Posted Sep 13 2010 5:45PM
Good morning. Today's final guest columnist for the Morning Tip is boxing legend "Sugar" Shane Mosley, one of the most exciting and decorated fighters of this era. (You're stuck with me again starting next Monday, and I might have a thing or two to say about Kevin Durant's incredible summer.) The 39-year-old Mosley has won five world championships, including the WBA and WBC middleweight crowns he captured by beating Oscar de la Hoya in their memorable 2003 fight, and the WBA welterweight title he got by knocking out Antonio Margarito in 2009.
Mosley will be fighting Sergio Mora on Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, a venue with which Mosley is very familiar. A big Lakers fan -- though he likes the Clippers' Baron Davis -- Mosley attends several Lakers games every season.
He's also familiar with former Laker Shaquille O'Neal, with whom he traded some blows this summer as part of O'Neal's reality show, Shaq Vs. (Mosley won the four-round "fight," but the big fella landed some blows.) Mosley's next bout figures to be a little tougher; Mora is the former junior middleweight champion with a strong 22-1-1 record. The fight will be available on HBO pay-per-view.
Enjoy his thoughts on how he uses basketball as the ultimate cross-training exercise to stay sharp between fights and how he thinks the Super Friends will do this upcoming season in Miami.
Right now, I am busy preparing for my showdown against former World Champion Sergio "The Latin Snake" Mora, but I always have time to talk basketball.
I love watching and playing the game. I grew up playing basketball in elementary school and even in high school, but I knew boxing was the sport I really wanted to pursue. I knew I was too short to play basketball seriously anyway. While I'm training for a big fight, like the one this Saturday against Mora, I keep balling. I like how on defense I get to work on my side to side movement, footwork and my hand-eye coordination.
I have been in the NBA's Entertainment League for about six or seven years now. I was definitely surprised by the level of competition out there. The league has some good players, and some great shooters. They can do it all, and it has been a lot of fun. It's just an opportunity to be out there, and pretend you are an NBA star in a league with all celebs. I'm very quick, so I can take the ball to the hole, but I like to get the ball on the perimeter and take the jump shot. That's my move, and I'm pretty good at the mid-range shot.
I'm from the Los Angeles area, so I'm a big Laker fan and grew up watching Magic, Worthy and Kareem. Now I like Kobe, of course. I'm a big fan of Shaq, too. I'm sure you heard we went head-to-head in the ring on his show Shaq Vs. It was fun. We went out there and did our thing. I tried to jump up and hit him, and I think I got him with some good body shots. If he knew how to box the right way, he'd be able to stay up high and I wouldn't be able to hit him at all. He's huge.
Right now, I'm keeping my eye on what is going on during the NBA offseason, and I'm waiting for preseason to start. I have NBA League Pass, so I can't wait to start watching. I've been on top of my sport for so long, and I have a lot of appreciation for the top players in other sports. I respect what they do. I can't compete like they can in the NBA. That's what makes us who we are.
It will definitely be interesting to see how the Miami Heat do this year. A lot of people have been giving LeBron a hard time, but he did what he wanted to do, and hooked up with D-Wade and Bosh. I think it's a good thing. Miami has a pretty amazing team, and team sports are great, but I like boxing because it's just one-on-one. In basketball another player might mess up a play, but in boxing, you can only blame yourself if something goes wrong.
I hope you all tune in on Saturday because I've been looking forward to getting back in the ring. I'm facing a hungry fighter in Mora. He's a tough Mexican fighter, the winner of the first season of the reality series "The Contender," and we're competing on Mexican Independence Day weekend, so he'll have extra motivation to win. But we are both from the Los Angeles area, and we'll both want to make a statement in front of our home crowd. Don't miss it!
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