‘Sugar’ Shane calls it a day, writes George Gigney
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
‘BOXING IS STILL MY LIFE, BUT JUST NOT AS A FIGHTER ANYMORE’
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