Where does Mosley go from here?
By Rob Scott (November 24, 2004) 
Photo © HoganPhotos.com
In his first fight since his twelve round decision loss to Ronald 'Winky' Wright back in March of this year 'Sugar' Shane Mosley again fell short of the mark, losing a rematch on Saturday night to the reigning WBC/WBA junior middleweight champion.

It’s been twelve more rounds and eight months later and the only thing that has changed for Mosley was this fight was a majority decision loss, as opposed to it being unanimous. The bottom line is it is another loss in the career of Shane Mosley.

It’s soul-searching time for the former pound-for-pound #1. With one win in his last six fights, the question for Shane Mosley is, where does he go from here?

Oh, how two years can change a fighter’s career. When Mosley woke up on the morning of January 26, 2002, he was arguably considered the best fighter in the world. Later on that night he was to defend his WBC welterweight title against former amateur nemesis Vernon Forrest. When all the smoke cleared from that battle, Mosley was a former welterweight champion and his #1 pound-for-pound ranking was a thing of the past.

Since this initial loss to Forrest, Mosley has been in another battle. It is a battle to get back to the top. This battle is not only one to get to the top in winning a divisional championship, but it is one to gain that recognition as the best fighter in all of boxing.

What was the best way to get back to the top? In Mosley’s eye, it was defeating the very person that knocked you off your pedestal in the first place. He chose to face Vernon Forest in an immediate rematch and once again saw himself on the losing end.

With yet another loss to Forrest, Shane had to dig deep and soul search. He moved up to junior middleweight and picked up the WBC/WBA titles from ‘The Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya. In his quest to show his greatness and once again be considered the very best in the world, Mosley faced the ever-avoided IBF champion ‘Winky’ Wright to unify the 154lb class. Shane lost that match and this past weekend lost in the immediate rematch. With this second loss to ‘Winky’ Wright, 48-3, (25), Shane Mosley falls to 39-4-1, (35) and finds himself in an uncomfortable position of having to now soul search to a depth that in theory will take some time. Shane Mosley should utilize that time.

The competitive nature in Mosley has brought out an eagerness that has made him make questionable decisions. It’s Mosley’s eagerness that has been his undoing. I have always felt to be a great fighter one has to put on great performances against great adversaries, often under great adversity; but I also have said that too little and too much of something is not good. Moving up in weight, fighting dangerous foes in Forrest and Wright would have put Mosley so close to greatness; but without these key wins he fails to get the cigar.

Time heals wounds. Mosley needs to take this much-needed time to make the right decision for his future. Jumping directly into return bouts with Forrest and Wright may have been questionable, but they were decisions that can’t be changed now. His decision to stay at junior middleweight is something that can be changed. What is left at 154lbs? Make no mistake about it; ‘Winky’ Wright is the junior middleweight champion. Is Mosley to fight IBF titleholder Kassim Ouma? Maybe WBA regular-world champion Travis Simms is in his future. These are fighters that aren’t in Mosley’s class.

Mosley desires names; names can be found at welterweight. A return to 147lb division would set up some interesting fights with name fighters that can put Mosley back on the boxing map. Names like undisputed champion Cory Spinks and Zab Judah would be interesting. A match-up with junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu and even Floyd Mayweather would bring its own fair share of interest.

Mosley has always described his style of fighting as ‘power boxing’. It seems that at 154lbs he has been doing less boxing and the power has been non-existent. Let’s face it, any positive headway that Mosley has made at junior middleweight was at the expense of De La Hoya; and the funny part about that is there are many who feel that he didn’t deserve that particular De La Hoya victory. Apparently ‘power Boxing’ works with ‘The Golden Boy’, but with Mosley's size, will it work with the other junior middleweights of the world?

With Mosley’s way of taking on challenges, we probably will see him move up and challenge Bernard Hopkins before we see him go down. Too little and too much aren’t good; this time Mosley has to take a more methodical approach. People usually learn from their mistakes; for his sake, let’s hope Mosley has been a good student.
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