Retired or Not: 'Sugar' Shane Mosley's Greatest Wins
June 5, 2012, “Sugar” Shane Mosley announced his retirement to the world after 19 years of fighting as a professional. His decision to retire was of no surprise and came after his performance against a much younger Canelo Alvarez on May 5, resulting in a unanimous decision in favor of Alvarez. During his post-fight interview Shane told Larry Merchant:
"When the kids start to beat you up, you might have to start promoting."
Sure enough, after an illustrious career as a fighter, Shane may just go into the promotion business like his longtime friend and rival Oscar De La Hoya. Shane Mosley was born on Sept. 7, 1971 in Los Angeles California. As an amateur, Mosley had an official record of 250-6, propelling him to go pro.
Although Shane’s victories over De La Hoya would put him in the spotlight, it was his bout with Philip Holiday that would prove Shane’s ability to beat a champion and become one as well. Sugar, prior to his bout with Philip Holiday, was on a three-year streak, having all of his fights finish by the fourth round.
Let’s go through some of Shane Mosley’s greatest wins, beginning with lightweight champion Philip Holiday. Round 1 started with both fighters testing one another, Shane throwing and landing more punches than his opponent. By Round 3 three, Mosley began to assert his dominance over Holiday with powerful punches becoming too fast for Holiday to handle. The last 20 seconds or so of the third round ended with Holiday holding on to Mosley’s right arm as Shane hit him with multiple punches to the right side of the face. That was followed by a seven to eight hit combination pushing Holiday back into retreat mode.
Holiday increased his punch count coming into Round 4, holding on to Shane and hoping to fight him on the inside. In Round 5 Holiday continued to put the pressure on Shane, stalking him and throwing more punches. Holiday adjusted a bit to Mosley’s punching power, winning the round with Shane coming back into the fight late in the fifth. In Round 7 it seemed as though Holiday was starting to have his way as Shane retreated momentarily and stopped throwing with power and speed. Even as Holiday applied the pressure on Shane, Holiday could not seem to land clean punches as frustration inside him built.
By Round 10 Shane started to throw power punches to the head and body the way he did in the first two rounds of the fight making red welts on both sides of Holiday's rib cage. By the final round, it becomes clear that Shane had adapted to Holiday’s brawling style, hitting him with powerful punches keeping his composure and controlling the pace of the fight. Holiday had done all he knew at this point, holding onto Shane every chance he could find, looking for some sort of lucky power punch that never materialized. Mosley won the fight via unanimous decision after 12 hard rounds of boxing.
Childhood friends having fought together as amateurs, Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley would finally meet in the ring on June 17, 2000 in Los Angeles for the WBC Welterweight title. Round 1, nonstop action as Shane went for body shots and hooks. Both fighters showed exceptional footwork and movement. Thirty seconds into the end of the first round, Shane avoided Oscar’s punches moving in faster than a speeding bullet to land a left hook. Going into the third round it became clear both fighters could take each other’s best shots. Mosley’s right hand to De La Hoya’s face landed numerous times winning Shane the round. Oscar fired back in Round 4 even after being hit by Shane on the back of the head early on. More pressure was put onto Shane as Oscar gave his best round of the fight in the fifth, continuing to use his jab and power well into the next round.
In Rounds 7 and 8 Shane brings the heat using his jab, right hand, foot work and head movement to bring the fight back to an even keel. Blood trickled from Oscar’s nose as Round 9 began, Mosley still won rounds well into the 10th. By Round 12 it became clear Oscar needed to knock out Mosley in order to win the fight. Both men gave it their all, fighting with more will and determination in the final round than they did in the first. Shane Mosley walked away with a split decision victory that night over De La Hoya. Mosley fought De LaHoya for a second time which resulted in a unanimous decision for Shane. However, his testimony in front of a grand jury in 2003 for using steroids prior to his second fight with Oscar overshadowed his victory.
After two consecutive losses to Winky Wright on February 25, 2006, Shane Mosley faced off against Fernando Vargas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. In the first round, Vargas seemed to initiate a battle plan similar to that of Philip Holiday, try to fight on the inside and clench when uncertain. By the end of Round 2 swelling over Vargas’s left eye began to appear and his game plan shifted. Mosley’s speed seemed dormant with Vargas throwing more punches which lacked the strength behind them. Backed into the ropes during the end of Round 6, Shane threw a flurry of combinations, the fastest punches of the fight.
Midway through Round 8 Vargas faced possible disqualification for his left eye swelling and closing. Back to the eighth round nearly one minute in, Shane threw some hard right hands, buckling Vargas’ knees a bit. Vargas’ corner, along with Joe Cortez, seemed worried as they should have been. Shane opened up with two jabs and a cross, three hits to Vargas’s body following up with head shots. After a hard hit to Vargas' eye, Cortez finally stepped in to stop the fight in the 10th round.
The rematch between both fighters on July 15, 2006 resulted in the technical knockout of Vargas by Mosley in the sixth round.
After his loss to Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley fought Richard Mayorga in 2008. Mayorga spared no time attacking Mosley and throwing bombs. Mayorga’s punches became more accurate as he continued to leap in and out at Shane erratically. By the third round, just as Mayorga looked like he was controlling the pace of the fight, Shane began to get back into his groove, throwing off Mayorga’s attacks with his own. Mayorga battled on but caught an uppercut by Mosley in the sixth round which left him complaining to the referee.
Shane began landing with ease as Mayorga took hard uppercuts, left and right hands and asking for more. Mayorga looked gassed during the eighth round, clenching more than ever. His celebration before during and after the next couple of rounds got heavy boos from the audience. From the beginning of the 12th round things went from bad to worse for Mayorga, getting knocked down near the end of the fight. One second before the bell could ring; Mayorga got knocked out again, this time for good from a single punch by Mosley.
Mosley’s last great win after Mayorga was his fight with Antonio Margarito on Jan. 24, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The fight had many complications including Mosley’s decision to ditch his father and longtime trainer Jack Mosley with Naazim Richardson, followed by Richardson’s discovery of Margarito’s hands, which were wrapped illegally with plaster inside. Shane was also rocked by his own allegations of steroid use which resurfaced in the news around 2007. Regardless, Shane came into the first round using his speed advantage to hit Margarito with shots to the head and body.
Even with a huge reach advantage, Margarito literally had to reach in order to connect with Mosley. During the beginning of Round 3, the tide was turning ever so briefly in favor of Margarito, who came back with a combination that staggered Shane near the ropes. Mosley connected more frequently than Margarito and threw his own assault. In Round 4, Shane’s right hand and speed was making the difference constantly landing as he abused Margarito’s face with a combination of seven punches.
By Round 8 Shane was dominating his opponent, ending the round with right hands followed by combination after combination, showing zero respect for Margarito who would finally fall from a barrage of punches thrown by Mosley early in the ninth round.
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