Reporting from Big Bear Lake — Boxer Shane Mosley, 39 and coming off two lethargic performances, stared into the video camera unblinkingly and said, "Don't believe the garbage some of these writers are saying."
Only if you didn't watch any of his last 22 rounds — in his unanimous-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May and his sluggish draw against Sergio Mora in September — could you not believe the "garbage."
But it would get even better with Mosley as he conducted a media-day workout Tuesday at his training compound here.
Yes, he said, he believes he'll defeat the world's top pound-for-pound fighter, Manny Pacquiao, May 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and he even pronounced, "What concerns me is how nothing concerns me about this."
Mosley (46-6-1, 39 knockouts) built his case around the point of how he made his name as "Sugar" Shane, smashing smaller foes during his nine-bout run as a world lightweight champion, projecting that he'll be able to duplicate similar strategies 12 years later against the dominant but smaller Pacquiao.
"Watching those tapes, I saw how I took it to the body and head, used my long jab," said Mosley, who's never been stopped. "Lately, I've been dealing with bigger guys, monsters. To have a guy with a smaller frame in front of me this time, he doesn't intimidate me at all."
Mosley trainer Naazim Richardson is approaching the bout soberly, reminding the former three-division world champion from Pomona "how great" the "animal" Pacquiao is. Richardson is overseeing a camp intended to make Mosley more cerebral and technical, less reliant on his stubborn position that age hasn't cost him a step or three.
"He can't do things off instinct and reflex anymore, and I've had to prove it to him," Richardson said. "Shane's now realized he can neutralize Manny Pacquiao's explosiveness by doing so."
The Mosley camp is pinning its hope on the fact that Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) never yields in a fight, that he'll charge rather than backtrack and try to fatigue the older man in the early rounds to batter him after the sixth.
Boxing fans are intrigued. Promoter Bob Arum said the fight's sellout ensures a $9-million-plus live gate atop pay-per-view projections that indicate this will be Pacquiao's richest bout yet, thanks to CBS' involvement, and capable of becoming the most lucrative pay-per-view fight in history.
"Shane's always at his best against fighters who come at him, and have you ever seen Manny retreat?" Arum asked.
Either that, or they just want to see the "animal" record another big kill.