NEW YORK --
So why, at age 36 and with nothing left to prove, is he risking tarnishing that legacy by stepping in the ring with 27-year-old powerhouse
"To cement my legacy," said Mosley from behind a table at Manhattan's famed Carnegie Deli. "Fighting for the WBA title is cool, but I want to be the best fighters out there. I want to finish my career as the best welterweight of this era."
Mosley (44-4) is one of the rare fighters who has actively sought top-tier opponents throughout his career. Besides his two fights with de la Hoya, Mosley has squared off against
"I want to give the fans a show," said Mosley. "This fight is going to be legendary."
It could be. Few welterweights possess the power of Cotto (30-0), who has KO'd 25 of his opponents, some in spectacular fashion and most as direct result of wicked body shots. While Mosley will rely on his superior speed ("That's the way to counter power," he says), he is quick to point out that he has some pop of his own. As a lightweight, Mosley set a record for the highest knockout percentage in any division. "My speed is my best weapon," said Mosley. "But I can knock people out."
Moreover, Cotto's perfect record is not without blemish. In '05 Cotto, fighting in his native Puerto Rico, was rocked by
There is another factor in this fight that makes it important to Mosley: it could be his last.
"It's a must-win if I'm going to continue to box," said Mosley. "If I don't win, that's it. I'm too old to climb back up the ranks."
For the winner comes a probable date with
"I could walk away after that," said Mosley. "I definitely could. I want to help train the next generation of fighters.
And what if de la Hoya, Mosley's fellow executive at Golden Boy, wants another shot at Mayweather first?
"I don't know," said Mosley with a laugh. "Oscar and I would have to talk about that."