On This Day: “Sugar” Shane Mosley Blasts Trash-Talking Ricardo Mayorga With Last-Second KO

By James Slater - 09/27/2023 - Comments

“Sugar” Shane Mosley was a quite brilliant boxer, the former multi-weight champ having a superb boxing brain, speed, and reflexes to die for, and Mosley had deadly accurate hands. But, if need be, Mosley could fight, hard, in the trenches. It was on this day in 2008 when a past his absolute best but still formidable Mosley went to war in an at times sloppy, at times exciting, at times competitive fight with the wild man from Nicaragua, Ricardo Mayorga.

Mayorga, more a street fighter than a boxer, had somehow twice managed to defeat the man who had twice managed to best Mosley, this being Vernon Forrest. That aside, there was no reason to believe Mayorga, who had, after his back-to-back wins over “The Viper,” lost to Cory Spinks, to Felix Trinidad, to Oscar De La Hoya, would beat Mosley. Yes, Mayorga was coming off a decent win over a somewhat faded Fernando Vargas, but “El Matador” was now a pretty grizzled 28-6-1, and he was 34 years old.

Mosley was actually two years older than Mayorga, but “Sugar” had not taken as many beatings as his opponent had. Mosley, 44-5, was coming off a loss, though, to Miguel Cotto, who decisioned him in a great fight. Mayorga didn’t like Mosley, just as the beer-drinking, ciggy-smoking warrior didn’t like anyone he fought.

The fight took place in Carson, California, and it was fought at 154 pounds, this poundage no doubt suiting Mayorga more than it did former lightweight king Mosley. It turned out to be a wild fight, a messy fight, an always watchable fight. A fight that saw the crude Mayorga drag Mosley down to his level. Until the dying seconds of the final round.

Mayorga, heavy-handed and lunging, bossed some of the early action, with Mosley uncharacteristically lunging in himself, with him also being tagged with less than artistic shots he had no business being tagged with. There was plenty of rough stuff and a whole lot of clinching, and Mosley did appear bothered by Mayorga’s clowning and his tough-to-time approach and style. By the middle rounds, however, Mosley had settled into a rhythm, and he began landing power shots. Mosley, though, was not putting his shots together as fans were accustomed from him, Mosley instead firing and landing with single shots.

Mosley was winning the fight, in the opinion of most folks, anyway – but it was far from vintage “Sugar.” A good right hand saw Mosley draw blood from Mayorga’s mouth in the 11th round, the crowd showing its satisfaction. Then, in the 12th and final session, Mosley pulled out a spectacular stoppage win.

A Mosley combo (at last) blasted Mayorga to the mat in the final round, the bad guy of the sport hurt. Mayorga, who always had heart, got up, but with just seconds left on the clock, Mosley stepped in and landed a cracking left hook that put Mayorga on his back. It was over, the referee instantly waving it off. There had been just one-second left. Crazily, one judge had had Mayorga ahead going into the final round.

Mosley, though, made even this silly and foolish score card redundant courtesy of his sizzling knockout.

In his next fight, Mosley returned to great form, as he wiped out and beat up Antonio Mayorga in a fight that was destined to be mired in ‘that’ hand-wraps controversy.

In August of 2015, Mosley and Mayorga fought again. Both men were all but done, with Mosley stopping Mayorga in round six, the two men having gotten into a pre-fight brawl that delighted Mayorga and his wild side.

Mosley let his emotions get the better of him the two times he fought Mayorga, Mayorga being an annoying dude who really could get under anyone’s skin.