Jack believes his son is doing fine on his own. "Shane's the superstar," he says. "People will come just to watch Shane box. The next fights will be bigger."
Mosley wants to unify the welterweight division, but that plan carries no additional marquee value. A proposed fight with top contender Vernon Forrest is set for June, but that sounds more like a mercy match than anything else. Mosley and Forrest were amateur teammates ( Forrest outpointed Mosley in 1992), and it has pained Mosley to watch Forrest labor in anonymity and near poverty. "He'd like to see Vernon get a nice house," says Jack of his son's motivation for the fight. In any case, their match wouldn't make for the kind of pay-per-view number that would buy either fighter a very large pad. But then Shane, who lives around the corner from his parents in Pomona, Calif., doesn't need one.
As the Mosley following grows, we're likely to see him working slightly bigger rooms, if not the room he deserves. Yet how big a room does he need? It's a one-man show, after all.
Holyfield Hangs On
Requiem for a Heavyweight?
Hardly anything is more paternalistic than the boxing press when it starts calling for retirement. Take Evander Holyfield, whose glorious career has been forged on a bravery that even in his youth was near foolhardy. Always undersized, he waded through bigger opponents with recklessness, eventually winning four heavyweight titles. It's hard to say he should even have been allowed in the ring with a Rid-dick Bowe or a George Foreman. Except that he would often beat them. Now, all of a sudden, we know what's best for Holyfield?
Well, probably. He's 38, and though his body remains chiseled, he has finally outlived his prime. It was no fun watching him struggle in last year's fight with journeyman John Ruiz, winning a suspect decision for the suspect WBA tide. Holyfield had already lost to Lennox Lewis when Lewis held all the belts, so picking up a version that had been stripped from Lewis because of politics was little more than a nice send-off for the man we used to call the Real Deal.
Because the decision was so suspect, however, Holyfield was pressed into a rematch, which he lost more definitively two weeks ago in Las Vegas. Ringsiders watched in disbelief as Holyfield failed to manifest any offense against a boxer who wouldn't have been even a useful sparring partner in the old champ's better days.
More horrifying than diminished skills was the knockdown Holyfield suffered in the 11th round. He was clocked on the temple and floored, yet staggered to his feet, reeling from post to post, trying desperately to clutch Ruiz and survive the round. Somehow he did. "I don't think there's another fighter in the world," said Jim Thomas, Holyfield's loyal manager, "who would have been brave enough to last that round."
That's exactly the point. Holyfield's bravery is now so self-endangering as to be almost suicidal. He insists, however, that his career isn't over yet. "I'll just get back in line," he said.
It's not likely he'll be convinced to do otherwise, even by news that came out of Kentucky last weekend about Greg Page, one of those forgettable heavyweight champions of the pre-Mike Tyson early 1980s. Page, who was definitely no warrior, was still fighting on small cards for small paydays into his 40s. Last Friday he was seriously injured when he was pushed down and then struck his head on the ring apron. As of Sunday he was in critical condition. It was 17 years ago that he won and almost immediately lost his championship. He'd been back in line ever since.