Sugar Shane Mosley no longer goes through intense bouts of self-loathing and several weeks of sleepless nights after losses in the ring.
He's more mature, more poised — and still just as hungry.
After Floyd Mayweather Jr. dominated him four months ago, Mosley didn't beat himself up. He went looking for somebody else to beat up, hoping to quickly erase the taste of that loss by taking on Sergio Mora on Saturday night in front of both fighters' hometown crowd at Staples Center.
"It's not tough any more to bounce back," Mosley said. "It's easy because of where I'm at, in my life and my career. My first loss to Vernon (Forrest in 2002), that killed me. Not just the loss, but the way I lost. That's the lowest I'm ever going to go, I think. It wasn't frustrating, but more humiliating than anything. I never really feel angry after fights. I'm more down on myself."
The 39-year-old Mosley (46-6, 39 KOs) has shaken off the disappointment from his one-sided loss to Mayweather, and he's hoping to make up for lost time in a memorable career that stalled in recent years. The former three-division champion has fought just three times in the past 34 months, stymied by two cancellations.
Mora is familiar with the feeling. The winner of the first season of the NBC reality show "The Contender" has fought just once since losing his 154-pound title to Forrest in September 2008.
"I've had a lot of ups and downs from canceled fights and injuries," Mora said. "Even as an amateur, I've had a lot of letdowns. ... But being a fighter is just that: You have to keep fighting."
Mora (22-1-1, 6 KOs) is back in high gear after signing with manager Cameron Dunkin and Golden Boy Promotions, but his defensive-minded style hasn't captured the imagination of many fans outside his native East Los Angeles. Golden Boy put rising 20-year-old Mexican prospect Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on the Staples Center undercard against Carlos Baldomir to attract additional attention to the show.
The crowd that gathered for Friday's weigh-in outside Staples clearly favored Mora, yet the cheers turned to disappointment when Mora failed to make the 154-pound weight limit. Mosley will receive 20 percent of Mora's purse for missing weight, but both fighters agreed to go on with the show.
Even before Mosley booked a date with Mora, he couldn't stay out of the ring. He was in training again just two weeks after losing to Mayweather, and he found gyms in Houston, Australia and New York where he could spar against surprised young boxers during his travels.
"I don't feel comfortable not being in the gym," Mosley said. "It's a lifestyle, a way of living. I have to be in the gym, just to feel good about my life and about my health. ... I love sparring against the younger guys. I love being the older guy, because they're still not ready for me yet."