. More Boxing News---------------------------------------------------------------------------- UFC/MMA NEWS
Sugar Shane Mosley: The path of Redemption goes through the "Dirty South"
By Martin Wade (March 22, 2004) 
Shane Mosley
From the day an obscure sports editor looked at George Gainford and uttered, that’s a real sweet fighter you got there” the moniker has reverberated a mystical yet burdensome quality. As Walker Smith AKA Sugar Ray Robinson blazed an unmatched trail of pugilistic excellence the ultimate fighting machine also left a standard that all sweet predecessors must adhere. In his prime fighting years Ray Robinson never left business unfinished, no welterweight or middleweight can claim to be his master. As Ray Charles Leonard assumed reigns of the franchise, taking the business of “Sugar” into modern economic stratospheres, he too could not move on and concede to even a legendary conqueror. This inability to accept defeat, to yield to the conventional wisdom (there’s always one fighter who has your number) is what distinguishes the great sugars. Shane Mosley is fully aware that he must legitimize his Claim to the brand name by making a dangerous trek through the “Dirty South”.

At the 154-pound weight limit Winky Wright and Vernon Forrest both present the Sugar Man with the ominous quandary of style, anatomy and psychological edge. Mosley is no longer in a position to measure himself by his two victories (one questionable) over boxing's current Matinee Idol. De La Hoya, Sinatra to Mosley’s Sammy should no longer be the focus of Shane’s comments or attention. It is Robinson and Leonard who now present the only standard left for Shane to adhere to. By losing so convincingly to Winky Wright on March 13th Shane’s mission statement changed overnight from “meaningful fights” to “last chance at sweetness”. Mosley is at a point of no return; if he chooses to fight on there are only two fights he can make, because the scales for sweetness are harsh and unforgiving.

Many who admire the Pomona nobleman insist a return to safer waters at 147, but there is nothing there to properly gloss his Canastota Plaque. Whether upheaval is needed in Team Mosley is debatable, I believe that great fighters (like great artists) should possess the ability to adapt and redefine.

Sugar Ray Leonard walked down a tall boxer/puncher with one of the most devastating right hands in welterweight history, why? Because history beckoned. Ray Leonard also played to his strengths en route to a humiliating TKO of Roberto Duran despite the roughing up he endured in their first bout, why? Because history beckoned. Ray Robinson fought every style imaginable; surviving a nasty cut in his return bout with Randy Turpin to end matters with 31 unanswered blows because history beckoned. Nowadays the term “throwback” is reserved for very few fighters. Mosley’s attempt to unify 154 in the face of stylistic suicide earned him that honor, but to be called “Sugar” he must earn revenge. As a generation of fight fans witness the close of Shane Mosley’s already great career it is only in the “Dirty South” that he can seize his peace of mind. For my two cents the path to Shane’s redemption should start through the red clay of Georgia (listening HBO?) and conclude in the dry heat of St. Petersburg Florida. With victories over Forrest and Wright retirement for Mosley should be as sweet as sugar.

Questions or comments,
Martin Wade:
© Copyrights / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2004