Shane Mosley Open to MMA, but No Time Soon

Count Shane Mosley as one boxer who would love to give mixed martial arts a try.

During a live chat with FanHouse readers, Mosley was asked whether he'd ever follow in the footsteps of James Toney, who lost to Randy Couture last month at UFC 118, and test himself in MMA. Mosley said the idea interests him, but that he would need to take a long time training in wrestling and jiu jitsu to avoid being embarrassed the way Toney was, and he just doesn't have that kind of time as he continues to focus on his boxing career.

"I was thinking about trying it, but they have the advantage in the wrestling and takedowns," Mosley said. "They're totally different sports. I've definitely thought about it. If a boxer doesn't have training in mixed martial arts, fighting on the ground, they're not going to win. You have to do more than throw a punch."

I was talking to Mosley while moderating the chat, and he sounded genuinely intrigued by the possibility of testing himself in MMA. He also had high praise for the UFC, saying it typically gives the fans the fights they most want to see -- an area where boxing too often falls short.

"I think the UFC is great, there are great fights coming up there," Mosley said. "I support it. I like Rampage Jackson a lot because I know him and I've admired Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture."

But just because Mosley likes the UFC, that doesn't mean we should expect to see him in the Octagon.

From a competitive standpoint, it wouldn't make sense for Mosley to try MMA any time soon. He's still considered one of the best boxers in the world, and he's hoping that a win over Sergio Mora on Saturday night sets him up for some big fights in 2011, possibly against the winner of the upcoming Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito bout. He's not going to leave the ring for the cage while he still has big fights in front of him in boxing.

And from a financial standpoint, it also makes no sense: Toney's purse of $500,000 for his loss to Couture was considered a lot of money by MMA standards, but it's a fraction of what Mosley can make in boxing.

Realistically, the only reason for accomplished boxers to try MMA is if they've reached the point in their boxing careers where they just don't have any big fights left. That's where Toney is, and that's why he signed with the UFC. But for all of Mosley's interest in MMA, he knows that even at age 39, he's a long way from being ready to step in the cage.

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