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Sugar ON TOP

It Has Taken Pomona's Shane Mosley a Long Time to Reach Boxing's Pinnacle, and Thanks to Protective and Fiscally Responsible Parents a Quick Fall Is Unlikely

August 13, 2000|CHRIS DUFRESNE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"She knew it wasn't my fault," Shane says. "Had I done something careless, maybe I'd blame myself. But it was a mechanical thing. The car flipped over. There was nothing I could do."

Shane received another jolt after high school when his girlfriend, Tina Smith, became pregnant and gave birth to Shane Jr.

Not only did Shane take responsibility-- "If it's my son, I'm going to take care of him; my father instilled that in me"--he also won custody of the boy.

Bring It on Home

So much to do, so little time.

Mosley is itching to etch his name in lore.

If he wins the De La Hoya rematch, Mosley can control his boxing destiny. Holder only of the World Boxing Council belt, he can move to unify the welterweight division.

There is also a stable of junior welterweights--Kostya Tszyu, Zab Judah, Randall Bailey, Antonio Diaz--who could jump up and challenge Mosley at 147 pounds.

"That's where the big money fights are, guys moving up," Ring's Nigel Collins says.

Mosley may also pursue a rematch against rising welterweight Vernon Forrest, the man who knocked him out of the 1992 Games.

It was De La Hoya's decade, for sure, but 2000 is looking more like the start of the Mosley era.

If Shane hits the mother lode, Jack promises to take a chunk of the money and rebuild Pomona.

"I won't go broke, don't get me wrong," Jack says, "but I would set up foundations. This city is just not with it. It's like a lotus flower, waiting to bloom. I'd do something here. I want to make this entire town like Westwood, make it safe enough to walk your dog down the street."

Maybe this is just spin.

"You have to know yourself, know what you want, know what life's about," Shane says.

And that would be . . . ?

"I want to be a great mentor for the young," Shane says. "I like to watch kids have a good time, grow up and watch dreams come true. I want to put back into the city where I came from and help the kids."

Maybe, in the end, boxing's evil twin walks away another clear-cut winner.

Or maybe, if luck holds and Jack and Clemmie hold steady on the porch, it won't stand a puncher's chance.

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