Jack Mosley training Shane again

By Ramon Rodriguez


Jack Mosley training Shane again

I’ve had my fair share of heated arguments with my father in the past. Many times a difference of opinion has gotten the better of us, but through the years, I have come to realize there’s probably no other person in this world who wants the best for me. If there’s anyone I could ever count on for anything, its my father, who I know would be there for me unconditionally. I just know. All I’d have to do is ask. And asking is all “Sugar” Shane Mosley had to do to get his father Jack back in his corner for his upcoming rematch with Fernando Vargas, set for July 15, 2006. For the father-son duo, this will be their first fight together since Mosley’s first bout versus Winky Wright in March 2004, a fight in which Wright claimed the undisputed junior middleweight crown by decisively beating Mosley.

In the aftermath of his first bout against Wright, Shane (42-4, 36 KOs) replaced his father with Joe Goosen, but the two would only work together for one bout, the rematch against Wright eight months later. Goosen did not wish to relocate to Big Bear Lake, a mountain resort where Shane trained quite often throughout his career. The result in the rematch was the same, although Mosley was more competitive than in the first bout. Shane then went on to work with John David Jackson for his next three fights, including the first Vargas match this past February. But when Golden Boy partner Bernard Hopkins hired Jackson to train him for his light heavyweight title bout against Antonio Tarver several weeks ago, Shane was left without a trainer. Since he had to also begin training for the Vargas rematch, Shane announced he would be training under his father once again, which surprised many boxing insiders, since it was widely believed that the two’s relationship had soured since Shane replaced his father with Goosen.

But to Jack Mosley, nothing could be further from the truth. Even when he wasn’t training his son, Jack still spoke to Shane on a regular basis. And though he felt his son had a few things distracting his career, there were never any harsh feelings between the two, which is why Jack quickly accepted the job of training his son again.

“I knew what was happening with Shane. There were just distractions. But what can you do? That happens to the best of us. But there was never any crazy stuff between us. When [John David] Jackson was helping [Bernard] Hopkins [for the Antonio Tarver fight], Shane needed a trainer, so who better to help him? Shane wanted me to train him so I said okay. So here I am doing what I do best. He trusts me,” says Jack seriously. “Bottom line, we’re together again to kick some butt and make history.”

Besides making history, Shane and Jack also want to show the boxing world that father-son teams really can work, and that the problems were just a few speed bumps along the way. Such speed can ruin a fighter’s confidence permanently, and just two years after losing to Wright for the second time, many felt the speed bumps would keep Shane from ever being an elite fighter again. But after an illustrious amateur and professional career together, in which Shane won world titles at three different weight classes, the elder Mosley knew his son was too good to ever be just an average fighter. He knew their relationship was too good to ever be ruined by the dark side of the sport.

“Shane can do all the things he did when he was younger. He’s not used up. He doesn’t hang out and drink—he stays in the gym. He’s a workaholic that takes his vitamins and eats right. All the stuff I had him do in his twenties, he still does well. He’s just as good as ever. Shane loves the sport with a passion, which is why he works so hard,” says Jack. “Sometimes your chemistry is thrown off balance and you can get confused and distracted. Plus there are outside people manipulating stuff. Reporters don’t want to see things work. Even in your family, relatives don’t want things to work. It’s all about the money, so agents and managers want to get involved. They’re jealous, but Shane and I are too strong.”

Which is why everyday, the two are up bright and early, putting the final touches on an excellent training camp in hopes of defeating Vargas more soundly this time around. In the first fight this past February, Shane scored a tenth round technical stoppage due to extreme swelling in Vargas’ left eye. Though Shane was ahead on two of the judges’ score cards when the fight was stopped, the fight was actually very close. Shane won many of the early rounds, while Vargas rallied by the mid-to-late rounds by muscling the smaller Mosley around the ring.

So the question is: what will be Shane’s strategy this time around? Will he look to out-box Vargas with his faster hands and quicker feet? Will he stand and trade in the middle of the ring? Will Shane try to land to the body more? Will he make it a priority to target Vargas’ left eye once again?

While not revealing any specific plan, Jack Mosley makes it very clear that he will tell his son to fight the way he taught him over twenty years ago. “I’ll tell Shane to power-box, which is my way of saying boxing with power and speed. We are going to concentrate on hitting Vargas wherever we can hit him. Wherever he lets us hit him, that’s where he’ll get hit. If he blocks his eye, there will be somewhere else to hit him. If the knockout comes, it will come,” says Jack confidently. “I didn’t think the first fight was that close, but this fight will be different altogether. We will out-box him, out-power him, and out-point him in every category. I’ll add a few things but I won’t be changing anything. Shane is going to win this fight. There’s no question about it.”

And in Jack’s mind, there is no doubt his son is one of the greatest fighters of his era, whether or not the boxing world can see that now. They’ll see it eventually. They’ll see it on July 15, the way he saw it in his eight year old son’s eyes many years ago. That look which led to world titles and financial success. But it took the two of them to get past the naysayers, critics, detractors, and cynics. Still, they’re probably happy it turned out this way. It’s strengthened them in a way that can’t be explained.

They’ll show you on July 15.