MANILA, Philippines - The fighter who faced both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao said the other day he’s willing to help in any way to make the ultimate boxing showdown happen. Sugar Shane Mosley, who arrived in Manila last Tuesday and leaves for Los Angeles tonight, said he’d like nothing better than Mayweather and Pacquiao squaring off once and for all.
“It’s the fight the world wants to see,” he said. “It’ll be an interesting fight. Boxing needs it. Floyd is hard to hit, quick and slick. Manny has speed and unpredictable power. When we fought, I thought Floyd would go in the second round after I hurt him. With Manny, you wouldn’t think he has power until you feel it. Styles make fights and that’s one fight where that will be evident.”
Mosley, 42, said he’s in contact with the Mayweather camp. And his Manila visit opened up avenues to reach out to Pacquiao. Last night, Mosley was scheduled to dine with Araneta Coliseum owner Jorge Araneta and discuss the possibility of staging regular “HBO-type” fight cards at the Big Dome. Mosley, lawyer Sydney Hall, business agent Germaine Gillies, English promoter Dennis Hobson and publicist Mario Serrano were invited to meet Araneta by Star columnist Philip Juico.
Gillies said Mosley will be back in town next month to iron out the final details of the “Night of Champions” benefit he is hosting in May. The event will raise funds for Yolanda victims by selling tickets for dinner and the chance to meet boxing legends. Hall said the plan is to invite at least 10 legends, including Roberto Duran, Evander Holyfield, Tommy Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson. An organization called the United Boxing Relief Fund will stage the “Night of Champions.”
Another project in the works is a boxing show featuring IBF bantamweight champion Stuart Hall and former two-time world superbantamweight queen Ana (Hurricane) Julaton in Manila. Former WBA heavyweight king David Haye and former IBF superfeatherweight champion Robert (The Ghost) Guerrero are others who may be included in the bill.
“We hope to set the stage for Filipino fighters who don’t get the opportunity to showcase their talents overseas to be recognized,” said Gillies. “This won’t be a one-off show. We plan to do this regularly and also take the show to places like Singapore and Macau.” Hall said Guerrero will agree to fight here but only against a credible opponent and numbers are now being discussed with Haye. “Manila is a big boxing city and with the right show, we can bring in 20,000 fans like when Luisito Espinosa fought at the Luneta and Manny fought outdoors at the Fort.”
Mosley was mobbed by fans when he went to the Rockwell Power Plant mall last Wednesday and accommodated every request for a photograph. “I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was told Filipinos are big boxing fans. I really felt the love. I was like a Michael Jackson. I’d like to leave behind memories to fans that I’m a good person and an ambassador of goodwill.”
Mosley confirmed his retirement for good. Last November, he lost to Australian Anthony Mundine on a stoppage after the sixth round in Sydney and ended his career with a 47-9-1 record, including 39 KOs. He was forced to surrender with back problems. “Would I have liked to end my career on a better note?” he wondered. “You can’t think of that. You move on. It is what it is. That was a tough fight because I traveled back and forth from the US to Australia twice within a matter of weeks. I’m not taking anything away from Mundine, he fought a good fight. Looking back, maybe it wasn’t the right time to do it. But it’s done and now, I’ve got other things on my mind like the relief efforts for the Philippines and my son Shane Jr.”
Mosley’s son, 23, is turning pro, tentatively in the Pacquiao undercard at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 12. He will be in his son’s corner with his father Jack, three Mosley generations. “My dad was in my corner when I turned pro and my dad and I will be in my son’s corner when he turns pro,” said Mosley. “My son’s a boxer-puncher. He’s slick but he’s a fighter, too, ready to engage. He’s an exciting fighter. He started boxing late, when he was 16, compared to when I started early at eight. I’ve taught him what he knows but I never pushed him to become a fighter. He’s strong, he’s got a good chin. He’ll fight in the 168-pound division as a supermiddleweight. Eventually, I hope to build my own stable of fighters.”
Mosley said he’s never been involved in hosting an event for charity. “This is my first,” said Mosley. “I’m excited about it. I’m proud to participate in something like this. It’s great that boxing people are coming together to support the Yolanda victims.”