There’s no debating the lasting impression that Shane Mosley has left during his eighteen years as professional in the sport of boxing. His five world titles in three weight divisions and constant willingness to match his up-tempo style against the best that the sport has to offer won’t be forgotten anytime soon but you can’t overlook how the Pomona, Calif. fighter has looked in his last three outings.
Mosley is without a victory since his January 2009 TKO over Antonio Margarito, having suffered decision losses to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in that span, with a disappointing draw against Sergio Mora sandwiched in between. The Pacquiao fight was especially hard to watch as Shane absorbed a wicked third-round knockdown before backpedaling the rest of the fight and taking away any of the fight’s intrigue.
<— Massive Slideshow: Images of Shane Mosley with his girlfriend Bella Gonzalez, struggling against Manny Pacquiao, and a ringside view of some of his recent bouts
Reflecting back to that May performance during our ongoing column, boxing historian Bert Sugar of HBO Sports feels that Mosley just didn’t want the win against the Filipino star during their clash.
“I think he quit. He just didn’t want to get hit like that,” Sugar said of Mosley’s performance against Pacquiao in Las Vegas. “That was the hardest that he had ever been hit and he didn’t want to experience it again. It’s not the Shane we know but it’s still a shame. For that one fight, getting hit like that, he just decided ‘The hell with it’.”
Mosley’s last glimpse of greatness came during the aforementioned Margarito drubbing, a fight in which he draped the Tijuana fighter at will with punishing bombs, but at forty years old he simply doesn’t seem to be able to pull the trigger or fight with the same kind of vigor anymore. Is it hard for Sugar to see great fighters in boxing such as Mosley stick around too long?
“Well, it’s happened so many times that it’s not that disappointing,” the brazen Sugar continued. “You’ve seen it, you’ve seen it again, guys hanging on too long, guys who just keep fighting. ‘Sugar’ Shane, who will one day be in the hall of fame, has overstayed, not just his welcome, he has overstayed his career.”
Reading the statement above, it goes without saying that Sugar would love to see Shane walk off into the sunset but he’s not expecting it.
“Yes, but I don’t know that he can. Some people fight for attention. Ray Leonard once told me that he missed the spotlight. Others fight for money or recognition or because they have too. Shane, I am afraid, is fighting for money,” Sugar said bluntly.
It does appear that Mosley will fight on, as he was spotted earlier this month sparring with up and coming lightweight contender Mercito Gesta at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles.
Wanting to end the article on more of a positive note, I simply asked Sugar for his best memories of Shane during his time covering him.
“He has just been magnificent, both as a lightweight and then when he jumped up two divisions as a welterweight. He had the fastest hands of his time. He was, in his time, always one of the best.”
Mercito ‘No Mercy’ Gesta – A look in and outside of the ring at one of Philippine Boxing’s rising stars
HBO Fight Gallery – A ringside look at some of the more memorable HBO bouts from the past five years including shots of Pacquiao, Mayweather, Marquez, Khan, Cotto, Maidana, and several others
Open Media Workout – Go behind the scenes in this exclusive gallery from photgrapher Naoki Fukuda as he covers boxing’s biggest names during their open media workouts
Photographer Howard Schatz – An uncanny look at the sport of boxing through the unique photographs of the New York photographer
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com