The last time we saw Sugar Shane at the summit of the sweet science was more than seven years ago when the masterful knockout artist with a stunning record of 35-0, 32 KOs was crowned the pound for pound king by besting boxing's Golden Boy in an electrifying virtuoso performance, before stumbling from the top of the mountain in the hands of the rangy but less than flashy Vernon Forrest.
The last time we saw the former king compete at center stage of the welterweight division was over seven months ago when the three-division world champ handled the risky business by outboxing the mediocre Luis Collazo in a twelve round bout.
Now, the 36-year-old veteran encounters his most dangerous opponent in three years, the undefeated WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto. Will this be the last time we see Sugar Shane competing at the peak?
Father Time has been known as a merciless killer who stops the water supply to a fighter's fountain of talent without warning. Turning 36 two months ago, Mosley doesn't have much time left. He is now standing at the crossroad, poised to go downhill, or perhaps, climb back to the top. For Mosley, if he wins this fight, he might earn a berth to face the pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather before twilight comes. In that sense, the showdown tomorrow would be his next career defining fight.
While many believe that Cotto has the slight edge, I'd pick Mosley by a decision victory.
Sugar Shane Mosley is a natural in the ring, as well as one of those rare well-preserved legends.
He was born to be a fighter with both lightening speed and thunderous power. His body shots are devastating, as handsomely shown in his rematch with Oscar De La Hoya. His flashy combinations are a thing of beauty that have always enchanted me.
He has experienced a number of big time title fights and his adaptability is second to none. He could box, punch and brawl, if necessary, with a technician's grace. He has also proven his sturdy chin. During his 14 years as a professional, Mosley has never been knocked out and rarely been knocked down. He has won world titles at junior middleweight. He is a full package.
Although the relentless Puerto Rico punching machine holds the age advantage, he wears his deficits on his sleeve.
Cotto has a suspect chin, which was manifested in several brawls where he has been clearly rocked by some whose power was far less threatening than Mosley's. He has proven to need a few rounds to warm up and has been hurt in the early going, which gives Mosley a chance to get off to a good start and take the lead. Successive beatings take a toll on fighter, and that is what Cotto usually does, turns fights into wars. In the long run, that usually makes for a short ened career.
The masterful Sugar Shane, who is a more formidable and consistent version of Zab Judah, will fully exploit Cotto's deficiencies and fight a smart strategic fight, creating angles, landing his trademark laser-like shots, working to the body while mixing it up.
The scenario would be Mosley go the distance with Cotto and triumph over with a unanimous decision.
Zhenyu Li is the columnist for People's Daily online and a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org