Healthy Mosley regains footing

He reached down and pulled up his pants leg, revealing a scar around his left Achilles tendon.

Call it Exhibit A in Shane Mosley’s defense in the court of public opinion that already has convicted him of being a shot fighter.

Mosley claims the injury, suffered four months before he lost to Manny Pacquiao a year ago at the MGM Grand Garden, compromised his mobility and conditioning as Pacquiao dominated to take a 12-round unanimous decision last May 7.

Exhibit B, a groin injury suffered in a snowboarding accident prior to his 2010 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., fortunately was not on display. That injury happened while Mosley was training to fight Andre Berto in late January 2010. After Berto pulled out of their fight, the groin problem continued to linger as Mosley prepared to face Mayweather, who also won a 12-round unanimous decision on May 1, 2010.

Now 40, Mosley is trying to avoid adding any more tarnish to what has been a Hall of Fame career. Yet, despite having lost to Pacquiao and Mayweather and earning a draw with Sergio Mora on Sept. 18, 2010, Mosley refuses to admit he’s through.

Moreover, he sees Saturday’s fight against WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at the MGM Grand Garden as the perfect opportunity to silence his critics.

Mosley hasn’t won since he routed Antonio Margarito at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 24, 2009.

The fight with the undefeated Alvarez is the co-feature to the WBA junior middleweight title fight between Mayweather and champion Miguel Cotto.

“It’s about pride now and that belt,” said Mosley (46-7-1, 39 knockouts), a former world champion at lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight who will be seeking his seventh title. “This is now the future, and this is a young, up-and-coming fighter, a young champion, I should say, who has the belt that I want.

“I’m looking to win that belt and move on to bigger and better things. All that negative talk will make victory all that much sweeter.”

Mosley said he’s finally healthy enough to properly prepare for a big fight.

“I was a one-legged fighter when I fought Pacquiao,” Mosley said. “But it’s a different story this time. I’m 100 percent healthy. I trained great for this fight. I would say my speed is better than when I fought Margarito. And I’m probably in the best mental frame of mind since Margarito. Being healthy gives you a lot of confidence.”

Naazim Richardson, who has trained Mosley since 2008, wanted his fighter to pull out of the Pacquiao bout after injuring his Achilles while on a training run in Big Bear, Calif., where he lives and trains. But Mosley refused, and they kept the injury quiet.

“The reason I kept the Pacquiao fight was I was afraid if I pulled out I’d never get an opportunity like that again,” said Mosley, who was paid $5 million.

On Saturday, Mosley is scheduled to make $650,000 (Alvarez’s purse is $1.2 million). So Mosley also has financial incentive to win.

“When I win (Saturday), that gets me back in the big picture,” he said. “But it’s more than just money. If I was only fighting for the money, me and Canelo could have done our own pay per view, and I would have made over $1 million.”

Richardson said at this stage of Mosley’s career, it’s not about youth but about using his years of experience to help defeat the 21-year-old Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs).

“I was watching Shane in the gym, and a guy said, ‘Wow, you’re turning back the clock!’ ” Richardson said. “Well, you can’t turn back the clock. What you can do is reinvent yourself. None of us can be as young as we once were. But with experience, you can still perform at a high level.”

Mosley, an 8-1 underdog, believes that experience gives him the edge in the fight.

“I see myself not as an old warrior but a young killer,” Mosley said. “I don’t buy into the 40-year-old thing. I’m coming to work like a killer, and I’m coming ready to dominate.”

Mosley said that as long as he feels good and enjoys being in the gym, he’ll continue to fight, regardless of what happens Saturday.

“The ultimate goal is to be the best I can be each and every fight, fighting until I can’t fight anymore,” he said.

■ NOTES – Today’s weigh-in will be in the Grand Garden at 2:30 p.m. Doors open at 1, and admission is free. … The first fight Saturday on the nine-bout card is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. The HBO Pay Per View portion of the card, which includes Mayweather-Cotto and Alvarez-Mosley, goes live at 6.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

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