Evaluating Shane Mosley
By Eric Marks, DoghouseBoxing.com (Sept 29, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)  
A dramatic KO finish for Shane Mosley’s in his junior-middleweight fight against Ricardo Mayorga has put him in position for several possible big fights. Mosley was already looking past Mayorga prior to their encounter and perhaps it showed in the ring This was supposed to be target practice for Mosley – an easy victory in which Mosley was expected to win virtually every round and stopped Mayorga. While Mosley did manage to stop Mayorga in the last second of the final round, it was a much tougher task than many boxing pundits – and Shane Mosley himself – would have imagined.

Ricardo Mayorga brings very little to the table other than his big mouth and some heavy hands. Theoretically, Mosley’s skill level should have allowed him to breeze through him they way Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad beat up on Mayorga. This however was not the case as two of the three judges had the fighters separated by a mere point going into the last round. Some may say it is hard to pick on Mosley given he did stop Mayorga and he lacks the size and power of De La Hoya or Trinidad. But the fact that Ricardo Mayorga made a fight that was not supposed to be competitive a close encounter, raises some questions about the state of ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley.

It is well known in boxing that Shane Mosley was virtually unstoppable until Vernon Forrest handed him back-to-back losses. His most impressive win was of course a close decision win in his first fight with Oscar De La Hoya. He was rather fortunate to get the decision in the De La Hoya rematch. De La Hoya aside, when Mosley fought high caliber opponents such as Forrest, Winky Wright and Miguel Cotto he came up on the short end of the stick. He looked good against a shot Vargas and slick but less than dangerous Luis Collazo. Now it seems Mosley is insistent on taking on the young guns of the welterweight division as his career continues. This move may not be the wisest.

To be sure, Mosley’s place in history will be marked by his speed, solid chin, sportsmanship, fitness, counterpunching, and willingness to fight the best. He still looks great for 37 with his spirits and hunger for boxing higher than ever. There is a lot to be said about the class-act that is ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley. Having said all that, it is unclear as to how Mosley would fair against the likes of Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams, Joshua Clotty, Andre Berto, Floyd Mayweather, and Miguel Cotto in a rematch. Undoubtedly, Mosley would make those fights competitive as he proved against Cotto, but can he beat the best of boxing’s elite division? We will probably find out soon as Mosley doesn’t appear ready to hang up the gloves nor pick on smaller guys like his business partner Oscar De La Hoya seems intent on doing.

There has been discussion swirling in the boxing world as of late about a possible Mosley/De La Hoya third fight, something unheard of until recently. It is probably not a first choice for either of these guys, given they are business partners; but the money it would generate plus the possibility that they may be each other’s most attractive option makes this match-up a realistic prospect. Like De La Hoya, Mosley doesn’t really need to fight anymore, but his passion persists.

Mosley’s confidence is high and he probably won’t enter a fight he doesn’t think he can win. And he should continue to test his skills against the best, but perhaps carefully select opposition and avoid stylistic nightmares comparable with Forrest and Wright. Mosley has mentioned that Margarito can be outboxed and Miguel Cotto certainly proved that for much of his fight with Margarito. Mosley has a better chin than Cotto and a certain unique skill-set that could cause Margarito problems, but Mosley just needs to be extra cautious when considering how to proceed from here.

Like Bernard Hopkins, Mosley must be careful not to keep fighting in an effort to simply avoid looking bad or just to be competitive. We know Mosley can still fight, but it is also known that in the last six years he has shown signs of vulnerability and looked suspect in big fights, and it is just not enough to remain competitive. This critique withstanding, it will continue to be a treat watching this warrior of a fighter battle until he walks off into the sunset with his Hall of Fame legacy intact.

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