Former champion Shane Mosley talks about his return to boxing and his desire for rematches with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
“They’re scared,” Shane Mosley says, his anger reverberating through the phone. At 43, a couple years into his second retirement, the former world champion in three weight divisions is seething for another chance at Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. “I know that they’re watching me just like I’m watching them,” he continues. “They know that I’m the wild card.”
From his home outside downtown Los Angeles, Mosley tells SI.com that he has contacted both the Mayweather and Pacquiao camps—so far to no avail. For now, he’s focused on his return to the ring, nearly two years after fighting Australian Anthony Mundine on Nov. 27, 2013. Mundine emerged victorious after six rounds by technical knockout after Mosley withdrew due to back spasms.
Mosley announced his second retirement—his first coming in Nov. 2012—just weeks after the Mundine fight. Now, claiming that he’s fully healthy for the first time in years and enraged by a Twitter feud with Ricardo Mayorga, Mosley will re-enter the ring against the Nicaraguan former champion on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., “because I’m not taking s--- anymore,” his Twitter bio states. “Any1 [sic] want these hands can get it.”
SI.com caught up with Mosley a few days before his return. The conversation has been edited for clarity and concision.
SI.com: You are a 43-year-old, retired boxer who hasn’t been in the ring for two years. What made you want to come out of retirement?
Mosley: Well I’ve been in the ring working and training with a lot of the young guys coming up in the professional ranks, some that have been world champions. I’m looking very good. I’ve been sharp. I can still beat these guys. I’m better than these guys and I’m sharper and I still feel good. I can go in the ring and I can still fight. So I wanted to get in there and prove myself. I want to get a couple of fights and then I want to try for the world title again. I want to fight Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. I’m on that level. I’m still on that level. When I fought those guys the first time, I was injured. I was injured with Mayweather [in May 2010] with the groin pull. I was injured with Pacquiao [in May 2011] with an Achilles pop. Right before I fought Pacquiao, you know, I signed the contract, and I was out at a celebrity game and I popped my Achilles like a day later and I had the surgery like a day after that. Complications kept happening and that’s why there’s always people saying, ‘You didn’t have any more legs.’ I didn’t have any more legs because I couldn’t move. In 2009, after beating [Antonio] Margarito—destroying Margarito—I had to do these fights. I had to fight Mayweather. I had to fight Pacquiao. That’s $5 million and $7 million, I couldn’t pass that up—and me having a puncher’s chance, anything can happen. I had to take that gamble.
But now that I’m not injured, I’ll be able to move. I’m in the ring with Shawn Porter. I’m in the ring with Brandon Rios and all these top fighters out there and I’m doing really, really well.
SI.com: It sounds like you’ve already proven you have what it takes to yourself and you just want to prove it to the world at this point.
Mosley: I’ve already proved it to myself. I want to prove to the world. Not only that, but Bernard Hopkins is fighting at 50 years old. Nowadays, people are staying healthy and I’ve been in the gym training. I already know I’m a bad man, I’m sharp, I’m fast, I’m gonna hit hard. I’m this sharp right now because I’m healed. Now I can move. It’s different now.
SI.com: How long of a rehab process was it for you to get back into the ring?
Mosley: The rehab process for Manny Pacquiao was only four months. I popped it in late December and signed the contract in early January and then fought him in May. I was nowhere near fully healed. I was in oxygen chambers trying to get my Achilles healed. The surgeon I used is the same one who did Pacquiao’s shoulder and the same surgeon who did Kobe Bryant’s Achilles. That was my surgeon, and I had him first [Laughs]. I guess everybody in the industry knows my Achilles was still messed up if they’re using my surgeon, Dr. Neal Elattrache. If everybody’s using him now, he must be the best.
SI.com: So at what point after the Pacquiao fight did you feel like you were back to full strength?
Mosley: Things don’t go by that fast. I mean, Kobe takes eight months to a year, so for me, it was a year, a year and half? My leg still doesn’t go all the way down. I can’t lift up the way I want on my left leg with full force and full tension. I still don’t get all the way, but I’m working on it right now. I get massages and ultrasounds, all that stuff.
SI.com: You’re very active on Twitter. Ricardo Mayorga is very active on Twitter. Was this fight truly started by some beef between you two online?
Mosley: Yeah, there was some beef on Twitter between me and Mayorga. We wanted to settle the score in the ring.
SI.com: It seems like you have a lot of anger towards Mayorga.
Mosley: I have a fire towards Mayorga. I’m still going to knock him out. I’m gonna knock anybody out no matter who steps in the ring. It doesn’t matter who it is.
SI.com: There isn’t a boxer in the world right now that can beat you?
Mosley: No, there isn’t a boxer in the world that can beat me right now. I’m going to knock them out. Just like I almost knocked them out when I was injured.
SI.com: Do you have any new techniques? Do you have a new diet or a new training regimen to give you all this confidence?
Mosley: My new technique is not to be injured. That’s my new technique.
SI.com: How do you truly feel physically? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best shape of your life?
Mosley: I feel like a 12. The best I’ve felt in my life.
SI.com: Has anything specific given you that confidence?
Mosley: Man, this is the first break I’ve taken in 30 years. I’ve been boxing since I was 8 years old. And I took a break. My body is healed and I feel great.
SI.com: What did that break entail?
Mosley: I slept in the hyperbaric chamber in my house. I’m thinking. I’m focusing. I’m meditating. I’m doing yoga. I’m doing all kinds of stuff. I’m eating organic. I live by the beach. I go to the water. I just sit back, meditate and relax.
SI.com: Part of your time off was spent training your son. How was that experience?
Mosley: Oh, it’s the greatest, to be able to train your son and he’s listening to the things I’m teaching him and he’s fighting very well. He has good speed, good power, he punches really well. As you can see and his record shows, it’s pretty much all knockouts. So, he’s doing good.
SI.com: What was the challenges are you having to overcome now?
Mosley: It’s the same thing that I’m facing now as far as the critics. The critics were on my side, now they’re saying, ‘He’s too old, he’s too punchy, he can’t do it anymore.’ The way I talk. Just think about it. Getting hit in the jaw for 30 years, sometimes my jaw clicks right now. It’s not my brain. I’ve had brain scans all throughout my boxing career to make sure my brain is great. It’s my jaw. It clicks and sometimes I’m talking too fast and it doesn’t move the right way and it tightens up. I’ve woken up not being able to open my mouth. A chiropractor showed me a way to reset it.
SI.com: You have this jaw issue. You said your left leg will never be the same. And you still want to go out there and fight the world’s best at your age?
Mosley: Yes, because I’m not punchy and I don’t have any brain damage, it’s just my jaw. I went and had brain scans and looked into it. I don’t even get hit like that.”
SI.com: How are you approaching this fight on Saturday differently than when we last saw you in the ring?
Mosley: I’m going in like this is my last fight. I’m going in and I’m gonna do what I do. I’m going for the knockout. I’m going to try to kill him. I’m gonna knock him out. I’m going to destroy him. It’s a survival of the fittest.”
SI.com: After that, what will be next for you?
Mosley: This won’t be my last fight. I’m gonna go out and fight some more. I want to win the world title. I want to fight Manny Pacquiao or Mayweather. I want to fight these guys again. I know that now I’m a better fighter and I can get to these guys and win.