referred to San Francisco lawyer Sydney Hall and business manager Germaine Gillies as the team that will lay the groundwork for the trip. Gillies, born in Baguio and now based in Los Angeles, said the plan is to stage an event featuring Mosley in Manila. “It’ll be like an Elorde Awards Night,” said Gillies who is involved in wealth management, entertainment production and representing star athletes in the NFL and NBA. “It won’t be a fight because obviously, we’ll have to run through promoters for that. But if there’s interest in promoting a fight with Shane in the future, why not? Shane’s excited to visit Manila.”
Mosley, 41, confirmed negotiations for a return to the ring. “We’re looking at Malignaggi in Brooklyn on April 27,” he said. “I’ve stayed in shape and I know I can come back strong. I’ll start heavy training in March so I think I can visit Manila for a few days before then. We’re still ironing out some things before announcing the Malignaggi fight but I’m hoping it will happen.”
Mosley announced his retirement after losing a decision to Mexico’s Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas last May. That was Mosley’s third loss in his last four outings but each setback was to a future Hall of Famer – Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. What makes Mosley’s marketability suspect is he hasn’t won since halting Antonio Margarito in 2009. Still, there’s no question that Mosley is a future Hall of Famer himself, having defeated Oscar de la Hoya twice, Fernando Vargas twice by knockout and Ricardo Mayorga by knockout. He repulsed eight challengers as IBF lightweight champion and moved up in weight to claim the 147 and 154-pound titles. His record is 46-8-1, with 39 KOs.
Malignaggi, 32, is coming off a shaky win by split decision over Pablo Cano last October. He survived a knockdown in the 11th round to retain the WBA welterweight crown. Malignaggi has a 32-4 record, with only 7 KOs. If Mosley fights like he used to in his prime, it shouldn’t be difficult beating Malignaggi.
Mosley said he supports drug-testing but not like eight to nine times in the course of training for a fight. “Three times should be enough like at the start of training, the middle of training and right before the fight,” he said. “You don’t want to disrupt a fighter’s training schedule. Of course, you do tests after the fight, too.”
Regarding Pacquiao’s loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, Mosley said it’s not the end of the world for the Filipino icon. “You get hit with a shot like that, even a heavyweight will go down,” he said. “It happens in boxing. You’ll go down no matter who you are. After Manny takes a long rest, I know he can come back if he wants to. He might be a little gun-shy at first but it won’t be a problem. Once he gets his confidence back, it’ll be the same Manny out there.”
Mosley advised Pacquiao to take his time before returning to the ring. “If ever Manny fights Marquez again, he’ll have to respect Marquez’ power,” said Mosley. “You don’t rush him, you take it slow. Manny was winning the fight against Marquez until he ran into that punch. Manny would’ve won that fight if not for that one punch. If he ever fights Mayweather, it’ll be a different kind of fight. He shouldn’t fight Mayweather like a Marquez.”
Mosley said Pacquiao has to be one of the greatest fighters he’s ever faced. “It was a different kind of power I felt,” he said, referring to his knockdown in the Pacquiao fight. “He’s very powerful. He’s definitely one of the toughest fighters I’ve gone against.”
Gillies, who worked 12 years for a financial institution in the US before embarking on a career representing athletes, said she met Pacquiao in 2008 and is friends with his wife Jinkee and her sisters Janet and Haydee. Among the NBA stars she has worked with are Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher. She speaks fluent Filipino as she was born and raised in Baguio before moving to the US when she was 10. Her father is Australian and mother is Filipino-Chinese-Spanish.