Today, three-weight world champion Sugar Shane Mosley has announced his retirement from the squared circle at the age of 40, signing off on a 55 fight professional career that contained 46 wins, of which 39 of them came by knockout.
This was against eight defeats, which were all on points to the likes of fellow future hall of famers Winky Wright (twice), Vernon Forrest (twice) and Miguel Cotto and more recently against the two best pound for pound fighters in the world in the shape of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather before losing his most recent appearance, against the young Mexican starlet Saul Alvarez.
In the statement announcing his retirement following his defeat by Alvarez last month on the Cinqo de Mayo bill featuring Mayweather and the Puerto Rican icon Cotto, Mosley stated that he intends to remain in boxing by promoting and training his 21 year old son Shane Jnr.
Mosley first came to prominence back in 1997 when he successfully challenged and defeated the South African, Phillip Holiday, in Holiday’s eighth defence of the IBF Lightweight strap, which he had won back in 1995.
Following this victory over Holiday, Mosley made eight successful defences of his title all of which were stoppage wins over the likes of two time Super-Featherweight champion John-John Molina and former WBC Super-Feather champion Jesse James Leija before ending his reign against fellow American John Brown before making the jump to Welterweight for the better paydays, in which he defeated Oscar De La Hoya to claim the WBC Welterweight strap.
Mosley would then make three defences of his title which included an impressive knockout of the unbeaten Briton Adrian Stone in the third round before losing his title and unbeaten record to the tricky southpaw Vernon Forrest in January 2002 before losing the rematch six months later.
Following a no contest Mexican Raul Marquez, Mosley faced old foe De La Hoya at Light-Middleweight, again emerging victorious, but this time on a very tight points decision with all three judges scoring the fight 115-113 in his favour.
Mosley would then suffer the same southpaw problems that he experienced against Forrest when "Sugar Shane" met Winky Wright while trying to unify the IBF belts to his WBA and WBC trinkets, although in his second fight he would end up losing on a tight majority decision in the rematch.
Following two ten round fights against David Estrada and then unbeaten Mexican prospect Jose Luis Cruz, Mosley was engaged in another set of rematches, fighting the legendary "El Feroz", Fernando Vargas.
Their first clash was a WBA Light Middleweight eliminator and the bout was a thrilling back and forth affair for the 10 rounds that the fight lasted, however Mosley succeeded in causing Vargas' left eye to swell shut forcing the doctor to stop the fight as Vargas was unable to see Mosley throwing right hooks and uppercuts.
The rematch was a more one-sided affair with Mosley succeeding in stop Vargas in just six rounds, which saw him set up a match up against Luis Collazo in Feburary, 2007 taking a unanimous decision in which he succeeded in knocking Collazo down en route to claiming the WBC’s interim belt.
The Collazo victory helped Mosley to have a match up against the then unbeaten WBA champion Miguel Cotto at the great Basilica of boxing, Madison Square Garden in New York, in a close and thrilling contest that went the full championship distance as Mosley just fell short in defeating the Puerto Rican icon.
Following this defeat, Mosley took on the Nicaraguan wild man of boxing, Ricardo Mayorga, for a WBA Inter-Continental belt up at Light-Middleweight.
Throughout the 12 rounds, Mosley displayed the superior hand speed and more accurate punching against the powerful and wild swinging Mayorga.
Mosley was effective all night in backing up Mayorga and was looking the knockout, which he eventually achieved with one second of the fight remaining after dropping Mayorga with 13 second left. The knockout resulted in HBO’s veteran commentator Larry Merchant to proclaim his love for Sugar live on air.
The victory over Mayorga led to a world title tilt against Antonio Margarito, who at the time many people regarded as the best Welterweight in the world at the time as his big hitting and relentless pressure made him a fighter to watch and was thought to be potentially the first man to stop Mosley.
However, this fight would be attracting headlines for all the wrong reasons. Firstly in the pre-fight hand wrapping examination, Mosley’s trainer Naazim Richardson noticed a substance that would harden to form plaster of Paris to increase the power of Margarito’s punch and speculation began to fly around as to for how long Margarito had been doing this.
However this was not the only pre-fight drama to occur, as reports had surfaced that Mosley’s wife Jin had filed for divorce, which was mentioned on HBO’s coverage. Despite all this, Mosley went and delivered arguably his finest performance and what proved to be his final win.
Throughout the nine rounds of the contest, Mosley used his superior handspeed and Championship experience to force the fight and to back up and hammer away at the bigger Margarito against the ropes until eventually forcing the stoppage in the ninth round after rocking tough Margarito.
Following this, Mosley went 0-3-1 in his final four fights, drawing with the awkward Sergio Mora before dropping a wide points decision to Floyd Mayweather despite rocking Mayweather early in the fight, Mosley failed to capitalise on this and choose to survive for the remaining 12 rounds.
He also did the same in surviving against Manny Pacquiao when challenging for the WBO’s crown at the classic 10 stone 7lbs [147 pound] limit and was also knocked down v Pacquiao and would ultimately be dominated in what proved to be his final fight against the young Mexican starlet Alvarez.
Mosley’s legacy as a boxer would be one who was willing to take on the best fighters in the divisions and would often be involved in crowd pleasing fights, in particular his two bouts with De La Hoya and with Margarito.
However, like too many of the great fighters such as Julio Cesar Chavez Snr, Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson, Mosley went on too far tainting the memories of all knowledgeable fight fans.
But he was always a terrific ambassador for the sport and potentially has a bright future in the promoting and training of his son Shane Jnr, a promising amateur.
Who knows, perhaps we might see another Mosley as a Champion of the world in the future?