I know you have all see me on television, in the ring, putting on classic displays of “power boxing” - a mix of speed and explosive power that simply overwhelmed opponents. It has been a while, I know, since that fighter was at a venue near you. But he’s back, I’m back, and the name is “Sugar” Shane Mosley.
Last time on national television I was outclassed for a second straight bout by a bigger, craftier boxer named Ronald “Winky” Wright. The reality is, that wasn’t the real me.
The fighter who was named 1998 Fighter of the Year after going 5-0 (all by knockout) and improved to 30-0 as a professional - that was me.
Remember that fighter who made his light middleweight debut in 2003 and looked to have trouble with an old Raul Marquez before the bout was stopped in the third round due to a cut caused by an accidental clash of heads? Nope, not really me either.
In September of 2003 I defeated everyone’s “Golden Boy,” Oscar De La Hoya, by unanimous decision, moving my career record against Oscar to a perfect 2-0. That victory made me the WBC, WBA and IBA light middleweight champion of the world. That was me.
Going back to 2002 when I lost consecutive fights to Vernon “The Viper” Forrest and concluding with the most recent defeats to Wright, I have amassed a record of 1-4-0 to go along with the “No Contest” against Raul Marquez. Not an impressive record . . . and not me.
The former WBC, WBA, and IBA light middleweight champion, former WBC welterweight champion and IBF lightweight ruler including eight successful title defenses. All me.
I am the fighter who at one point boasted one of the highest knockout percentages in boxing at 94 percent and ruled the lightweight division without equal. I was undefeated up until 2002 with a perfect 38-0 record punctuated by 35 knockouts. And now I’m back.
April 23rd ESPN PPV will be bringing you my next bout as I step back down to the welterweight division where I went undefeated until running into my nemesis Vernon Forrest. I’ll be much more comfortable at 147-pounds and will once again be able to execute the “power boxing” style that brought my father and me such great success. The truth of the matter is that at 154-pounds the strength and power advantage I held over opponents in the lower weight divisions no longer tipped in my favor. Versus De La Hoya at junior middleweight it was more a case of two natural welterweights meeting in a weight division where neither truly belonged. When finally meeting a true 154-pound fighter such as “Winky” Wright it became clear that I was better suited to step back down. And so I have.
My return to welterweight will be against 18-1-0 David Estrada and I am expecting a tough challenge from the 26-year-old. His lone defeat came by decision at the hands of Ishe Smith - who is currently appearing on “The Contender” television program - and Smith is certainly a world-class fighter. Estrada was most impressive in his last bout as he stopped Chris “The Mechanic” Smith in the eleventh round of an entertaining fight. Smith was undefeated at 19-0-1 heading into that bout and Estrada simply dominated. My work is certainly cut out for me.
The 147-pound division is exciting once again. De La Hoya has recently indicated he would step back down to welterweight. Zab Judah currently is the consensus king of the division with his WBC, WBA and IBF title belts earning him that honor. A fight between him and I would be a great battle between two fast-fisted punchers who carry some pop in their gloves. Judah, to his credit, has never backed down from a challenge and his bravado and motor mouth would make such a fight a promoter’s dream. There are plenty of other challenges ahead as Antonio Margarito and Kermit “The Killer” Cintron are set to meet in honor of the WBO title, and recently dethroned Cory “Next Generation” Spinks looking for another title opportunity.
I was born Shane Daniel Donte Mosley, but you can call me “Sugar” . . . I’m ready to sweeten the welterweight pot.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV