LAS VEGAS, April 30 – Floyd Mayweather is banking on his defensive skills, but Shane Mosley says that won't be enough when the two meet in a much-hyped welterweight showdown on Saturday."It’s that defense," said Mayweather, who brings a record of 40-0 with 25 knockouts to the bout.
"It’s not cool to take punches. If I was in a bunch of wars, I probably wouldn’t be here giving you guys interviews right now," he said.
Mosley, who has knocked out 39 of his 51 opponents in building a 46-5 record, predicted Mayweather will take plenty on Saturday.
"I’ll go for a knockout, but I’ll be shocked to see him laying there on his back like that," Mosley said. "The key is going to be speed and power. I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m not worried about ring rust."
Mosley hasn’t fought since a ninth-round stoppage of Antonio Margarito in January 2009, an upset victory that still gives him confidence.
"They were picking Margarito to win by a landslide, and people were worried about my health and saying he was going to retire me," added Mosley, whose World Boxing Association welterweight belt isn’t on the line Saturday.
"I’m telling you guys, (Mayweather’s) not going to beat me."
The match-up with Mosley is certainly the toughest Mayweather has faced since he took on aging Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
But Mosley didn’t get the call until Mayweather’s expected mega-fight with Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao unravelled in acrimonious negotiations.
Pacquiao fought Joshua Clottey instead, beating the Ghanaian by unanimous 12-round decision on March 13 at the massive Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
Mayweather’s trainer and uncle Roger Mayweather insisted Wednesday that Saturday’s fight at the MGM Grand has plenty of cachet, even without Pacquiao.
"If it wasn’t a great fight, all you people wouldn’t be here eating this free food," Mayweather said.
The fighters warmed up for the bout this week with verbal jabs aimed at each other’s supposed sore spots: Mayweather’s perceived reluctance to engage in a classic brawl and Mosley’s 2003 use of performance enhancing drugs.
"We don’t know how many fights he fought clean," Mayweather said of Mosley, who shot back that thanks to Mosley’s demand for stringent pre-fight dope testing he’d undergone four blood and eight urine tests.
"Eight times, that’s a bit excessive, but I like this. Hey, I’m a clean fighter," said Mosley.
For his part, Mayweather said he’d always done what he had to do to win fights – and if he made it look easy that just showed how good he was.
"All I did was constantly beat whoever they put in front of me, I’m never going to get my just due. All these fighters they put in front of me, they’ve all been cake walks for me," he said.
"I’m Floyd Mayweather – all the rest of them are just fighters."