Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Sugar Shane Mosley: A Legacy Defined in the Desert

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Sugar Shane Mosley: A Legacy Defined in the Desert
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

When “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Jr. meet this Saturday, May 1st, one thing besides the WBA Super World welterweight title will be on the line for Mosley. That one thing will be a legacy for both fighters.

The word 'legacy' has seeped into nearly every part of our society. In the sports world this word has nearly become inescapable. From Brett Favre in football to Bobby Cox in baseball, all the way to these two fighters, the word 'legacy' has been attached.

At the age of 38 with a total of 59 professional fights under his belt, Shane Mosley is moving toward the twilight of his career. There is no question that Mosley can fight well into his 40’s, but can he still face the top-caliber fighters at that age?

More importantly, can he, if he did face top fighters, beat those types of fighters as he moves into the late stages of his career? The answer has to be without question, no. Every division but the heavyweight division has too many good fighters for Mosley to keep on fighting top talent after the next couple of years, if not sooner.

So this fight with Mayweather might leave us with a lasting impression of Mosley. Win or lose, this fight could be the fight Mosley becomes best known for.

Mosley has faced nearly every big-name fighter of this era. While Mosley has not beaten all of them, he has never in his professional career been knocked out.

This fight will be the second fight in a row that Mosley will enter as an underdog. In his last fight against Antonio Margarito, Mosley was a 4-1 underdog.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. enters this fight as the favorite and is fighting to become the greatest boxer of this generation. Mayweather, like him or not, has yet to taste defeat and his legacy will be his unbeaten record.

Just like Mosley, Mayweather has stepped into the ring against most of the good fighters of his era as well. Floyd Jr. alienates boxing fans who do not like the way he is overly cocky and, for lack of a better term, shoots his mouth off.

Other boxers have singled out the same things about Mayweather. Yet all of the fighters who have stepped into the right against him have not been able to defeat him and shut him up.  

At 33 years of age and with 40 professional fights and no defeats, one has to wonder how much longer Mayweather will fight. A possible fight looming against Manny Pacquiao could be the last time we see Mayweather if he gets past Mosley.

Mayweather will have a rare chance to end his boxing career without a blemish on his record. This will all depend on whether or not he has the financial resources and the desire to keep fighting.

So just who will win this battle between two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in Las Vegas, Nevada? We can go to the tale of the tape, which tells us that Mosley is an inch taller and has a two-inch reach advantage.

In Mayweather’s favor is the fact that he is five years younger than Mosley and has fought 12 fewer fights. Mosley looks to have more punching power with the ability to knock another fighter out, having done so 39 times before.

Mosley’s last two fights have ended with a technical knockout and a knockout. Mayweather’s only return fight since his retirement went to judge’s decision. Although, it did not appear Floyd Jr. was trying to score a knockout against Juan Manuel Marquez.

Mayweather has the defense, accuracy, and the hand speed to defeat Mosley. The question is: Does he have the punching power to drop a fighter that has never been knocked out if he has to do so?

For Mosley to win this fight, he will have to fight the same way he did against Margarito. He will have to land pinpoint punches and try to have the same hand speed as Mayweather.

Most will figure this fight will be won by Mayweather and rightfully so, since he has not been beaten yet. There is one thing about this fight that makes me wonder if Mosley as a better-than-average chance to win.

That one thing is the fact that this fight has a rematch clause in Mayweather’s favor. If Floyd Jr. happens to lose, he gets to invoke that rematch clause.

If there is one thing that is constant about boxing it is that its seedier side always seems to find its way to the surface. With the rematch clause, one could see Mayweather losing this fight to drive up Pay Per View sells for the next fight.

The only thing left would be whether Mayweather’s ego would allow him to be beaten and setup a huge payday in the rematch. Also, would the PPV sales be diminished if Mayweather was no longer undefeated and would it affect a possible payday with Pacquiao as well?

I have to figure Mayweather will win this fight and do so in the 12th round on a judges' decision. Mosley avoids the knockout but cannot avoid the speed of Floyd Jr.'s hands.

Then again there is that rematch clause and this is boxing...

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