“Sugar” Shane Mosley will be behind enemy lines on Wednesday night when he faces Anthony “The Man” Mundine in Australia.
Mosley, a 42-year-old future Hall of Famer, is clearly past his prime, but he did win his last fight against Pablo Cesar Cano in May.
Mundine is a native of Australia, but he hasn’t always been a clear favorite in his own country. The two veterans will battle for the vacant WBA International light middleweight title. Though it isn’t the most prestigious championship, a win for either would prolong their validity in the sport.
Update at 10:32 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21
Per Bob Velin of USA Today, the fight has been called off. Mosley's promoter Golden Boy Promotions says a breach of contract has forced them to pull out of the fight. There was no word on whether the fight could take place at a later time.
---End of Update---
The Book on Mundine
No Aussie Love for Mundine?
Don’t be surprised if the crowd isn’t as elated as one would expect when Mundine enters the ring despite that Mindine is fighting in his home country. The controversial fighter has been outspoken about political and social issues in his country, so many of his views have made him unpopular with his countrymen.
In the past, Mundine has chosen not to be present when the Australian national anthem has been played. Former Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech told Nick Walshaw of The Herald Sun that Mundine should be present for the singing of "Advance Australia Fair" if he wants the Aussie crowd’s backing.
Most of Mundine’s gripes have been directly related to the injustices towards indigenous Australians in the country. This is an emotional and touchy subject for Mundine and everyone involved. We’ll see how this subplot plays out on Wednesday night.
The Book on Mosley
Still Going Strong or Just Still Going?
Why is Mosley still fighting? The answer is likely as simple as being that he he loves the sport.
There is little doubt that Mosley is still boxing at least seven years past his prime, but his chin and overall boxing skills have allowed him to stay competitive against mid-tier talent like Mundine and Cano.
Ageless wonders like Bernard Hopkins undoubtedly have encouraged Mosley to continue his career, but all fighters are not created equal. While Hopkins has been able to protect himself and succeed all the way to his 48th birthday, things haven’t been as rosy for Mosley.
Sugar Shane took a good amount of punishment from Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao. The longer that Mosley fights, the more damage he'll take.
While he’s never been stopped in his career, one has to wonder if his skills will erode to a point that he can’t hold on to that distinction.
Mundine is a good, but not great, puncher. At 38 years old, he is a little long in the tooth himself. This fight is a crossroad bout for both men. The loser would be wise to call it a career, but fighters have been known to make ill-advised career decisions in their late 30s and early 40s.
Mundine stands 5’11” while Mosley is just 5’8.5, but because of Mosley's 71-inch reach, he has a one-inch advantage in that category. However, Mundine fights extremely tall. He stands straight up and works behind the jab almost exclusively.
He has a solid chin in his own right. In 49 professional fights against high-level competition, Mundine has only been stopped twice. If Mosley is able to avert Mundine’s jab, there is no guarantee he’ll be able to do enough damage to put the Aussie in peril.
Even in Mosley’s prime, taller fighters with solid jabs like the late Vernon Forrest and Ronald “Winky” Wright have given him issues. Because of his advanced age, he seems even less equipped to handle a fighter with Mundine's style.
Mundine may not have the powerful punch to be the first man to stop Mosley, but his style and length should allow him to win on points. Look for Mundine to win a moderately close unanimous decision.
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