By Arne K. Lang
Devin Haney defends his WBC world lightweight title on Saturday against Jorge Linares. The 10-round middleweight co-feature pits Shane Mosely Jr (17-3, 10 KOs) against Jason Quigley (18-1, 14 KOs). It’s a true crossroads fight with the winner potentially one step removed from a date with Canelo Alvarez and the loser left to pick up the pieces of a foundering career.
The venue is Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and that suits Mosley just fine. He forged his most impressive win here in June of 2015, a 51-second knockout of Jason Kelly.
Don’t look for that fight on boxrec; it isn’t there. BoxRec chose not to acknowledge it or other fights on the short-lived “Big Knockout Boxing” series” because the rules were unconventional. Fighters fought in a circle 17-feet in circumference in a recessed enclosure without ropes or corner posts. There was nowhere to hide.
Packaged as “Fights in a Phone Booth,” BKB was invented by former Golden Boy executive Brian Binkow with funding from DirecTV. It did not reflect well on the Nevada Athletic Commission that it sanctioned this sport, if it can be called that, but purists were heartened that it disappeared in a hurry.
Mosley Jr entered his quick BKB detour with a 4-1 record in conventional pro fights. The loss came in his third fight, a setback by split decision in a 4-round match with a boxer at the same stage of development. On learning this news, pundits immediately dismissed him as a pale imitation of his old man.
Mosley Jr is 15-2 in documented fights since that early misstep. The second loss was another split decision, this to an undefeated Australian fighter, David Toussaint, on the undercard of Pacquiao-Horn in Brisbane. The third defeat came in the finals of the 2018 Contender Series where he was outpointed by Brandon Adams.
Mosley Jr. thought he was robbed in Australia. “His face told me he was losing. I was walking him down and beating him up,” he told reporters in his dressing room. Nowadays, however, he refuses to look back. “It makes no difference what I think,” he says, “the reality is that there are three losses on my record and I can’t erase them.”
Mosely and Jason Quigley have a history. They crossed paths while training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym. They were supposed to fight in January of last year but that fight fell out as did a proposed December meeting in Moscow in support of Sergey Kovalev’s homecoming, an event that also evaporated.
Mosley Jr was a good amateur. However, Quigley was an outstanding amateur. At one time, the fighter from Donegal County, Ireland, was ranked #1 in his weight class in the world amateur rankings. Big things were expected him of him when he signed with Golden Boy after a brief run with the LA Matadors in the semi-pro World Series of Boxing. His loss to Bahamian veteran Tureano Johnson in his 17th pro fight was a shocker. Quigley took a beating in that fight with his corner tossing in the towel after the ninth round.
Quigley rebounded with two wins over soft opponents but hasn’t fought in 16 months. Back in Ireland, he acquired a new trainer in former Emanuel Steward disciple Andy Lee who also works with Tyson Fury.
Mosley Jr is now 30 years old. He is engaged to a woman who has two sons from a previous relationship and has embraced the role of a father. When asked what he intends to accomplish in the future, he says he wants to grow stronger in his faith.
It goes without saying that he also hopes to become a world title-holder, but one gets the impression that he has come to terms with the fact that he will never fully escape the long shadow of his famous father, a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The bookmakers were slow to post a line on Mosley-Quigley. They eventually installed the Irishman a 5/2 favorite. Quigley’s stronger amateur pedigree and the perception that he packs a harder punch factored into the odds. Upsetting the odds would go a long way in dispelling preconceived notions about Mosley’s upside
By the way, Shane Mosley Sr. trains Jake Paul and others.
Now hold on to your hat, old-timers.
“My dad told me that Jake Paul has the potential to be a world champion if he stays disciplined,” Mosley Jr told this reporter when asked his impression of the YouTube star.
Haney vs. Linares, Mosley Jr vs. Quigley and other bouts including a woman’s fight will be televised around the world on DAZN.
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