Shane Mosley has absolutely no business getting a title shot. Sugar Shane is 0-3-1 in his last four fights, with the three Ls all extremely one-sided. He last won in 2009 against a known cheater, Antonio Margarito (His last win against an opponent not known for cheating was against faded 35-year old Ricardo Mayorga -- famed for his trash talking as well as smoking cigarettes while training -- in 2008). He is 14th in the WBA rankings, which seems generous for a fighter who hasn't come close to winning this decade. He retired last year, saying, "When the kids start to beat you up, you might have to start promoting."
But that's exactly what 41-year-old Shane Mosley will do when he takes on Brooklyn's Paulie Malignaggi for his WBA belt on April 27th at the Barclays Center.
Sugar Shane will take home $350,000 for the 147-lb fight, his lowest purse since 1998. "I'm fighting for the belt and the love of the sport," Mosley told ESPN.com. "I love the sport. I want to be in there. I want to win the belt. I'm not fighting for the money. I'm fighting for history, legacy and the family coming back together. This is a fight to give me a world title that I want and after winning it, I will fight all comers."
This sounds great on paper -- largely because you can't hear how many words he may have slurred while talking -- but Shane Mosley had his ass beaten in his last two fights. His health can't afford not to be fighting for the money. It's also curious that he'll be switching trainers back to his father instead of Naazim Richardson, who isn't up to much with B-Hop relatively inactive. One has to wonder if Brother Naazim politely declined to help him train for more unnecessary blows to the head.
Boxing fans will feel another overwhelming sense of disappointment with the matchmaking. There was a quiet fear in boxing circles that Stephen Espinoza's hiring for the top spot at Showtime Sports would enable Golden Boy Promotions to put whoever they wanted in the ring and get the fight on TV, as Espinoza's last job was as a lawyer for GBP. Sugar Shane also used to work for GBP and was partners with co-chief Oscar De La Hoya -- who referred to Mosley a "heavy bag" in 2011. Easy to see how this fight was made, but it's hard to see Mosley get completely used for his name.
But it's boxing, so there's a catch: Shane Mosley could win this fight. He doesn't have a punchers chance in there because he lost his power years ago. But Malignaggi may the the softest touch in the game, with just seven knockouts in 36 fights (though his seventh did come in 2012). Mosley might have the guile to earn a decision and should be more active knowing he's been hit harder before. Still, Malignaggi should be favored in his hometown due to his speed and movement, of which Mosley has little left in either department.
Hopefully, Malignaggi can finally put an end to Sugar Shane's legendary-turning-sad career, because while Malignaggi may not be able to cause much (more) damage to Mosley, whoever he fights next will. If he catches another beating, it'll be hard for him to talk, let alone promote.
Did you know Mosley is No. 14 contender for WBA title? He hasn't won a fight in 4 years, didn't fight at 147 last time, & retired, but hey.— Scott Christ (@badlefthook) January 15, 2013
Malignaggi-Mosley is exactly the sort of garbage everyone feared we'd get if GBP took too big a role at Showtime.— Scott Christ (@badlefthook) January 15, 2013
One last question/comment regarding Malignaggi-Mosley: does anyone actually plan on attending this live at the Barclay Center? #boxing— Steve Kim (@stevemaxboxing) January 15, 2013