Mosley Saves The Day With Astonishing 12th Round KO Over Mayorga, But Should "Sugar" Call It A Day?

by James Slater - First things first. "Sugar" Shane Mosley scored one of the most amazing and out of the blue KO's of recent years last night in California, as he sent wild man Ricardo Mayorga crashing to defeat with just ONE-SECOND remaining in the 12th and final round of their light-middleweight showdown.

But as happy as the 37-year-old former lightweight, welterweight and light-middleweight champion looked after the stoppage, Mosley had to know he'd looked anything but great in the majority of the previous 11 rounds of fighting.. It looked to this writer as though the last round KO saved Mosley from an embarrassing and utterly unexpected defeat, and even though two of the three judges had him up going in the 12th round (by one point on one card and a ludicrous five points on another - this writer had Mayorga up by two points at 106 to 104) Mosley has to know he is far from the fighter he once was.

Yes, he closed the show in dramatic fashion, pulling out a stunning left/right combination to the head to score the first knockdown and finishing Mayorga off with a crunching left to the jaw, but beforehand Mosley had looked quite awful. No doubt some will say Mayorga's disjointed style was a major factor for Mosley looking so poor, but to my way of thinking the former great looked a vastly diminished talent.

It was quite sad to watch at times, as the once sublimely skilled and blindingly fast and accurate Mosley was reduced to brawling with a man he was almost made to look as crude as at times. Mosley's timing was off - a sure sign of age - and where was his jab? At first it looked as though Mosley was simply trying too hard to get a spectacular KO, one that would put him in a position to be able to call out a big name next time out - most likely Antonio Margarito. But then it became clear Mosley was genuinely struggling with the ungainly brawler Oscar De La Hoya destroyed in May of 2006. There were flashes of Mosley's former brilliance, particularly in the 6th round, as he unloaded with a classy burst of hurtful shots. But generally speaking Mosley has never looked a more faded force.

It seems obvious to me, if Ricardo Mayorga was able to rough up Mosley and out-punch him for long periods, Margarito would severely punish this version of Mosley. Remember, Mosley was a lock to win last night's fight, and though he did, and though he eventually got the KO he was looking for, all but those in denial have to admit he should be thinking about getting out while he's still somewhere close to being on top. Should he carry on and face guys like Margarito or the much younger Andre Berto things will surely only get worse for Shane.

At least if he retired now he'd be going out with a win, and a win that wound up being extremely dramatic in the end. Mosley is known for studying tapes of his fights afterwards, if he does so with last night's bout he will almost certainly be upset with what he sees. Even in the post-fight interview last night Mosley seemed to have had a change of heart with regards to what he does next. There was no calling out of Margarito - as there would have been had he won in the fashion he felt he would have going in - instead Mosley remarked about how he "isn't getting any younger." Maybe, hopefully, Mosley already has his eye on the exit door.

As for the extremely unlucky Mayorga, who, even though he would have lost a split decision had he lasted a further, single, second, he shocked and surprised a lot of people. He is no spring chicken himself at age 34, yet he did his herky-jerky thing and came extremely close to defeating a modern day boxing great - even if it was a badly faded one.

Article posted on 28.09.2008

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