Former multi-weight king “Sugar” Shane Mosley will be inducted into The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame on the 18th of this month, and though Mosley achieved plenty as a lightweight (arguably his best weight class, his blinding speed being truly incredible at 135 pounds), it is largely down to his two big wins over superstar Oscar De La Hoya that Mosley is going in.
At welterweight, in a classic bout, and up at 154, Mosley decisioned De La Hoya, and to many these wins, the first one in particular, made Mosley a true great. Today, in speaking with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports ahead of his induction, Mosley says that De La Hoya was, in his prime, a better overall fighter than Floyd Mayweather Junior was. As fans know, “Sugar” belted Mayweather with two cracking shots to the head in the second-round of their big fight in 2010, yet was then outboxed for the remaining 12-rounds.
Despite this, and despite the fact that he was able to master De La Hoya but not Mayweather (or maybe because of it; you know how fighter’s egos are), Mosley says Oscar was the better fighter prime for prime, peak for peak. Mosley began by giving “Money” his props:
“I thought I was too strong for Mayweather and too fast,” Mosley said to Iole. “I had too many different weapons that he couldn’t get out of the way of. He couldn’t get out of the way of a lot of those shots because I would have been throwing a lot more shots [than I did when we fought]. I would have been constantly pressuring him and being on him. Look, Mayweather is a great fighter and you can’t take that from him. In his era, he did really good. I believe I would have been able to beat him had it been a different time, but I don’t take anything away from him. He was undefeated and he beat everyone he needed to beat. He was the king of his era.”
But “The Golden Boy” was better than Floyd, right?
“In his prime, definitely I would say Oscar was better,” Shane said. “He was more physical and faster, and he had more punching power.”
There is no doubt De La Hoya was a fantastic fighter in his prime years, as a lightweight and as a welterweight, but was he really faster than Mayweather? More powerful yes, but faster? Floyd’s fans are sure to pick Mosley up on that call, right?
Still, Mosley, one of the most accomplished fighters of his time, having faced so many great fighters, and so many differing styles, has more than earned the right to call it as he sees it. If Mosley says De La Hoya was a better fighter in his prime than Mayweather was in his, so be it.