Let's get this out of the way right up front.
"Sugar" Shane Mosley is one of the best fighters of the past 20 years.
He was possibly one of the most talented lightweights of all time, possessed Floyd Mayweather-esque speed and reflexes in his prime and won many big fights.
But his un-retirment and subsequent comeback—in a title-shot, no less—is a black eye for the sport.
In boxing, all too often aging legends carry on well past their bests. If they're lucky, they only damage their legacies.
Shane Mosley has not fought at anything resembling an elite level in what will be over four years when he next steps into the ring to challenge Paulie Malignaggi for the WBA welterweight title.
He's 0-3-1 in his four fights since stunningly dominating and knocking out Antonio Margarito in January of 2009.
In that stretch, he's been absolutely outclassed by Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Saul Alvarez. But perhaps most unforgivable was his struggle to a lucky draw with Sergio Mora after the Mayweather fight.
While there is no shame in losing to fellow elite fighters, none of those fights were close or competitive. There is something to be said for acknowledging your time has passed.
In his prime, Shane Mosley would've been at worst competitive, and he might have beaten all four of those opponents. And yes, that includes both Mayweather and Pacquiao.
For Mosley, this fight screams of a money-grab—a chance to make a little more cash by going through the motions in camp and on fight night.
To think this is a legitimate comeback by a once great fighters is ludicrous given his most recent performances.
And it isn't as if Mosley got old overnight and had one bad fight. In those cases, a fighter will often take another match to show the world, or even himself, that he still has what it takes to compete.
Shane Mosley very visibly and very publicly on the big stage faded as a fighter over the course of several years and several fights.
It was no fluke, no accident, no doubt.
And he's deluding himself if he thinks that at age 41 he'll be able to turn back the clock against even the light-hitting "Magic Man" from Brooklyn.
This is a fight that had no business being made. Shane Mosley has done nothing to earn a title shot but have a name.
It's bad for both fighters—Mosley for sullying his legacy and Malignaggi for taking a known shot opponent—but more importantly, it's bad for boxing.