Sugar Shane Mosley crossed paths with Oscar De La Hoya twice in the amateurs and then twice more at the professional level. Oscar retired after his loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2008. Mosley, who turns 45 in September, soldiers on.
This coming Saturday, May 28, Mosley meets Russia’s David Avanesyan at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona in a contest scheduled for 12 rounds. The prize for the winner, as decreed by the WBA, is a world title match with the winner of the forthcoming welterweight showdown between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Mosley vs. Avanesyan will be televised in the U.S. on the CBS Sports Network and in the U.K. on BoxNation.
There was a time when Shane Mosley and Roy Jones Jr. were considered the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. Both remain active while pursuing careers as promoters. This is a new trend in boxing. Across the pond, David Haye also wears both hats.
Mosley’s reputation took a dip in 2002 when he lost back-to-back fights with Vernon Forrest. He was riding high again in 2006 when he twice TKOed Fernando Vargas, in February and then once again in July, but things would soon unravel. He was widely outpointed by Floyd Mayweather in 2010 and by Manny Pacquiao in 2011 and in 2013 an ill-advised trip to Australia for a match with Anthony Mundine resulted in his first (and only) defeat inside the distance. Mosley quit on his stool after the sixth round citing back spasms. He was trailing on all three scorecards.
Mosley has won two straight since that mishap, most recently a 10th round TKO of Venezuela’s Patrick Lopez in Panama City at the arena named for his new best buddy, Roberto Duran. With that triumph, Mosley advanced his ledger to 49-9-1 (41).
David Avenesyan (21-1-1, 11 KOs) relocated to England in 2014. He’s managed to win several minor titles without defeating anyone of note, but to his credit he reportedly gave more than he got in hard sparring sessions with fast-rising Chris Eubank Jr. In his last outing, on November 7, 2015, Avanesyan scored a ninth round stoppage of journeyman Charlie Navarro at Monte Carlo. This is his U.S. debut.
On paper this looks like a winnable fight for Mosley, one of boxing’s most well-liked personalities, but his refusal to call it a day is cause for concern. Prior to his 2011 match with Pacquaio, noted Thomas Hauser, there were whispers that he was running on fumes. His performance against Pac-Man was dreadful. He spent the entire fight in reverse gear and lost every round on two of the scorecards. Afterward, Pacquaio’s trainer Freddie Roach made this observation: “His jab is in mothballs. I never saw it. His legs are gone. I like Shane, he’s a good guy, but he’d better quit before he gets hurt.” Roach, who regrets that he allowed his boxing career to drift on beyond the “sell by” date, is an authority on the subject.
Banners for the fight hark to the Cold War. It’s the U.S. vs. Russia. Tickets are priced at $22-$507. Ponying up an extra $500 above the $507 gets you the VIP package which includes a pre-fight party, a meet-and-greet with Sugar Shane Mosley, and a boxing glove signed by Mosley and Avanesyan. Presumably another $1007 will entitle you to bring a date. The publicist for Mosley’s Go Box Promotions promises the hottest ring girls.
The live telecast begins at 7:30 pm PST. First bell is at 5:30 but as of mid-day Monday, May 23, there was no word on the undercard. Mosley’s 25-year-old son of the same name will presumably be one of the participants. Sugar Shane Mosley Jr. is 6-1 (5).
Check out the results “Avanesyan Upends Mosley’s Title Bid In The Arizona Desert” at The Boxing Channel.