When you think about the name "Sugar" and the word "boxing", various images pop into your head. Mostly, it's the three Sugars of the generations. You have Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard and last but not least, Sugar Shane Mosley.
Many sports writers have written off Shane because of his four losses, some even saying he should drop the Sugar moniker. Why is that?
Let's look at Shane's accomplishments. He was the Lightweight Champ, the Welterweight Champ and the Undisputed Super Welterweight Champ.
To me, a three weight division champion is deserving of the name "Sugar". But many people have forgotten the accomplishments of Shane and look instead towards his last few performances and are saying that Shane isn't the fighter that he used to be at welterweight and lightweight. Of course, because age gets to us all. But instead of the practic! al, they go to the dramatic and say that Vernon Forrest ruined Shane and turned his "Sugar" sour. This is the same Shane Mosley who after losing to Forrest moved up another weight class and defeated Oscar De La Hoya again and became the Undisputed Super Welterweight Champion.
If you look at Shane's losses, to Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright, just think for a moment. Consider that Shane, a natural lightweight fighting in weight classes well above his own, was at a size disadvantage in any fight above that of welterweight. Considering these challenges, given the disadvantage, how many fighters these days take those kind of risks?
Shane Mosley fought Winky Wright and Vernon Forrest in rematches that many fighters would never take. Are there any fighters that would have fought the rematch with Vernon Forrest, or the rematch with Winky Wright after what happened in the first fights? And these were immediate ! rematches, with no tune-ups in between. Definitely "Sugar" material. A nd Shane made a good account of himself in both rematches and cases could be made that he won them both.
Shane has moved back to his best weight class at 147, but there are still doubters, so I will restate some of the questions posed about Mosley, particularly in his last performance against Jose Luiz Cruz.
"Where are the blistering combinations?" "Shane's fighting a bum and can't stop him." "The Shane of old would have decimated this fighter in three rounds."
I should point out that the statement "The Shane of old would have decimated this fighter in three rounds", is incorrect.
NO!! The Shane of old would NOT have decimated this fighter in three rounds.
Look at the Shane of old's record in this way; Winky Wright is 5'10 1/2, Vernon Forrest stands 6' 0
and Jose Luis Cruz is 5'11. Alright, those are the "non decimated" fighters and Forrest fought th! e "old Shane"
Here's the foes that Mosley decimated at welterweight after he fought Oscar De La Hoya;
Antonio Diaz is 5' 9, Shannon Taylor is also 5' 9 and Adrian Stone stands 5' 7. Do you see my point now? Not even the so called "Shane of old" did away with such taller fighters as Forrest, Wright and Cruz. The difference is that Shane lost many rounds and was hit often by both Forrest and Wright dueing losing efforts (a mistake the Mosley of old payed for against Forrest).
However, this time Shane won every round from the taller Cruz and the problems he's had with taller fighters weren't in evidence as he defeated Cruz, landing some quick shots and semi combos when the opponent didn't clinch him.
So stand corrected. The Shane of old had trouble with taller fighters and was defeated by them. Shane right now doesn't show the same weaknesses that he did then, winning every roun! d against the taller Cruz while at the same time not getting hit as often as the "Shane of old" did. So think about that. Before you say that the "Shane of old" would have decimated an opponent like Cruz, when the reality is the "Shane of old" lost to opponents like that. So, if you want to see Shane blast the combos then watch him fight a 5'7 guy and then it is a different story.
So the Sugar hasn't gone sour, as some writers and fans who excpect too much from Shane at this moment would have you believe. Until Shane fights another 5' 7 guy and looks dismal I will stay by the belief that Shane's sugar has not gone sour. And he still has the "Sugar". We just have to wait for it.