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BOXING

Goossen Becomes Mosley's Trainer

March 31, 2004|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

In 1978, trainer Joe Goossen was in the corner of his first fighter, Randy Shields, as Shields faced Sugar Ray Leonard.

A quarter-century later, Goossen finally has his own Sugar. An agreement was reached Tuesday for Goossen to become the trainer of Sugar Shane Mosley, a former champion in three weight divisions.

"It's the dream of every trainer out there," Goossen said. "We all watch the big fights and say to ourselves, 'Boy, what we could do with this guy, or that guy.' "

But in the case of Mosley, the glare of the spotlight doesn't obscure the land mines Goossen must avoid. He is Mosley's second trainer. The first, from the time the 32-year-old Mosley was 8, was his father, Jack.

"I see absolutely no problems," Goossen said. "Shane and his father have worked everything out amicably. I don't feel like I'm walking into a minefield."

It hasn't been very positive in the ring recently for Mosley, once routinely at or near the top of the list of best pound-for-pound fighters. He has lost three of his last five matches, the other two being a no-contest against Raul Marquez in a fight stopped because of a head butt and a close decision over Oscar De La Hoya. Mosley lost a unanimous decision and his two 154-pound titles to Winky Wright this month.

With Goossen based in Van Nuys, Mosley, who lives in Pomona and has trained in Big Bear, will initially shift his operation to the San Fernando Valley, and may eventually do so permanently.

Goossen isn't ready to predict what changes he'll institute.

"Sometimes that manifests itself," he said, "just by being together in the gym. We are going to have to get our hands a little dirty working together, and then we'll work it out together.

"I feel like I'm in an almost indescribable position right now. It's hard to put into words. But despite that, I will never lose sight of what we have to do. The excitement is great, but then, it's going to boil down to hard work."

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