Mayorga looms, but Mosley also has other fights on his mind

Updated: September 25, 2008

Tom Hogan/Golden Boy

"Get down from there and stop embarrassing yourself!" You never know what Ricardo Mayorga is going to do next.

Mosley still craves big fights

For most of the past decade, Shane Mosley has been one of boxing's biggest stars and big fights were there for him, win or lose. There were two career-defining wins against Oscar De La Hoya and two knockout victories against Fernando Vargas. There also were two disappointing losses to Vernon Forrest and two to Winky Wright.

Now, at 37, the former lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight champion is in the twilight of his Hall of Fame-caliber career with nothing left to prove, yet he still craves the competition he can only find inside the boxing ring.

Ten months ago, in his last fight, Mosley gave younger Miguel Cotto all he could handle before losing a tight decision to the then-welterweight titleholder. Mosley briefly considered retirement afterward, but that didn't last long, not for such a gym rat.

"I really don't know exactly when I want to retire," he said. "But like right now, if you ask me am I going to retire, I'll say no. In fact, I really just don't know when I will retire. I mean, I still have a love for the boxing game."

His next fight quickly was set up for May against former undisputed welterweight champ Zab Judah, but that was scrubbed a few weeks before the bout because Judah severely cut his arm. Mosley and his team at Golden Boy Promotions moved on and found fellow former welterweight and junior middleweight titlist Ricardo Mayorga, the trash-talking wild man from Nicaragua, ready to rumble.

So, Mosley (44-5, 37 KOs) and Mayorga (28-6-1, 22 KOs) will meet Saturday night (HBO, 10:30 ET) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in a 12-round 154-pound fight. Also on the card, Andre Berto (22-0, 19 KOs) defends his welterweight title for the first time, against Steve Forbes (33-6, 9 KOs).

Shane Mosley

Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

Mosley has turned a deaf ear toward Mayorga's brash mouth.

Mosley-Mayorga is an interesting matchup to be sure, given their crowd-pleasing styles, but not necessarily the big fight Mosley had hoped for. He is a 9-1 betting favorite, according to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. No wonder Mosley sounded as if he was looking past Mayorga to bigger fights down the road.

"Mayorga tells a lot of jokes and stories, but he always comes up short," Mosley said. "Yes, he won against Fernando Vargas in November, but he didn't knock him out."

Although Mayorga has two upset wins against Forrest -- who beat Mosley twice -- he never has been able to get over the hump against other top fighters, going 3-3 in his past six, including knockout losses to De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad along with a points loss to Cory Spinks. Mayorga's only victory of note in the stretch was the decision against Vargas, who was coming off back-to-back knockout losses to Mosley.

Forgive Mosley then if he is looking ahead. He spent much of his time on a conference call with reporters this week talking about potential opponents, not Mayorga.

Mosley's No. 1 target is titleholder Antonio Margarito, who stopped Cotto in an epic battle in July.

"Well, I think that the biggest fight out there right now is Margarito," Mosley said. "He's the best welterweight out there."

Mosley has wanted to fight Margarito for more than a year, but their schedules didn't mesh. He also would like a rematch with Cotto, but Mosley likely won't get either because Margarito and Cotto are on a path to a summer rematch.

Mosley didn't seem bothered by that, figuring some other significant fight would come along, especially as he has no problem fighting at either 147 or 154 pounds.

"That just lets me know that they want no part of me," said Mosley, a Southern California native fighting at home for the first time since his first victory against De La Hoya in 2000 at the Staples Center. "I'm still the top fighter out there, and I continue to go out there and fight. Maybe there's some other fights out there that I can look forward toward doing."

Mosley said he still has a desire to fight.

"I have this taste in my mouth where, you know, a taste for blood," he said. "And I'm just ready to pull the trigger on everybody.

"I'm motivated right now to be the thorn in everybody's backside. I'm just going to push the door down and then make the fans and everybody say, 'Oh, we want to see Sugar Shane fight this one, Sugar Shane fight that one. So I have to continue to look impressive and continue to beat fighters."

Others raised as potential future opponents for Mosley were Floyd Mayweather Jr., should he come out of retirement, welterweight titleholder Paul Williams, maybe even a third fight with either Forrest or De La Hoya (Mosley's business partner at Golden Boy).

"There's a guy that actually about a year ago beat Margarito in a pretty exciting fight, and that man is Paul Williams," Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said. "In my opinion, Williams has as much of a claim to be the guy at a 147 pounds as Margarito. So, yes, there is potentially a Paul Williams fight. There is potentially as well an Oscar fight. There is potentially, if Mayweather returns, a Mayweather fight.

"So I think I'm not really worried that Shane will not be able to secure next year a megafight. We're not really that worried about it."

Regarding Forrest, Mosley said, "Vernon Forrest is still lurking out there. … It doesn't really do me any good really to fight him right now. But it's just more a personal thing with me. So maybe I might look into that.

And on Mayweather, he added, "I don't think Mayweather really wants to fight me. I've been trying. I talked about fighting Mayweather here and there but, hey, you know, I think Mayweather is looking more to fight Oscar for real, real big money. So that's fine. I just continue to go ahead and fight until he's ready to fight me. If he's not willing, then I'll just move on and fight the next fighter."

Prediction time

Mayorga has never been shy about making predictions. Mosley doesn't usually make them, but he has been bold heading into this fight.

All along, Mayorga has been predicting an early knockout, which should come as little surprise.

Has he ever not predicted an early knockout?

Ricardo Mayorga

Chris Pizzello/AP Photo

Mayorga always promises a knockout but hardly ever delivers.

"If he stands toe-to-toe with me in the middle of the ring, I'm going to knock him out in the first round," Mayorga said. "If he runs, it's going to take from two to three rounds to knock him out."

He also predicted that he would send Mosley into retirement like he did with Vargas.

"I already retired Fernando Vargas, an L.A. boxing icon, and I plan to retire another on Saturday night," Mayorga said. "Mosley needs to be at home doing the dishes for his wife. His wife is the one in charge, so he needs to go home and listen to her."

Mosley agreed it would end in a knockout.

"I think it's going to end in a knockout. I think he's right," Mosley said. "The only thing is I think I'll knock him out in maybe five rounds. But, you know, I feel so good that if he comes out reckless and crazy, then he might go a little earlier. So it's really up to him how long he wants to go."

Donaire ready for second defense

Flyweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (19-1, 12 KOs), idle since stopping Luis Maldonado in the eighth round of his first defense in December, has been itching to get back in the ring. With his promotional situation settled -- he split with Gary Shaw and signed with Top Rank, which has promised to keep him more active -- Donaire will face South African mandatory challenger Moruti Mthalane on Nov. 1 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay in the co-featured fight on Top Rank's "Final Impact" pay-per-view, which is headlined by the junior middleweight rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez and Matt Vanda.

Nonito Donaire

Emily Harney

Time for business: Expect to see Nonito Donaire strutting his stuff in the near future.

"I've worked too hard to earn this title, and there is no way I'm letting anyone take it away from me," said Donaire, who scored a sensational fifth-round knockout to take the title from Vic Darchinyan in July 2007. "Mthalane is going back to South Africa without the only souvenir he craves most, my world championship belt."

Mthalane (22-1, 15 KOs) has won nine fights in a row since his only loss, in 2004, earning the mandatory shot by outpointing former title challenger Hussein Hussein in July.

"This is my first fight outside of South Africa, and I intend to make the most of it," Mthalane said. "I'm going to be in the middle of the ring. Donaire will not have a problem finding me. Let's see how he handles my pressure when he does."

If Donaire wins and interim junior bantamweight titleholder Jorge Arce defeats Isidro Garcia on the Nov. 1 card, Donaire will move up in weight and challenge Arce early next year, Top Rank's Bob Arum told ESPN.com.

Arum said the fight would take place in April in the Philippines, where Donaire is from.

"If they both win, Donaire and Arce will fight in Manila," Arum said. "That's what we hope to accomplish. There's a lot of money in the fight, and Donaire wants to move up. Both fighters have signed on for the fight, and they'll make record amounts. Everybody is on board. They just have to win.

Donaire manager Cameron Dunkin said that he had spoken to Arum about the fight and that their side is in.

"That will be some fight. It's a fight everyone wants, and Nonito would love for it to be in the Philippines," Dunkin said.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

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Ortiz

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Cintron

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Green

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QUOTABLE

Calzaghe

"After fighting [Bernard] Hopkins, my biggest wish was to fight Roy Jones Jr. I watched him in the Olympics; I watched him against [Felix] Trinidad; and I knew I wanted to fight him. The best way to finish off my career is to fight one of the best, at the best place to fight, Madison Square Garden. So I got my wish. This guy is going to try to take my head off on Nov. 8, and I am going to take his. This fight is going to be tremendous. It is going to be the fight of the year." -- World light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe, on his upcoming showdown with former champ Jones, during their recent media tour.

QUOTABLE

Jones

"Joe Calzaghe is like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going. He will start throwing punches on Friday and won't stop until Sunday. I am 39, and he is 36. He is not that much younger than me, but at 39 I have to be careful because I have to keep this face looking cute." -- Jones, on Calzaghe.