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Shane Mosley: A Fan's Perspective
Ring Record and Career Highlights
45 Wins - 5 Defeats - 1 No Contest - 37 Knockouts
1989 U.S. National Amateur Champion, 132 Lbs.
1990 U.S. National Amateur Champion, 132 Lbs.
1992 U.S. National Amateur Champion, 139 Lbs.
1998 Fighter of the Year, Boxing Writers Association of America.
2000 Fighter of the Year, Boxing Hall of Fame.
Former Lightweight World Champion.
Former Welterweight World Champion .
Former Jr. Middleweight World Champion.
Why I Love Sugar Shane Mosley As A Fighter:A Fan's Perspective by Casey White
It was 1996. I remember it like yesterday. I was at a friend's house one night watching some fights. They introduced this kid named "Sugar" Shane Mosley, whom none of us had ever heard of. I was a little cynical growing up a major Sugar Ray Leonard fan and thinking - who does this guy think he is using the name Sugar? They flashed Shane's record, which was unblemished, and my interest peaked a bit. He was fighting Ramon Felix that night, and it didn't take long to show me and everyone else in the room, that this guy was for real. He absolutely exploded on Felix and wiped him clean in the first round. I was like "Wow!" It wasn't just the fact that he knocked this guy out. It was how he did it that dropped my jaw. It was a blend of speed, power, and precision that I honestly had not seen since the glory days of Ray Leonard. That night, I was hooked. I instantly became a fan.
Oscar De La Hoya was getting all the publicity during that time, and it only grew. I had quite of few friends that were huge Oscar fans, along with half the country, and deservedly so, as Oscar is a great fighter. I just knew in my heart that Shane was better, and took every chance I could to communicate that opinion to anyone that would listen, "Shane Mosley is going to be the man to beat Oscar De La Hoya!" This was not a popular opinion. Shane seemed to be going under the radar, and after he beat Philip Holiday for his first title, I was convinced-this guy is going to be a legend.
The night of June 17th, 2000 was like a fricking holiday at my house, as thirty people huddled down in my den, half of which were there to simply watch Oscar prove me wrong. The other half were cautiously optimistic, and quite honestly, not as convinced as me that Shane would beat Oscar. It was such an exciting fight by two great warriors, but in the 12th round, Shane "dared to be great," as Larry Merchant stated, and took the title from Oscar De La Hoya. When we heard Michael Buffer announce "AND NEW, WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, "SUGAR" SHANE MOSLEY!" - if you could picture ten grown men in a dog pile, celebrating like 12 year old boys in exuberance,that was the scene in my living room, with a group of disgruntled Oscar fans huddled around us. An amazing memory I will never forget. The boxing world had taken notice - Sugar Shane Mosley had arrived!
Fast forward to 2002, after Shane had already added more impressive knockout wins over Diaz, Taylor, and Stone to his resume, I'm at a work function in Columbus, Ohio. The group of guys I'm with and myself, desperately tried to find an establishment that might be showing the fight with Vernon Forrest. We were unsuccessful in our attempt, as we sat disappointed at a local sports bar. I had not missed a televised Shane Mosley fight since I became a fan. I remember watching the scroll on ESPN2, waiting anxiously to see the outcome. All of the sudden, one of my counterparts blurted out "Oh my god, Mosley lost!" I was in total denial, squinting my eyes to read the scroll across the bottom of the screen. There it was. "Vernon Forrest wins the WBC Welterweight Championship over Shane Mosley in a unanimous decision." Even after reading that, I told the group "no way, it has to be an error or something," further demonstrating my passion for Shane's career. Well, no error, but it's interesting how a loss can sometimes give you a much more clear and concise view of a fighter's character.
We hurried back to the hotel to catch the post fight interviews, and after witnessing Shane's comments, I was truly even more proud to be a Shane Mosley fan in defeat. In a world where a lot of professional athletes fail to understand sportsmanship and class, here is Shane after a tough loss, presenting himself with the utmost character, and giving Vernon a lot of credit "he's a terrific fighter." Shane handled it like a champion. He immediately fought the rematch, showing his warrior mentality, and once again, handled himself well in the fight with no sour grapes. That's Shane Mosley. I always felt as if that part of Shane that showed up in defeat would be an integral part of his legacy in the long run. True fans see that, and it is now coming to fruition. This last thought on the Vernon Forrest fights, with all due respect to Vernon, Shane Mosley is a more highly skilled and better fighter than Vernon, and I'll take that to my grave. It was simply a style thing and that's that.
The next chapter for me in my support for the Mosley parade was of course the so called "controversial decision" in the second De La Hoya fight. Once again, Oscar is a great fighter, but Shane won that fight, and there was no "controversial decision." I've seen this fight over 10 times, and yes, with the sound turned off, the winner was a non-issue. Sugar Shane Mosley!
The objective boxing fan, looking at the only two men to truly beat Shane, comes to one conclusion: Most guys Shane's size, would have never even taken those fights, or even been competitive against the two taller and larger men. Nobody would give Forrest or Winky a shot, but Shane did. I gained so much respect for Shane's ability to overcome adversity with those losses.
After those losses, a lot of the so called "experts" were writing Shane off, saying he was a shell of his former self. Even after beating Estrada and Cruz, they were still saying it, because there were no knockouts? I saw through the media smokescreen and propaganda, and knew better. You can't knock everybody out. Sometimes people fail to realize that there are actually two fighters in the ring, not one, and that the other guy is going to give everything he has to beat a legend like Shane. Shane shows respect to every opponent, even if they aren't showing the respect to him. That's rare. Back to back wins against Fernando Vargas, with the thrilling left hook explosion to close it out, sent a strong message to those "experts" and boxing fans-that Sugar Shane was far from finished.
In February of 2007, Sugar took on a slick, young southpaw by the name of Luis Collazo, who had given Ricky Hatton fits in his previous fight. It was another brilliant display of boxing by Shane Mosley, as he tasted victory with a unanimous decision, earning him the right to fight one of the most feared men in boxing, undefeated Welterweight Champion - Miguel Cotto.
At age 36, Shane turned back the clock in this classic battle at Madison Square Garden in November of 2007. It was a razor close fight, with the first half of the fight won by Cotto, and a fascinating finish by Sugar Shane, as the hunter became the hunted in the latter rounds, with Shane pressing the action against Cotto. In the end, Cotto won the decision in a very close battle, keeping his belt, but this was the type of fight that there were no losers, and Shane Mosley proved once again that he is a true warrior in the sport of boxing.
The adversity is simply part of Sugar Shane's journey as one of the greatest fighters of all time. I firmly believe that to truly become a boxing legend, you have to taste defeat, and have the ability and the fortitude to recapture the glory. Shane is going to finish the final years of his boxing career just the way he started it-with dignity and grace.
You ask why I love Sugar Shane as a Fighter? Yeah, I love to watch him perform in the ring with the dazzling, hypnotic, and magical combinations that he displays with his signature "power boxing." At the end of the day, the reason I love Sugar Shane as a fighter, is the fact that when I'm sitting in my rocking chair, telling my grandchildren why Sugar Shane Mosley was my favorite fighter of all time, I will be able to tell them because he was a first class human being, that happened to be an incredibly gifted boxer, and made me feel like a 12 year old boy in a grown man's body with the anticipation and excitement of each one of his fights.
"Sugar" Shane Mosley Quote:
"It is important to me to be the best fighter out there, and take the fights that people want to see."