COMMENTARY | I may have to admit to being a bit of a sadist. I actually look forward to seeing 41-year-old Shane Mosley fight this coming Saturday, May 18 on Fox Deportes against Pablo Cesar Cano in Cancun, Mexico. I look forward to seeing him in the ring just as I did when he fought Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Saul Alvarez.
It's not like I enjoy watching "Sugar" Shane get pummeled and/or humiliated. It's just that there's a teeny, tiny part of my black heart that still believes Mosley can turn things around and get close to where he was when he was being compared to boxing's other famous Sugars.
I predicted him to have a close fight with Mayweather and I even (in)famously predicted that he would knock out Manny Pacquiao. Clearly, I have blinders on when it comes to the three-division former world champ. And even after watching him completely outclassed by a 20-year-old Canelo Alvarez more than a year ago, I can't shake the feeling that there's still something there.
Intellectually, I know the truth. I see the dead legs and inability to pull the trigger on his punches. I saw the timidity he displayed against Pacquiao, the quiet resignation against Mayweather. I'm aware of the fact that he hasn't won a bout since stopping a plaster-less Antonio Margarito in January of 2009. But still…
The prime Shane Mosley was a marvel to watch-- Quick, strong, sharp, and smart with an instinct for battle and a drive to entertain fans. At lightweight, he may not have stayed long enough to get "all-time" consideration, but in terms of raw talent and ability, he would rank right up there with the Hank Armstrongs and Roberto Durans of the world. At welterweight, Mosley had lost some of his physical edge, but he made up for it with ring smarts and a blue collar work rate. The junior middleweight Mosley was less of a showman and more of a spoiler, but no less interesting to watch. All in all, Mosley has spent twenty years as a pro and has notched impressive wins over the likes of Oscar De la Hoya, Jesse James Leija, Fernando Vargas, Ricardo Mayorga, and Antonio Margarito. Most of all, though, he has performed as a gentleman and he is one of those rare athletes who seems to actually care about the fans who pay to see him.
This Saturday, Mosley will face a fighter barely good enough to be a sparring partner for the prime "Sugar" Shane and it speaks volumes that there is legitimate debate as to who will win.
Pablo Cesar Cano is best known for a spirited, but ultimately futile RTD 10 loss to Erik Morales in 2011 and a controversial split decision loss to Paulie Malignaggi last October. The 23-year-old from Mexico is a decent, solid fighter who could someday develop into something more. Right now, though, he's the Golden Boy property used at 140-147 lbs. when a bigger name wants a sure win that looks like a bit of a challenge.
If Mosley can't beat Cano, it's time to give up the dream and hang up the gloves. Of course, a strong case could be made that it was that time after the Mayweather fight, after the Pacquiao fight, and after the Alvarez fight. Part of the problem is that Mosley can still remember his glory days and the fans, like me, keep tuning in because his name still means something.
And it could be this memory of a once great fighter that eventually leads to Mosley getting legitimately hurt in the ring.
Call it morbid curiosity if you like, but I can't deny the fact that I still want to see Mosley in action. The eternal optimist in me wants to believe that Mosley's confidence is justified and that he isn't just fighting for a paycheck. The realist in me, though, will just be hoping that he doesn't get hurt too badly.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
- Sports & Recreation
- Shane Mosley
- Manny Pacquiao
- Pablo Cesar Cano
- Floyd Mayweather