Sugar Shane Mosley works out at Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday Nov. 17, 2004. Mosley will fight Winkey Wright for the world super welterweight championship on Saturday.
AP Photo/Isaac Brekken
LAS VEGAS A year ago, Shane Mosley was celebrating his second win over Oscar De La Hoya and making plans to replace him as one of the sport's biggest stars.
Things can change fast in boxing, though, and no one knows it better than Mosley. When he enters the ring Saturday night to fight Winky Wright for a second time, his career as an elite level fighter could be on the line.
''I'm just going to be Sugar Shane once again,'' Mosley said. ''I haven't been the Sugar Shane that people know me as.''
Mosley certainly wasn't that fighter in March, when Wright dominated him to win the undisputed 154-pound title with a unanimous 12-round decision. That erased any thoughts Mosley had about big-money matches with Bernard Hopkins or Felix Trinidad or perhaps a third fight with De La Hoya.
Now he must show he can rebound in his rematch with Wright or face getting back in a long line of challengers for the big fights.
Mosley has no doubt he will do just that.
''I just know there's exceptionally good fighters and there are great fighters,'' he said. ''I believe I'm a great fighter.''
Oddsmakers aren't so sure, making Wright a favorite in the scheduled 12-round fight for the WBA and WBC 154-pound titles. Wright was the bigger, stronger fighter when he beat Mosley the first time they met, a fight which raised more questions about whether the former lightweight champion can be a factor at 154 pounds.
Mosley (39-3, 35 knockouts) has fought only three times at the weight, and one of the fights was stopped in the third round because of cuts. He went on to win a close decision over De La Hoya, before losing his titles to Wright.
After the Wright fight, Mosley fired his father, Jack Mosley, as his trainer, and brought in Joe Goossen to help revamp his style. He also changed his diet and some of his training habits, changes he said have made him both stronger and faster.
''A lot of people's chins are going to drop when they see what is in store for Winky,'' Mosley said. ''I feel tremendous.''
Mosley, whose speed was dazzling when he was fighting at 135 pounds, seemed lethargic in the first fight with Wright and was unwilling to take the chances needed to get inside against a bigger fighter.
He blamed part of it on eating the wrong food to try and add weight back on after the pre-fight weigh-in, which he said caused his blood sugar to become elevated.
''That had to be a good 50 percent of it,'' Mosley said. ''I felt bad in the dressing room. I ate the wrong food the night before. After the weigh-in you start eating a whole bunch of garbage to get the weight back on.''
Mosley said the split with his father wasn't acrimonious, and that the two still talk regularly. His father trained him since he was an amateur in Southern California, but Mosley said it was time to try something different.
He said his father will be ringside Saturday night, though just as a supporter and fan, not as a trainer.
''I talk with him at the house, but we haven't really talked at length on what things I should do or shouldn't do,'' Mosley said. ''That's Joe's role now.''
Mosley said a win over Wright will establish him once again as a marquee fighter who can pick and choose the biggest of fights.
''What I'm going for is the big fight. I'm not necessarily saying De La Hoya, but it could be Trinidad or Hopkins,'' he said. ''This type of stuff makes history and legends are born.''
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