Hampered by injuries in recent years, former three-division champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley believes he's finally healthy and ready for a return.
After nearly two years away from the ring, Mosley, 43, will face Ricardo Mayorga on Aug. 29 at The Forum in Inglewood, California (PPV, 10 p.m. ET). The 158-pound catchweight bout is a rematch of their 2008 meeting at junior middleweight, which Mosley (47-9-1, 39 KOs) won by 12th-round knockout.
In the televised portion of the undercard, female junior featherweight titlist Maureen "The Real Million Dollar Baby" Shea will face Yulihan Avila in what promises to be a great matchup.
Mayorga, a 41-year-old native of Nicaragua, has appeared in a boxing ring just twice since his 2011 loss to Miguel Cotto (two victories in 2014). In 2013, Mayorga (31-8-1, 25 KOs) fought four times as a mixed martial artist, going 0-3 with one no contest.
Mosley recently appeared on ESPN.com's Making The Rounds to talk about facing Mayorga, his future and his debut as a promoter.
There has been plenty of trash talk on the part of Mayorga, and perhaps that played a role, but what ultimately went into your decision to come back?
I had been working out and training in gyms, training other fighters and stuff like that. Now you get that burning desire to get back in the ring. When Ricardo Mayorga issued that challenge, I just couldn't refuse. It was a great opportunity to go in there and show, not just Ricardo Mayorga, but the entire world that I'm still able to fight.
It meant a lot for you to originally have your son, Shane Mosley Jr., fight on your undercard. How disappointing is it for you that he will not take part after being suspended?
It was very disappointing because we wanted to make history and wanted to knock out both of our opponents. He was going to fight whomever and get a knockout, and me fighting Mayorga was going to be a knockout.
In 2008 you knocked out Mayorga with one second left in Round 12 of an exciting fight. But how might the rematch, seven years later, prove to be even more exciting?
It was exciting all the way to the end until I got the knockout, and Mayorga was a little bit upset by that so he wants a rematch. And I'm all for rematches. If he wants one, I'll give him a rematch, and I would [want] the same thing. He's a tough customer. He did beat the guy [Vernon Forrest] who beat me, so he's pretty tough.
You have a record of 1-4-1 dating back to 2009, but three of those defeats came against elite names like Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez. How has the time away from the ring over the past two years helped you mentally and physically?
Well, physically it has helped me a lot because I was injured against both Manny and Floyd. With Manny I had a popped Achilles, and with Floyd I tore a groin. Everybody knows how long it takes for an Achilles to heal. They told me it could take eight months to a year and it's a hard injury to heal, and I fought him in four months. That's saying a lot for me. Now that I'm healed, I'm able to get back in the ring and fight even better. You have Bernard Hopkins fighting at a high level. You have Juan Manuel Marquez at the top level. There is a lot of great guys fighting at the top level, and can fight when not injured.
In full disclosure, this fight is airing at the same time -- in the same city -- as a Premier Boxing Champions card on ESPN. Not to mention, Mayorga's former promoter, Don King, has reportedly filed a lawsuit to prevent it from happening. How difficult has it been for you as the promoter of this card to get it off the ground?
It was a little difficult, but Don King is trying all kinds of legal stuff to try and stop the fight without a valid reason or a contract. Some of the people are trying to block me, but they can't stop me. Don says he has a contract, but it's not valid. He knows it and is just trying to stop it and trying to get involved and make some money, like he does with the other promoters, but it's not going to work.
Perhaps this is a one-time deal, but what is your plan regarding whether you will fight beyond this matchup?
I want to fight the top guys and fight all the guys I lost to. If I will give a rematch to Ricardo Mayorga, I definitely want to do a rematch with Manny and Floyd, not injured. [I want to fight] all the guys I lost to because I know that I'm a better fighter than when I fought them.