The Jr. Middleweight bout between former five-time world champion Shane Mosley and former two-division world champion Anthony Mundine seemed to be the definition of a crossroads fight. Mosley, who returned to the ring earlier this year following a brief retirement to defeat top Welterweight contender Pablo Cesar Cano was one might argue attempting to reenter the mix in either the 147lb. Welterweight or 154lb. Jr. Middleweight divisions where he has previously held world titles throughout his career.
The choice to face Mundine however, one might say was a curious choice. After all Mosley although previously a world champion at 154lbs. has had sporadic success in that weight class having a record of 4-3-1, with one no contest as a Jr. Middleweight. On this basis one could have made a justifiable argument that Mosley would be an underdog against Mundine, a man who has previously held titles in both the Middleweight and Super-Middleweight divisions and who is naturally bigger than Mosley.
Mundine however, one might argue was also coming into this fight with something to prove having lost a lopsided unanimous decision in his rematch with former IBF Middleweight world champion Daniel Geale in January. Despite being one of Australian Boxing’s top marquee draws for many years, Mundine was still looking for a win over a global superstar of the sport and more specifically mainstream respect particularly in America.
The bout which was originally scheduled to take place on October 23rd in Australia however, almost did not take place. After a dispute over money between Mosley and promoter Vlad Warton, the fight was cancelled when Mosley subsequently pulled out a day before it was to take place. After much criticism of the promoter, and with the bout appearing like it would not take place it was rescheduled for November 27th, this time under a different promoter Khoder Nasser who was able to get the dispute resolved with Mosley being paid his purse for the fight up front.
When the two fighters finally got in the ring at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia on November 27th the fight resulted in what in some ways could be validation for one fighter, while perhaps signifying the end of the road for the other. Mundine was able to establish the pace of the fight by throwing a crisp jab and mixing in combinations. Mosley could not seem to get into a consistent rhythm and although he had sporadic success landing occasional body shots and right hands to the head, he seemed tentative and did not let his hands go with consistency.
Mosley was able to briefly stun Mundine with a solid right hand in round three, but Mundine was able to quickly recover and continue to dictate the action. Mosley would stun Mundine again with another right hand in round four. Seconds later Mundine would answer with his own right hand that was more effective and seemed to have Mosley hurt. Mosley would stumble to the canvas as he attempted to clinch with Mundine, but it was not ruled a knockdown by Referee Raul Caiz, Sr. Mundine would continue to control the action for the remainder the fight.
The end of the fight would come at the end of round six when Mosley was unable to continue citing a back injury. Although the conclusion of this fight did not provide much excitement, the victory for Anthony Mundine is likely to serve as a catalyst to secure more lucrative opportunities against American opponents. Although Mundine has publicly called out Floyd Mayweather in the past and even though the victory over Mosley will now give him more notoriety, it appears unlikely to this observer that the thirty eight-year old will be able to secure that fight at least in the near future. If however, Mundine were to face another marquee opponent in the Jr. Middleweight division and perhaps if that fight were to take place in the United States it may go a long way toward a potential fight with Mayweather down the line.
It would be interesting to see if promoters in Australia were to attempt lure Mayweather to fight Mundine in the country. Although the idea seems unlikely there is no doubt that a fighter of Mayweather’s stature would surely provide an economic boost anywhere he chooses to fight.
As for the forty-two year old Shane Mosley, this loss appears at least in this observer’s eyes to be the end of a great career. Even though Mosley as a fighter has seemed to be in decline in the last several years, his status as a first ballot Hall of Famer is certainly secure. Throughout his illustrious career Mosley has won five world titles in three different weight divisions, including eight successful title defenses as a World Lightweight champion. An argument could very well be made that when the topic regarding the greatest Lightweights of all-time is discussed that Mosley will be high on the list. Mosley has always given his best every time he steps into a ring and has been an ambassador for the sport. The opinion of some could be that Mosley chose not to continue with the fight perhaps seeing that the fight was starting to get away from him in terms of the scorecards. This observer disagrees with such an opinion.
Shane Mosley had never been stopped previously in his career and has never been a fighter to make excuses. Mosley stated after the fight that he had a back spasm during the fight and that he could not move. It is unclear to tell when exactly the injury to Mosley took place. It could very well have taken place after he was hurt in the fourth round when Mosley stumbled to the canvas after attempting to clinch Mundine. Mosley appeared to go down awkwardly and that may have caused the injury.
Mosley’s legacy will not be damaged by this loss to Anthony Mundine and if this is indeed the end for him as a fighter he has nothing to be ashamed of. Shane, maybe it’s time…
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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