The boxing landscape is littered with fighters who have stayed too long at the fair.
And yet, these fighters push forward. Holyfield, 47, last wore a legitimate heavyweight belt in 2001. Yet at every opportunity he continues to slur, er, say he intends to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.
Jones, 41, has lost three of his last five fights, most recently a first-round knockout to
Toney, 42, is so hard up for a fight that he is willing to switch sports to get one. Last month, an unpleasantly plump Toney stepped into the UFC's Octagon against
But the shine came off of Mosley last May, when
"It wasn't that I was tired," Mosley said. "It was just that my neck was a little tight and I couldn't throw any more punches like I wanted to. If I'm fighting the second round and I make it to the 12th round, then that says that I obviously wasn't that tired. I just got a little tight, and I couldn't throw the punches like I wanted to. I can assure you that that won't happen again."
Losing to Mayweather is no disgrace -- no one has come up with a way to beat him yet -- but when the defeated is inching toward 40 and been involved in some of boxing's best slugfests, the question of retirement is raised. Mosley, however, dismisses any notion that he considered calling it quits.
"I knew right away that I wanted to go back into the ring and fight again," he said. "I can go to 45 or 46, 47 if I want to. But it just depends on how I feel if I do it. I keep myself in great shape all the time regardless if I have a fight coming up or not. I think that's why I'm able to fight at this level of competition for so long."
Rebuilding a fighter to the public is the easy part: Just get him in great shape and lay on the excuses. For Mosley, it was the neck. Or the messy divorce he was going through with his ex-wife, Jin, whom he reportedly paid $1.2 million before the Mayweather bout, plus an agreement to pay another $2.7 million subsequently.
But eventually the fighter has to back up his rhetoric in the ring. On Saturday, Mosley will get his first chance to do just that when he takes on
"Some fans take it for granted that this guy is a little bigger," Mosley said. "He's also fast. He works very hard. He's a competitor. He loves to win. He can fight. So I think people are mistaken thinking that it's just going to be a walk in the park when it's really not."
A win puts Mosley right back in the mix with the top contenders. Mosley's trainer,
"I think he was crushed [by the Mayweather loss]," Golden Boy president
A loss to Mora might do more than crush Mosley's ego; it could end his career, or at least the relevant portion of it. He could still get fights, sure, but instead of running with Mayweather and Pacquiao, Mosley will be trying to keep up with the (Roy) Joneses.
"I'll definitely know what it's time to hang up the gloves," Mosley said. "Right now, it's definitely not the time. I feel great and I'm in great shape. Sometimes you have bad nights and there's nothing you can do about it. Floyd did a great job, he won the fight. But there are other guys out there I still want to fight."