By Edgar Gonzalez
More twenty thousand fight fans are expected to attend Saturday night’s showdown between WBA welterweight champion Antonio “The Tijuana Tornado” Margarito and three-division world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Margarito and Mosley faced off at their final press conference yesterday afternoon. “I’m really prepared for this fight,” stated Margarito. “We did our work in training camp and we know Mosley is a very experienced fighter. There are no secrets here, we know our styles and I’m very certain I will raise my hands in victory on Saturday night….he knows I’m not stepping back. I’ll be pressuring him to fight my fight. You will see a knockout!”
Top Rank and members of Margarito’s team displayed confidence and showed no doubt that they believe Margarito (37-5, 27 KOs) will be victorious Saturday night.
“He might not have those boxing skills, but he makes it up with this power,” stated Margarito’s promoter Bob Arum. “I feel confident on Margarito’s standpoint. He will win, he will overcome Mosley’s boxing skills. I believe people have bigger chins than others.”
“Mosley has fought very important fighters within his time, but Margarito is currently in his prime. I know Margarito will win,” added Margarito’s manager, Sergio Diaz. ”We think its time for Mosley to call it quits and Margarito will show him that on Saturday.”
Margarito Head Trainer Javier Capetillo commented, “I’ve known Shane a long time and I’ve seen Shane fight some great champions. But if it comes to war, he can’t win a war with Margarito.”
On the other side of the table, Shane Mosley (45-5, 38 KOs) had former champion in two-divisions Bernard Hopkins to sugar up the crowd.
“I respect Margarito for what he has done, but don’t think just because Mosley is older he’s going to lose. I have heard critics choosing sides because of the age difference. Boxing has proved any thing can happen, just ask Kelly Pavlik,” Hopkins told the media. “I predict Mosley to win and not because he’s a business partner, but because I know what he’s capable of.”
“A lot of people are overlooking me and writing me off because of my age, but if Bernard Hopkins can and did win over Kelly Pavlik who is a lot younger fighter, then you’re going to be shocked at the outcome on Saturday night,” said Mosley. “I have seen his fight tapes, I have studied his style and I am ready….I feel special, I just don’t feel good, I feel special and I am going to prove to everyone why.”
Mosley’s head trainer Naazim Richardson added, “I have the privilege of working with some of the greatest fighters today. But I’m not here to teach Shane how to fight, Jack Mosley already did a great job at that. I’m here to find the flaws in Margarito and help Shane exploit those.”
Mosley has never been knocked out in a career spanning 292 pro and amateur fights.
HBO Sports is offering what normally would have been a pay-per-view event on regular HBO. The premium channel will also be broadcasting the official Margarito-Mosley weigh-in live on HBO.com 5:45 PM ET 3:00 PM PT on Friday. The official weigh-in is open to the public and will take place at the Nokia Plaza in Los Angeles (across the street from the Staples Center). The address is: 777 Chick Hearn Court. Los Angeles, CA 90015. Parking is available at the Olympic West Parking /Lot W main streets Georgia and Cherry.