Mosley vows to bring power into showdown with Cotto

Shane Mosley has used his vast array of skills to build a championship boxing career. When the four-time world titleholder steps into the ring at Madison Square Garden on Saturday for his world welterweight title fight with Miguel Cotto, Mosley will focus on one skill above all others.

Power.

Mosley, 35, will rely on his strength, as well as his speed and experience, to defeat Cotto (30-0, 25 knockouts). The 12-round fight at 147 pounds will be shown on HBO Pay-Per-View.

“Everyone is saying how powerful Cotto is and I have to move and this and that,” Mosley said last week on a teleconference call. “But the fact of the matter is that I’m a very strong fighter by nature, just by genetics. My father (Jack) is very strong, and I don’t know where I get it, but I’m just strong physically. …

“We already know I’m faster. That’s the other thing.”

Mosley (44-4, 37 KOs) has his father back in his corner, and Jack Mosley said his son will be quick and strong for Cotto, 30.

“Shane is getting his speed back to where it used to be,” Jack Mosley said. “His response-reduction time has come up. It kind of fell off because he was lifting weights. … But now that he’s not lifting weights and everything, his speed and everything is rapidly coming back to form. Most of the fighters out there he was matching speed for speed. Certainly Cotto is not as fast as, hits as hard as and not as strong as Shane.”

Mosley said a recent report in Sports Illustrated about his admitted use of steroids before he fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2003 has not impacted his training and he has no problems submitting to testing by the New York State Athletic Commission.

“They can test me whenever they want to,” Mosley said. “They can test me after the fight. They can test me when I’m retired. You’re only going to find organic stuff in my system. As I said, I don’t mess around like that.”

The Mosleys think the Cotto camp may have had something to do with the story getting out.

“We didn’t bring it up,” Jack Mosley said. “So who would bring something like that up? Who would have interest in the fight to bring that stuff up?”

Shane Mosley said: “Why didn’t it come up a year ago? Two years ago? Right before a major fight, it automatically blooms up. Be it as it may, the truth will prevail. The truth goes out there and we move on and we go on to the fight.”

Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who promotes Cotto, denies any culpability.

“That’s preposterous,” Arum said. “It was old news when it came out, and it was something that had taken place the prior year before this fight was ever even thought of. I mean, it was quoting testimony and a hearing that took place a year ago before this fight was even contemplated.

“The idea that we had anything to do with it or Team Cotto is absurd. We didn’t even … we don’t know any of these people, any of these investigators, anything. I said immediately when this occurred that we weren’t concerned for this fight because Shane is a clean kid and wouldn’t cheat and the use of banned … of a substance which may or may not have been banned at the time was something that he explained before a grand jury and that explanation is something that everybody should accept. In other words, it’s a nonissue.”

DREAM STILL ALIVE — Because of a change in the rules eight years ago, Mike Hunter Jr.’s Olympic dream remains alive despite the Las Vegan losing in the World Boxing Championships on Thursday in Chicago.

Before the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the rules for qualifying changed. It wasn’t enough to win the country’s national championship; a fighter now had to qualify through international competitions.

Hunter, a Palo Verde High School graduate who lost to Russia’s Islam Timurziev 22-15 on Thursday, has two more chances to gain a spot in the Olympics. If he wins in March in Trinidad or in April in Guatemala, he will go to China. He will return to Colorado Springs, Colo., where he has been training.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2913.

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