"I'm willing to work with Pacquiao on different things to make the fight happen because I believe I'm the best fighter. I believe I'm pound-for-pound the best and I'm willing to prove to the world and show the world that I'm not only the best welterweight, but pound-for-pound the best...I want to fight the fights that everybody has wanted to see, so I want to get in there and fight Pacquiao and then get in there and fight Mayweather. Mayweather would be the next one up," stated WBA welterweight champion Shane Mosley as he talked about his potential clash with Manny Pacquiao, his thoughts on Floyd Mayweather Jr. and much, much more. You don't want to miss it!
PC: How have you been man?
SM: Everything has been great. I'm excited. I've been hearing some good news, so I'm excited.
PC: The press release came out today that Pacquiao accepted your challenge. On a scale of 1-10, how close would you say that fight is to being done?
SM: I think it's real close. You have Manny Pacquiao, who wants the fight, and myself and the fans are all ready and want this fight. We're ready to make this fight.
PC: Before I get into your possible fight with Pacquiao, what did you think of his performance against Hatton?
SM: I thought he did a spectacular job against Ricky Hatton. He was able to land the right hook, the overhand left and he just did a tremendous job. He showed why he is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today.
PC: Pacquiao always comes to fight. What do you feel you could do differently than De La Hoya and Hatton?
SM: I think that I have the handspeed. Me and Pacquiao are similar in the sense that we're both fighters. We will definitely give the fans a great matchup. The things I would do differently is I would just go in there and fight. It's a lot different until you actually get in there and fight. He's a difficult fighter and maybe more difficult than anybody I've fought. I got a little bit of size on him so I would like to use that to my advantage as well.
PC: Could you make 142 or 143 pounds?
SM: I don't think the fight would be at 42 or 43; it would be at 144, so I would meet him halfway. I think that's what they're talking about. I don't know where 142 or 143 is coming from, but we're going to make the fight there on all scales. I'm willing to work with Pacquiao on different things to make the fight happen because I believe I'm the best fighter. I believe I'm pound-for-pound the best and I'm willing to prove to the world and show the world that I'm not only the best welterweight, but pound-for-pound the best. And then, when I get to be pound-for-pound the best, then I'll fight everybody. I'll fight Mayweather or whoever. But I believe I'm the best and I want to prove to the world I'm the best.
PC: If you're successful in a Pacquiao fight, Cotto is successful against Clottey and Floyd is successful against Marquez, I know you've wanted that Cotto rematch, but would you fight Cotto or Floyd next if you had it your way?
SM: I want to fight the fights that everybody has wanted to see, so I want to get in there and fight Pacquiao and then get in there and fight Mayweather. Mayweather would be the next one up. Hopefully he doesn't try anything crazy again like retiring or anything. He may not even win this fight. I can't exclude Marquez. Marquez has a chance. He is the only one that has rocked Pacquiao in awhile. I can't count Marquez out.
PC: We see older fighters fall off every day. What keeps you alive in this sport at the age of 37?
SM: Me and Bernard Hopkins have the same trainer. We come from the same school. We train hard, workout hard and we're gym rats. We love the sport of boxing and I think that's what's important. We love the sport. We're not just fighting to be fighting. We love the sport.
PC: Both De La Hoya and Hatton fought the wrong fight against Pacquiao. Brother Naazim is the master of putting together great strategies for his fighters. How much does having him in your corner help you in a Pacquiao fight?
SM: I think it would play in my favor a great deal. We're both playing on the same playing field and it's going to be a great fight. I can't wait to get in the ring and fight Manny Pacquiao! I can't wait to fight any of these guys. It feels like my career has just started. I've been in so many mega-fights, but this may be the biggest mega-fight in my career; in history!
PC: What is it about Pacquiao that you think gives these guys so many problems?
SM: I think they underestimate him. I think they underestimate his power. When they get in there and they see that he has good handspeed and good power, they go wild. They go in with one gameplan with no B, C and D. They go in with Plan A and then when that doesn't work, they have tough luck.
PC: Was it getting frustrating for you as an elite fighter coming off of a huge win like the Margarito fight and seeming like nothing was ever going to materialize for you?
SM: I did get frustrated. That's why I chose to go out there and make waves; it seemed like everybody was running. No one wanted to fight. No one would call my name out and everybody was side stepping. I even went to Wildcard and asked Pacquiao and Freddie why they didn't want to fight the best fighter. I know Pacquiao is a warrior and he would fight anybody. I know that! So when they say, "Oh, Pacquiao doesn't want to fight you. Pacquiao would fight me at 47, but it's Freddie Roach that says come down to 44 or whatever " Freddie knows how I am. Pacquiao will fight Paul Williams. He will fight anybody. That's why I love him and he's considered pound-for-pound the best. I have so much respect for him. I respect him because he himself said that he would take Shane Mosley's offer. I'm glad that he came out and said that. He broke the silence of everyone saying, "Pacquiao won't fight." The promoters and everyone was saying that Pacquiao wouldn't fight me and Pacquiao said, "No, no, no! I accept this challenge. I want the fight!" He's the one that broke the silence and I'm happy and I thank him for that.
PC: They fought De La Hoya at 47. Why do you think they want you to drop the 3 extra pounds?
SM: I think they will be a little more comfortable with Pacquiao at that weight. Pacquiao is coming up from 135 to 140 and they probably believe that me coming down a couple of pounds will help him. I guess that's what Freddie Roach believes. But we'll see what happens. Whatever makes this fight happen, I'll make it work.
PC: I've never seen you drained like De La Hoya seemed to be in his last fight. I take it you would know how to go about losing the weight?
SM: I had a history of fighting at 135 when I wasn't a lightweight. I never was a lightweight fighter, but I managed to get down to 135, so I know I could do it.
PC: I spoke to Leonard Ellerbe the other day and he said you had the opportunity to fight Floyd and you chose to
SM: (Cutting in) That's all lies. Floyd had the opportunity to fight me at 135. That's just all bologna and bullcrap. Floyd had the chance to fight me at 135 and then when I was at 47. I fought like 3 or 4 times and I wasn't home for like 7 or 8 months and then they wanted me to turn around and go right back into camp and fight Floyd. I told them to give me a month to hang with my family and then let's fight. What did he do? He went and fought Oscar. That's cool with me. I would have fought Oscar too if I was in Floyd's shoes. But after the fact, when he fought Oscar, he was supposed to fight me. Floyd's whole team is full of lies and excuses. He ducks me. I don't know why. He retires, his hands hurt and he runs. He goes and fights and steals money. That's all it is. He wants to go in and steal money. He doesn't love the sport of boxing; he doesn't care. He needs to just go ahead and retire. He was supposed to fight me after I fought Margarito. Did he come out of retirement to fight me? No, he didn't! He came back to fight a lightweight; the lightweight champion. I don't even know why they keep posting the stuff that Floyd and his team says because it's just lies. He lies about everything. Pacquiao is a real fighter, a real man and the pound-for-pound best and he's respectable. I'm happy that he spoke out and said, "Yes, I will fight Sugar Shane!" Like when I fought Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright. I didn't have to fight those guys. Nobody would fight them, but I fought them. It's just like Pacquiao. Pacquiao doesn't have to step up and fight me. He could do what everybody else is doing, but he is a real fighter and a real champion and I respect him.
PC: You have been on the top of the pound-for-pound list before. What would it mean for you at 37 years of age to claim that title again?
SM: Aw, that would mean so much to me to accomplish this goal. That's why I'm fighting for my sport because I love the game and I love to fight and I want to fight the best; especially when I deserve it. Some guys come back and they have big fights and they don't even deserve to have big fights, Mayweather being one of them. They don't deserve it. They come back and they say on TV that they care going to come back and steal some more money and then I'm going to retire again. And then the fans and everybody accept it. I don't understand!
PC: Good luck in landing this fight. I look forward to seeing it if and when it happens. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
SM: I just want to say that I'm so happy and the fans are going to get a real fight. Two guys in there ready and willing to fight so the fans can get their money's worth!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]