Profiling “Sugar” Shane Mosley
Shane Mosley has held titles in 3 separate weight divisions, and is the current WBA welterweight champion of the world. His rise gave boxing enthusiasts the groundwork for a linear champion, and the start of unsurpassed skills that has not left him today.
An elite fighter born in Pomona, California, Shane Mosley has been one of the most feared fighters in the lightweight, welterweight, and light middleweight divisions and was also at one time the top pound for pound fighter in the sport. Shane Mosley is a man with a mission. A mission that is not yet fulfilled until he climbs back to the number one spot as the best pound for pound fighter.
Shane Mosley showed the world his brilliance in his boxing debut, going five rounds via KO against former state champion Greg Puente in February 1993. Like most talented boxers promotional difficulties strained Shane’s early career. The boxing community and enthusiasts finally took notice when he compiled an amazing 23-0 record (22 Knockouts) and was lined up against IBF title holder Phillip Holiday. Mosley displayed superb hand speed and power, annihilating Holliday over 12 rounds to capture his first lightweight championship. He followed up his brilliant performance against Holliday with a 11th round knockout over Manuel Gomez.
Shane Mosley’s title defenses caught the eyes of the boxing community, and the knockout artist finally got his break. After knocking out John “John” Molina in 8 rounds, Sugar was named fighter of the year in 1998. This honor then led Ring Magazine to name Sugar Shane Mosley the 13th best lightweight of all time. Mosley went on to defend his title two more times, and won by two stunning knockouts. His father, Jack Mosley, provided the training for speed and power, which his son used to engulf his foes. Mosley however wasn’t satisfied dominating at lightweight, he was looking for fierce competition. Instead of moving up to junior welterweight, he jumped up two weight classes at once to the welterweight division looking for the competition that the lightweight division lacked. Namely he was looking for one man: Oscar De La Hoya.
Moving up to new levels
On the night of June 17, 2000 Mosley stunned the crowd of 20,000 in attendance by earning a 12 round split decision against the Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya. He clearly out boxed, and dominated De La Hoya with superior hand speed and picked up the WBC Welterweight title. The fight was even until Mosley came on strong in the last 4 rounds. Critics had felt Mosley’s move was unwise even after two following wins in the Welterweight division against Wilfredo Rivera, and Willy Wise, but were clearly proven wrong.
With De La Hoya declining an immediate rematch, Shane Mosley was lined up for the next best match; a fight with Antonio Diaz. Winning by a knockout in the 6 round, even Antonio Diaz was quoted saying, “Shane is good, real good. He’s the best I have ever seen.” After a pair of wins at the expense of Shannan Taylor and junior Middleweight Adrian Stone; Shane was universally regarded as one of the top three pound for pound fighters.
Shane Mosley went on to challenge former amateur opponent Vernon Forrest as a junior middleweight. Forrest had won their contest in the amateurs and rumors circulated that the avoided Forrest would be able to do the same in the professional ranks. After a dominating first round, it seemed the tables turned after a head butt in the second round and a few vicious combinations. Mosley was then unable to figure out Forrest as Vernon picked up the decision. Mosley was always the gamer and so he opted to immediately rematch Forrest. In their second bout Sugar once again was perplexed by the style of Forrest, and was unable to solve him. Forrest picked up the decision, and the rematch was named the fight series of the year.
Sugar then went on to fight a no contest with former champion Raul Marquez in February 2003. But another big break came with the highly anticipated rematch with Oscar De La Hoya. Sugar went on to win by unanimous decision in a hard fought battle that left him with the WBC and WBA Junior Middleweight titles. While the first decision was universally accepted, some felt that De La Hoya got the better of him in their second match. Mosley put that behind him in 2002 and looked for tough competition in one of the most feared fighters in the game, Ronald “Winky” Wright, a defensive mastermind who was avoided by every other big name. Wright came in with his long, crisp jab and shell defense and shut Mosley down, earning him a unanimous decision victory. Once again Mosley immediately rematched his conqueror and once again ended up with a 2nd consecutive loss. In their second bout Wright won by majority decision, Mosley put on a better showing but was still unable to completely solve the Winky Wright puzzle.
Mosley, along with new trainer and former world champion John David Jackson, decided to move back down to the welterweight division. Mosley’s return left him with a lopsided ten round decision over contender David Estrada. Mosley then moved back up in weight for a big match against Fernando Vargas, who was dominated over ten rounds and had the fight stopped due to damage caused to his eye. The rematch, to Fernando’s dismay, ended in an earlier six round TKO, which put Sugar Shane Mosley back on the map again. With a championship opportunity in line, Mosley then went on to face Luis Collazo for the interim WBC Welterweight title. Another dominating performance at the hands of Mosley set up a fight against the knock out artist Miguel Cotto.
Mosley vs. Miguel Cotto
In a hard fought match, both fighters exchanged combinations and landed the exact same number of punches during the contest. Mosley pursued and fought mostly from the outside in the later rounds. Cotto was momentarily rocked in the ninth round, but was able to bounce back with slick counter punching. Miguel Cotto won by unanimous decision. Many observers felt Mosley deserved the decision based on his pressure, his stronger finish and the adjustments he made from the outside.
Still determined after his 5th career loss, Mosley moved up in weight again to battle the hard hitting Ricardo Mayorga and finally cruised in the ring on September 27, 2008. Mayorga had one goal in mind; knockout. Mayorga caught Mosley several times with hard rights to the head, and followed with quick body shots. Mosley in the first two rounds was unable to adjust, and picked up the pace in the fourth round. Mosley was then able to land single power shots that eventually led to a twelfth round knockout with less than five seconds left. Shane Mosley took the knockout and the vacant WBA inter-continental Light Middleweight title.
Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito
Back down to the welterweight division, Shane Mosley was in line to fight Antonio “Tijuana Tornado” Margarito for the WBA World Welterweight title. The fight was geared up as a last hurrah for Mosley, who was a large underdog in the contest. Nobody told Mosley. The fight began with controversy as Mosley’s trainer spotted illegal hand wrapping on Margarito that after the fight led to a 1 year suspension.
Sugar went right to work hitting Margarito with quick body shots, followed by hard lefts upstairs. The frustrated Margarito who tried to make it an inside fight, but Sugar’s hand speed was too much for Margarito. In the third round Margarito pressured Mosley to the ropes and landed several brutal body shots, but Shane stole the round with several hard shots to the head. In the eighth round Mosley caught Margarito with several hard power punches that sent Margarito down and almost out. Margarito barely beat the count and wobbled back to his corner. With Margarito’s corner nearly throwing in the towel, the Tijuana Tornado came out in the ninth round on unsteady legs. Mosley, with superior hand speed, backed Margarito into the ropes and began landing severe power shots that led the referee to jump in and stop the fight. Sugar Shane Mosley was once again a champion after the 9 th round stoppage and stands atop of the welterweight division looking for a new challenge.
Who’s next for Sugar Shane Mosley?
Rumors suggest the possibility of an October 2009 clash between Manny Pacquiao and Sugar Shane Mosley, but will the bout really happen? The rumored match-up is slated to take place at an unknown catch weight somewhere between 140 to 147lbs, but most fans are clamoring for a Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather mega bout. Regardless of who Shane Mosley will face; they better come prepared. Shane Mosley is looking to continue his championship reign at the demise of his future opponent.