Shane Mosley announces retirement
By Jeff Aranow: In a long overdue decision, 45-year-old former 3 division world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley has announced his retirement after 24 years as a pro. Mosley is about to turn 46 next month, and he’s been dealing a number of injuries that has slowed his great career.
Mosley hasn’t fought in over a year since losing to interim WBA World welterweight champion David Avanesyan by a 12 round unanimous decision on May 28, 2016. Mosley was surprisingly competitive in that fight, but only because of how poor a fighter Avanesyan turned out to be. If Mosley had been a few years younger, he likely would have taken Avanesyan to school and beat him with ease.
Mosley had lost 6 out of his last 12 fights dating back to 2007. It was thought by some that Mosley would return back in 2012 after he was soundly beaten by Saul Canelo Alvarez by a 12 round unanimous decision. Mosley had 3 out of his last 4 fights at the time, and he had dodged a 4th loss with the judges giving him a 12 round draw against Sergio Mora in 2010. Many boxing fans thought Mosley deserved to lose that fight too.
“I decided that I’m older now. I’m not the same as I used to be, so I need to let it go as far as me trying to compete as a fighter anymore,” Mosley said to ESPN.com.“I’m definitely always going to be around boxing. I’ll still go to the gym and show people stuff, help them out. I still love boxing. It’s still my life but just not as a fighter anymore.”
What can you say? It was academic that Mosley needed to retire many years ago. It’s nice that he was able to squeeze out a few last paydays in his fights with Canelo, Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Anthony Mundine, Ricardo Mayorga, and Avanesyan. Mosley should have hung up his gloves in 2012 after his loss to Canelo in my view. Mosley was totally dominated by Canelo, who beat him with ease based on his size advantage.
Mosley had a good career with wins over Oscar De La Hoya [twice], Antonio Margarito, Wilfredo Rivera, John John Molina, Phillip Holiday, Jesse James Leija, Golden Johnson, Antonio Diaz, Adrian Stone, Fernando Vargas, and Ricardo Mayorga [twice]. What’s unfortunate was how Mosley had no staying power at 147. After beating De La Hoya by a 12 round unanimous decision in their first fight in 2000, Mosley did very little before he was beaten by Vernon Forrest in back to back fights in 2002.
Forrest was too big for Mosley, and he easily beat him both times. After those defeats, Mosley’s career started heading downhill in terms of accomplishments. He beat a past his prime De La Hoya by a controversial 12 round decision in 2003 at 154. Mosley was then beaten in back to back fights by IBF junior middleweight champion Ronald “Winky” Wright in 2004. It was not a smart move for Mosley to be fighting at 154 in the first place, due to his small frame. Fighting Wright a second time was an ill-advised move on Mosley’s part, as the first fight showed that Mosley was simply too small to beat a guy the size of Wright. It’s not that Wright was an overpowering fighter. All Wright did to beat Mosley was cover up well and throw a lot of jabs that kept him from getting close to land his own shots.
Mosley started his career at lightweight, and it was in that weight class where he was at his best. Mosley defeated IBF World lightweight champion Philip Holiday by a 12 round unanimous decision on August 2, 1997. Mosley would go on to successfully defend his IBF 135 lb. title 8 times over a 2-year period from 1997 to 1999 before vacating the belt and moving up to welterweight in search of bigger paydays. Had Mosley stayed at lightweight, he likely would have kept that title for many years, as there was no one in the weight class nearly as talented enough to compete with Mosley.
The money was obviously better for Mosley in moving up to welterweight, but he wasn’t big enough to hold onto the titles that he won in that weight class. Vernon Forrest turned out to be end of Mosley for all intents and purposes, and those 2 fights took place in 2002. Mosley continued fighting another 15 years, but his career wasn’t the same after that. Nevertheless, Mosley has a lot to be happy about with him winning world titles in 3 divisions, and twice beating Oscar De La Hoya. Yeah, Mosley failed against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Canelo Alvarez, Pacquiao, Forrest and Wright, but he made a lot of money in his career. Hopefully, Mosley has saved enough money to retire in comfort and not need to work at other jobs to make a living.
Mosley’s retirement from boxing follows the other recent retiring of Robert Guerrero, Tim Bradley and Wladimir Klitschko.
“What happened was my arm is breaking down, my knees, shoulders,” Mosley said. “My back is starting to break down. My body is telling me I’m older and I can’t do it at 100 percent. I can’t see myself fighting again. I’d have to say I’m retired.”
It’s definitely good that Mosley is leaving the game right now. He doesn’t need to stay around and end up as a trial horse for any other top fighters at 147. It was enough that Mosley fought Canelo in 2012. That was sad to see, because a prime Mosley likely would have beaten Canelo.
Mosley was fortunate to fight in the era that he did, as he was able to get big money fights against De La Hoya, Canelo, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao. If Mosley had fought during this era, he’d be stuck fighting guys for smaller money at 147. There are no stars at 147 now that Pacquiao is on the verge of retirement. There are a lot of good fighters in the welterweight division like Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence, Jeff Horn and Shawn Porter, but none of them are big money fighters. Mosley was very lucky to have fought when the 147 lb. division was packed with big money fighters.