This past weekend Floyd Mayweather 41-0 (25) scored the signature win of his career. After possibly losing the first round and being rocked twice in the second and almost going down, Mayweather dusted himself off and put on a boxing clinic and ran away with the fight winning the last ten rounds of it over Shane Mosley 46-6 (39). Mayweather fought brilliantly and was better than Mosley in every facet of boxing. Let it be said, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a great fighter.
The bad news is Floyd did against Mosley exactly what a young great fighter in his prime is supposed to do when matched against a declining former great who was coming off the longest period of inactivity of his career. As noted by HBO trainer and broadcaster Emanuel Steward before the fight while Mosley was in his dressing room, Shanes body looked soft. Mosley looked weak before the fight began and even after almost dropping Mayweather he looked dead tired at the end of the second round, something Mayweather had nothing to do with. After hurting Floyd more than any other fighter had in his previous forty fights, Mosley had nothing left and Mayweather did what great fighters do and came on strong after enduring a rough patch.
Mosley never looked so unsure of himself, herky jerky and lost during the early going of any fight of his career. And that wasnt because after being in the ring with Mayweather for a couple rounds he realized he was in with his superior. No – that came a few rounds later. Mosley exhibited diminished reflexes even when Mayweather wasnt punching or moving. Theres no surer sign in boxing than when a former great fighter cant get off or pull the trigger during a lull when his opponent isnt doing anything or preventing him from doing so. Mosley may have said all the right things in the lead-up to the fight, but as stated before the bout, his diction wasnt clear and he exhibited signs of a fighter on the decline. There was never a doubt about who this night would belong to from the moment it was signed, Floyd Mayweather.
Mosley has always fought with a warriors mentality, but like all fighters who succumb to father time, they start showing an aversion to getting hit. Once that happens theyre less inclined to let their hands go with impunity and open themselves up, and its not like Mayweather is a life-taking puncher. But thats exactly what happened to Mosley. Shane aged before our eyes and probably wouldve lost to Andre Berto or Joshua Clottey had they been in front of him this past weekend. Mosley looked like an old Joe Louis who at 36 couldnt pull the trigger on the great Ezzard Charles the night they fought for the heavyweight title back in 1950.
The fact that Mosley regressed during the past sixteen months he didnt fight is irrefutable, but Floyd Mayweather had a lot to do with that just the same. Im not sure whod Id take if Mayweather and Mosley were at their best, but I know that Shane would have to be at his best to be victorious. The version of Mayweather who fought Mosley was really at the top of his game. Floyd sensed by the fourth round with Mosley standing in front of him with his mouth open and not being able to defend himself, let alone get off, that he had a dead man in front of him. And from that point on Mayweather beat Mosley in every aspect of the fight that one fighter could another. He out-sped, out-punched and out fought and thought him for the remainder of the bout. Mayweather even appeared to be the stronger man. Maybe Floyd who never looked bigger or stronger is using PEDS and circumvented the test? No – of course that wasnt the case.
The reality is Mosley entered the ring with no legs, punch, spring or speed. Couple that with Mayweathers speed, aptitude and ability to adapt and change during a fight and Mosley had no shot. It may sound like excuse making to some stating that Mayweather beat a shell of Mosley, but thats the reality of it. But that doesnt mean he shouldnt get credit for such an overwhelming showing because he should and he is in this space.
> Mayweather beating any version of Mosley, even an almost 39 year old one is impressive, especially doing it in such a dominant manner. Like it is the case now when Mayweather fights, hell get more credit than he deserves in some circles and in others his showing will be dismissed. In the main I cant say Im more sure today of Mayweathers greatness than I was the day before the fight. However, if there was ever a question regarding whether or not hes a great fighter, thats off the table. But does his overwhelming performance against Shane Mosley in 2010, who aside from beating Antonio Margarito sixteen months ago and hadnt looked special in more than six or seven years, improve his all time standing?
Floyd Mayweather is at the point now that it may be impossible to ever get a legitimate read as to how great a fighter he is historically. The perception still exists that he hasnt stepped up and fought another outstanding/great fighter during their prime where the playing field wasnt tilted in his favor. And its not like there werent fighters to test himself against. Instead of facing them as welterweights he retired. During his retirement they knocked each other off and Mosley aged three years. The lightweight and welterweight divisions are two of the deepest divisions in boxing history when it comes to being stacked with great fighters. And Im not yet willing to declare Floyd Mayweather as one of the ten greatest in either division.
As of this writing Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are without question the two best fighters in professional boxing. Pacquiao has the better resume and body of work, but dont be surprised if Mayweather is the betting favorite if and when they fight.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com