With boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya looking on, Shane Mosley, left, and Saul… (Mario Guzman / EPA )
LAS VEGAS -- Shane Mosley has been the young lion, a new champion, a major fight headliner and the veteran warrior.
Now 40, the Pomona fighter is the gatekeeper who will determine whether or not the charismatic quest of Mexico’s young Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will continue to perhaps a fall date against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
World Boxing Council junior-middleweight champion Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 knockouts) is the same age, 21, as Mosley’s son, Shane Jr.
Alvarez had his way against veterans Carlos Baldomir, Alfonso Gomez and Kermit Cintron, but he said Wednesday that he expects “Mosley to be at his best.”
Mosley hasn’t been there in his past two bouts, suffering losses in lopsided decisions against Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather.
Mosley said Wednesday that he had foot blisters caused by snowboarding when he subjected fans to a lethargic performance in losing to Pacquiao last May.
“My experience, my speed and power will make a lot of difference” versus Alvarez, Mosley said. “The original plan might’ve been that I’m through, but maybe now they know I’m not through.
“Canelo might come out tentatively, thinking I’m washed up. When he sees I’m not, uh-oh, what will he do?”
Mosley mentioned the possibility of rematches against Saturday main-event fighters Mayweather and Miguel Cotto, along with Pacquiao.
Yet, the fighter who was slow to pull the trigger and move during those recent losses could very well also be fighting for the final time, ending a celebrated career that included two victories over Oscar De La Hoya and a stirring Staples Center triumph over Antonio Margarito in 2009.
Mosley’s never been knocked out, but Alvarez possesses a hard right and more energy. For this bout, Alvarez is earning $1.2 million to Mosley’s $650,000.
“If I get hurt and knocked out, yeah, I might leave this alone,” Mosley said. “Different things can happen in there, though. If they stop it early or there’s foul play, then no,” he won’t retire.
Mosley is 21-0 against Mexican fighters. Saturday is Cinco de Mayo, and WBC President Jose Sulaiman praised Alvarez on Wednesday, referring to him as his “godson.”
“It motivates me, very much so,” Alvarez said of Mosley's record against his countrymen. “I hear it from fans I run into and on Twitter: ‘Please, put a stop to him.’
“He’s a complete fighter. The key for me is to not get desperate, to stick to my game plan. I’m going to do my fight, but I’ll be smart and take advantage in the places I can.”
Alvarez said he’d probably take a summer fight in Mexico, then return for another in late fall, against the winner of Saturday night's matchup between Mayweather and Cotto.
“It’d be an honor for me,” Alvarez said. “It’s within my plans.”
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