|“High Stakes” Raising as Shane and Zab Get Personal
The Welter Report by Gabriel Montoya (March 28, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
After a pedestrian Vegas press conference to announce their upcoming bout on May 31, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley took the gloves off at the L.A. version this week. There must have been something in the air because from the moment Zab hit the podium, the former welterweight champ along with his crew was feisty as hell.
“High Stakes,” yelled entourage member Crocodile. “69 days and a wake up.”
Zab remained silent until trainer Jack Mosley entered the room.
“You know you guys don’t want none,” said Zab.
“Young lion in a cage,” yelled Crocodile.
Jack played along, taunting back playfully until his son arrived.
First up was father/trainer Yoel Judah. “It’s going to be a great fight. Don’t miss it.”
Then Michael Shinefield, Zab’s co-manager and advisor took the podium. “We’re a team. It’s been a team effort to get to this point. This is going to be a great fight between two great champions. It’s on. And I know there a lot of people in sports media and in boxing that ask ‘what if Zab Judah harnessed all his abilities? What if he lived up to his potential? What if?’ I’m here to tell you Zab is going to win this fight. He’s ready. You’re going to see the Zab
Judah that everybody has feared. Plain and simple.”
Zab was up next and he kept it brief and to the point. “I’m preparing myself well for this fight. I really can’t talk about it. Just don’t miss it. I’m not going to talk about I’m going to this. Or what ifs. The Zab Judah ya’ll been waiting for? He’s here. He’s here. I promise ya’ll. I just don’t want ya’ll to miss this.”
Jack Mosley, gracious as usual, was next. “Shane is feeling good. He’s ready to go. I think Shane is in tremendous shape. He’s going to be even faster than in the Cotto fight. Even more powerful than he was in the Cotto fight. As one person mentioned that this is going to be a crossroads fight for both of them. I thought that’s crazy because they’re both elite fighters. They both are great fighters and they both have great fan bases. Not that the person is crazy. I just thought that whoever lost, they can still fight again because they have tremendous fan bases. They can still make money.”
So far, so good, right? Now it was Shane’s turn and this is where it gets a little crazy for a Mosley press conference.
Shane first thanked everyone that helped put together the fight as well as the media for covering the presser. “I’m sure this will be a spectacular fight. We’ve been working on some new things and I am excited about the different things we are doing. I already feel great,” said Shane. “I feel the Cotto fight gave me a jumpstart. I feel this fight will propel me to my ultimate goal of ruling the welterweight division. This fight will take me to the next fight and the next fight. I just don’t feel I can lose to anyone right now.”
“Except Zab Judah,” cut in Judah with a laugh.
“Zab Judah will be the first victim to go down,” replied Shane with his trademark smile. “After that we will start cutting into the Cotto’s and the Mayweather’s. Anyone they stand in front of Shane Mosley. Because I feel I am the best welterweight out there.”
“Not going to happen,” said Judah, still smiling.
“Zab says a lot of different things off of emotion,” explained Shane. “Because he is very emotional. This is the way he goes about things sometimes. By being emotional. That’s part of growing up. And he is growing up. Hopefully he is becoming a man but he is going to be getting into the ring with another man. A real man. Cotto or his people chose to not get in the ring again with me and there’s a reason for that. When Zab and Cotto fought, you could see Zab getting out of there, running around the ring, looking for a way out. Cotto was chopping him down.”
“I softened that boy up for him and he couldn’t finish him off. Ain’t that something?” asked Zab. “Who hit harder, Shane or Zab? He said me. It’s a fact,” said Judah, his voice rising.
“There he go getting emotional again,” deadpanned Shane. “C’mon now. You had your time to talk. Now it’s my turn to talk, okay?” Mosley explained as if to a child. It was clear he was getting a bit hot under his Affliction shirt.
“At the end of [Judah/Cotto] the referee said ‘I love you too much. I don’t want to see you get hurt anymore.’ So you was rolling around on the floor and the referee didn’t want to see you get hit anymore and he stopped it.”
“He’s punch drunk, ya’ll,” taunted Zab. “He don’t know what he’s talking about.”
“Afterwards, in my fight with Cotto,” continued Mosley, “Cotto was running around the ring, trying to finish the fight. Then when he went into the press conference, said a few words and then went away. Probably to the hospital. That’s the difference between [our fights with Cotto].”
“He had a Puerto Rican party to get to,” said Zab as the crowd erupted in laughter. This was definitely worth the trip through traffic. “That’s what happened. He did not go to the hospital. He went to a private party. I’ll tell you the difference. After my fight with Cotto, he went to the hospital. We got the… we got the… (turning to his father) what do you call them? The medical records. He went straight to the hospital.”
“What do you call them? The medical records,” deadpanned Shane. “Who’s punchy and who’s not?”
“You know,” shot back Zab.
“We can go back and forth on this, whose fight was better with Cotto. Why don’t we put that to rest? We can settle this May 31,” said Shane, beginning the wrap up.
“May 31st. Watch this, yo,” said Zab. “We going to roll a wheelchair out and sit him in it. Watch.”
Shane tried in vain to continue with the wrap up but Zab wasn’t having it.
“I’ll bet you a 100,000 dollars.”
“You’re going to need all that money. Quit getting emotional. I’m not taking the money that you make. You need that money. All we need to do is fight so I can get to the next victim. You’re stepping stone.”
“I promise ya’ll he won’t fight no more. His family won’t let him. Watch. Before his next fight they’ll be saying ‘don’t fight that man, daddy. Don’t mess with that man, daddy. Please, daddy.’”
“You’re problem isn’t getting hit in the head. Your problem is Sugar Shane Mosley. That’s your problem.”
“We going to see,” said Zab. “May 31, we going to see. We know where you’re from. I’m a BrookNam veteran. We are going to see. I know about the West coast, baby. East or West, I’m going to kill this man.”
“It matters where that chin is from,” Shane came back.
“Nothing suspect about me, homey. It’s do or die for me. I survive. May 31 bring you’re a game. From start to finish, it’s going to be crackin’.”
“That said,” concluded Shane, “it’s going to be a great fight. He’s ready. He’s going to try hard.”
“I’m ready,” said Zab standing up and unbuttoning his shirt.
“Now we going to take our shirt off and see who has the better physique,” said Shane, bored by the idea. “I guarantee I have the better physique right now. You’re too little.”
“We’ll see. We’ll see,” promised Zab as he sat down with his shirt still on.
And with that, Shane finally wrapped it up. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaeffer thanked us all for being there and one on one interviews began.
If the tension being built up at the press conferences is any indication, this fight should be brief and brutal. Both guys have a lot to prove here and regardless of what Jack Mosley said this bout is paramount to either fighter having a shot at the top dogs in the division anytime soon.
A very reliable source told me last night that Manny Pacquiao vs. David Diaz is looking more and more like a done deal. June 28th is the likely date with a venue and location to be decided.
In other related Pacman news, at ringside I had the Marquez/Pacquiao fight 114-113. I had the same score watching it from my couch on replay. Not a robbery. Just a damn good and close fight.
On Quick Stoppages
Is it just me or do the people complaining about the swiftness of the Michael Katsidis stoppage need to watch tape of the Brian Vera stoppage win over Andy Lee last Friday? Upon first glance from ringside, I thought referee John Schorle, since he had made the decision to let Katsidis continue on the shakiest of legs, stopped it a tad too soon. But watching it on Tivo later, the ref made the right call. It was the only call he got right all night. Just how many head butts does it take to get a warning anymore?
Watching the Lee fight, however, I kept asking myself, when was the last time a fighter didn’t hit canvas and landed the last punch of a fight he got stopped in? Anyone got an answer to that one? While Manny Steward reportedly had no problem with the ref’s call, I have to believe that Andy might.
With Pacquiao/Diaz on the horizon, it would seem logical that lineal lightweight champ Joel Casamayor and multiple belt holder Nate Campbell settle the question of who’s the champ in the ring. Both are guys are dangerous as hell and it seems unlikely Pacquiao will face them both. So why not fight for the right to the big payday?
Fair is Fair
Hopefully the recent signing of former lightweight belt holder Juan Diaz to Golden Boy Promotions (who also represent Casamayor in addition to owning his Ring Magazine belt) doesn’t throw a monkey wrench into the situation. Boxing needs clarity whenever it can get it. While I certainly don’t want to write off Juan Diaz, it just doesn’t seem fair that he loses to one champion then gets to go to the other for an immediate title shot. I can’t think of another sport where losing gets rewarded like that. It also seems a bit brutal to throw Diaz in with another wily vet after just losing to one.
Gabriel at: Coyotefeather@gmail.com
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