“Sugar” Shane Mosley is hanging up the gloves for good at age 45.
Mosley can look back and reflect on a fine career that will likely land him in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It began in southern California, where a 15-year-old Mosley sparred with the likes of Azumah Nelson, going on to amass an amateur record of 250-16.
In 1993, Mosley turned pro, annexing the IBF World lightweight title four years later when he easily outpointed Philip Holiday. Shane would defend the title eight times before he boldly leaped two divisions to take on a prime Oscar De La Hoya.
De La Hoya was the favorite but “Sugar” Shane was magnificent that night in June 2000, dominating the latter rounds to claim the WBC World welterweight crown via split decision in a Fight of the Year candidate.
He defended that title three times before dropping a decision to old amateur nemesis Vernon Forrest in January 2002. Mosley fared only slightly better in their rematch six months later, losing another decision.
The man once considered the world’s best fighter was again an underdog when he met De La Hoya for a second time in September 2003, this time at 154lbs. “The Golden Boy” built up an early lead but Mosley came on strong down the stretch to eke out a controversial unanimous decision and win the WBC World super welterweight belt.
Mosley’s rejuvenation was short-lived. An upset-minded Ronald “Winky” Wright claimed the title in Mosley’s very next bout. Shane would move down to 147, working his way back into contention until he lost a close decision to a young Miguel Cotto in 2007.
He was a heavy underdog when he met WBA World welterweight champion Antonio Margarito in 2009. But Mosley was always at his best when you counted him out and he proved it that night, battering the feared Margarito from pillar to post and stopping him in nine one-sided rounds.
Mosley would go on to lose that title to Floyd Mayweather the next year but his legacy was secure. With wins over De La Hoya (twice), Margarito, Fernando Vargas, Ricardo Mayorga and many more, he ends his career as one of the finest fighters of the modern era.