‘Sugar’ Shane calls it a day, writes Ge­orge Gigney

Boxing News - - News -

FORMER three-weight world cham­pion “Sugar” Shane Mosley last week an­nounced his re­tire­ment from box­ing at the age of 45.

The Cal­i­for­nian last fought in May 2016, when he was out­pointed by David Avanesyan. He had planned to box this year in Rus­sia, but changed his mind af­ter un­der­go­ing surgery on his el­bow a few months ago.

Rather than con­tinue fight­ing, Mosley de­cided to lis­ten to his body, which was telling him enough was enough.

“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 told ESPN.

“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 hap­pened was my arm is break­ing down, my knees, shoul­ders. 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.”

Mosley was an ex­cel­lent ama­teur and


only just missed out on the 1992 Olympics when Ver­non For­rest de­feated him in a qual­i­fier.

He turned pro in 1993 and af­ter mov­ing to 23-0 (22), he be­came manda­tory chal­lenger to IBF light­weight cham­pion Phillip Hol­i­day. De­spite be­ing un­der the weather head­ing into the bout, Mosley earned a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to win his first of five world ti­tles at light­weight, wel­ter­weight and su­per­wel­ter­weight.

Mosley would de­fend his IBF ti­tle eight times, all by stop­page, ce­ment­ing his place as one of the best lightweights in his­tory. In 1999 he va­cated his belt and moved to wel­ter­weight, tak­ing two non-ti­tle bouts be­fore mov­ing into a mam­moth clash with former ama­teur ri­val and reign­ing WBC wel­ter­weight cham­pion Os­car De La Hoya.

In what would be his defin­ing per­for­mance, Mosley won an en­thralling clash on a split de­ci­sion. Af­ter­ward, he was widely recog­nised as pound-for­pound the best fighter on the planet.

Mosley fol­lowed that up with three dom­i­nant ti­tle de­fences, but was shocked not once but twice by old ama­teur con­queror For­rest. Ver­non out­pointed him on both oc­ca­sions, drop­ping Mosley twice in their first en­counter.

Af­ter a come­back win, Mosley met De La Hoya in a re­match – by this point Os­car had be­come WBA and WBC su­per­wel­ter­weight cham­pion – and Shane won another de­ci­sion, though this one was dis­puted by many who felt De La Hoya de­served the nod.

Rather than fight De La Hoya in a third bout, Mosley elected to give the oft-avoided Ron­ald “Winky” Wright a shot. Shane dropped a de­ci­sion for the undis­puted su­per-wel­ter­weight crown, and Wright out­pointed him again in their im­me­di­ate re­match.

He then moved be­tween wel­ter and su­per-wel­ter, beat­ing the likes of Luis Col­lazo and Fer­nando Var­gas (twice), be­fore drop­ping a com­pet­i­tive de­ci­sion to Miguel Cotto in 2007.

Af­ter knock­ing out Ri­cardo May­orga in the 12th round of their 2008 clash, Mosley took on An­to­nio Mar­gar­ito in 2009 as a huge un­der­dog. How­ever, he handed out a one-sided thrash­ing of the im­pos­ing Mex­i­can for what was Shane’s last great win.

De­ci­sion losses to Floyd May­weather, Manny Pac­quiao and Canelo Al­varez fol­lowed. He lost to An­thony Mun­dine in 2013 due to a back in­jury and beat May­orga in a bizarre re­match in 2015.


PIV­OTAL WIN: Mosley up­sets the odds in his first fight with De La Hoya


LOVE OF THE GAME: Mosley carved out an in­cred­i­ble ca­reer and will stay in the sport

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