Shane Mosley and Roy Jones Jr: Time Goes By

BY The Sweet Science ON February 14, 2012
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MargaritoMosley Hogan 15The last time Mosley looked world class, Jan. 24, 2009, against Antonio Margarito. (Hogan)

Time moves slowly for a young fighter on the rise. He’s anxious to climb to the next level, become a world champion, reach elite-fighter status.

But when a fighter gets old, time moves quickly on his downward slide.

“Old masters of boxing don’t paint epic scenes,” Patrick Kehoe notes. “They become part of the canvas. Time wins.”

I thought of that recently when word came that Shane Mosley is likely to be Canelo Alvarez’s next opponent. And my mind drifted back to the night of November 14, 1998, at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Roy Jones Jr. and Shane Mosley were on the same HBO card. No one in boxing had more physical talent than they did at the time.

Mosley (the IBF 135-pound champion) entered ring at 29-and-0 and demolished Jesse James Leija in nine rounds.

Jones followed. The sole blemish on his 38-fight ledger was a questionable disqualification against Montel Griffin (avenged four months later on a first-round knockout). Roy was defending multiple 175-pound belts against Otis Grant.

Jones was “pound-for-pound” at the time. Everyone, including Grant, knew it.

“It’s rare that an athlete gets the opportunity to compete against the best in his sport,” Otis said before the fight. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, and I can’t afford to let it pass me by. If I can stay in there and fight well for twelve rounds, that’s a victory in itself. I can’t do much worse than the other thirty-eight guys he fought.”

Jones stopped Grant in round ten. Like Mosley, he won every round.

After the bouts, I wrote, “Watching Roy Jones, Jr. and Shane Mosley on the same fight card was the equivalent going to a concert where the Rolling Stones opened for the Beatles.”

Shane is now forty years old. He hasn’t won since January 2009 and is winless in his last three outings. In his next fight, he’ll be a measuring stick for a young fighter who the powers that be hope is good enough to beat him.

Roy is 43. His record since August 2009 is 1-and-3 with two of those losses coming by knockout. The party ended for Roy years ago, and everybody but Roy knows it.

It's better to be a has-been in boxing than to be a never was. Still, I can’t help but remember the words of Budd Schulberg, who wrote, “It's heart-breaking to see a great fighter just stand there, unable to get away from the punches. Old fighters don't fade away. They die slowly in front of our eyes.”

We all know a lot of fighters who fought too long. I’ve never had a fighter tell me after his ring days were over, “Tom, I quit too soon.”

*     *     *

Obsessed with Manny Pacquiao (and by extension, Pacquiao’s Asian heritage), Floyd Mayweather Jr tweeted on Monday, “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise.”

Hey, Floyd; listen up. 

The hype is also because Lin (1) was undrafted and cut by two teams before the Knicks picked him up (the quintessential underdog story); (2) plays in New York (still the media capital of the world); (3) led a moribund franchise to five consecutive victories (with teammates Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony out of action); and (4) went to Harvard (think education, Floyd). 

Maybe Floyd could reframe his tweet to read, “Jeremy Lin is a good player, but all the hype is because he went to Harvard. Guys like Kobe and LeBron who never went to college do what he does every night and don't get the same praise.”

Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at thauser@rcn.com. His most recent book (Winks and Daggers: An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing) was published by the University of Arkansas Press.

Comment on this article

Radam G says:

Time flies, and everybodee's kicka$$ness dies. I'm not trying to cry a river for Sugar Shane or Superman Roy. They had their time and joy. Being great and talented as they were, have caused them stagnation from growing and knowing that their arses are now old. With their nowadays gephyrophobia, they need to suck it up, cross that aged bridge and be bold.

It is over! It is over! It is OVER! How many times do they have to be told. Maybe until their bodies, their graves hold. Holla!

Radam G says:

Money May is smack talkin' to promote his upcoming money-losing bout with Cotto. Pretending he is a hater of everything Asian is his new motto. Nothing more to say. Other than, Money May is just being Money May. He does anything that works to get him that BIG PAY! Holla!

SALT_LOVER25 says:

I agree. Be it by economic reasons, or by egos, or simply because it's so hard to leave the game, the sad True of the matter is that both Roy Jones Jr and Shane Mosley's time is definitely over. Roy will simple continue to get himself KO'd everytime he fights a young lion in the ring these days, while Shane Mosley is going to the same pit this May 5th against 'Canelo'. Losin to Mayweather and Pacquiao is alright, but he's now facing dangerous fighters and will become a ladder for them.

It's tough but it's True.

Roy was a monstruos World Champion back in the 90's and early 00's, whille Mosley also had his magic moments. But their time is up and it's time to hang up the gloves and let the younger guys take over.

SALT_LOVER25 says:

Radam G,

Dude, I wrote it in the "Muhammad Ali Says Goodbye to Dundee" article, but I would really like to fix things between us here in TSS. I wrote some pretty nasty stuff to you and Pacquiao that I really take back and apologize for it. I would like to make amends with you. My bad things started really wrong between us.

What do you say we buried hatchet and start all over again? What do you say?

Radam G says:

I LIED! One more thing to say. Money May is also having Asianophobia, because Da Manny PUNKED his arse. Da moola bragger/lover can get on his Twitter. But when it comes to stepping up to rumble with Da Manny, Lil' Floyd is a punked-a** QUITTER!

Da Manny can also beat Money May singing, playing basketball, making money and being truthful. And da pretty boy cannot handle it. So he is going to attack everything that is Asian and 10 things and 50 people that look Asian.

OOPS! I musta' fo'got! Da Manny can also beat Money May dancing. Especially now. Money May's legs are so stiff nowadays, dat da sucka can only do the robot and Frankinstein. Old stiff-a$$ muthajoker. Hehehehehe! Holla!

SALT_LOVER25 says:

Hehehehehehehehehe, OK!

Radam G says:

I never hold anger and anger can hold me. I'm too jiggy. And always get on my wiggy. As far as burying a hatchet, I'm not held one of those either. So you do the burying. And I will just bit off words of the man -- Rodney King -- who took the biggest televised a$$-whuppin' chopping in history. "[YUP!] (We) can...all get along." No doubt!

Or in the words of Syrian revolution-fighting Smiley C -- "Fo' Sure!" And in the words of Indiana Isaiah -- "That's all in the past. We are all brothers and tight!" Holla!

SALT_LOVER25 says:

I never hold anger and anger can hold me. I'm too jiggy. And always get on my wiggy. As far as burying a hatchet, I'm not held one of those either. So you do the burying. And I will just bit off words of the man -- Rodney King -- who took the biggest televised a$$-whuppin' chopping in history. "[YUP!] (We) can...all get along." No doubt!

Or in the words of Syrian revolution-fighting Smiley C -- "Fo' Sure!" And in the words of Indiana Isaiah -- "That's all in the past. We are all brothers and tight!" Holla!


All right, man! We cool then.

the Roast says:

Ahh, the Salt Lover has returned. "I'm back" he says. Many past TSS greats have said the same thing. #1Pacfan, Big Daddy, and Anony have come back. A few posts, a few days, a week, and they are gone again. Poof, as if they were never here. I watched the HBO card with Chavez Jr and Donaire fights on DVR, I was just an hour or so behind real time. I came to TSS to see what the people had to say and I saw nothing. Crickets. Tumbleweeds rolling through. We need all hands on deck. Old posters, new posters, everybody. Are you really back Salt??

dino da vinci says:

Ahh, the Salt Lover has returned. "I'm back" he says. Many past TSS greats have said the same thing. #1Pacfan, Big Daddy, and Anony have come back. A few posts, a few days, a week, and they are gone again. Poof, as if they were never here. I watched the HBO card with Chavez Jr and Donaire fights on DVR, I was just an hour or so behind real time. I came to TSS to see what the people had to say and I saw nothing. Crickets. Tumbleweeds rolling through. We need all hands on deck. Old posters, new posters, everybody. Are you really back Salt??


Okay, let's see if I have this correct. My favorite Roast (In history. True!) is rallying the troops. Nice. But wait! What's this? A little known Roastfact: the Roast is considering retiring from TSS

Whhhatttttttt?

Rallying troops while pondering retirement. Site and it's members have me baffled.

If this is a cry for help we're there for you Roast! We have people on stand by (How cool would that be?). Just say the word and we'll mobilize people to the outskirts of Chicago. (Probably take in a ballgame or two, couple of good meals, rescue the Roast from inner demons, etc.)
Roast, you can't go anywhere, you represent a whole percentage point here. Now how cool is that? So, when you put your head on your pillow tonight you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that you're a percentage point. There. Hope that saves our peeps the trip to Chi-town.

SALT_LOVER25 says:

Ahh, the Salt Lover has returned. "I'm back" he says. Many past TSS greats have said the same thing. #1Pacfan, Big Daddy, and Anony have come back. A few posts, a few days, a week, and they are gone again. Poof, as if they were never here. I watched the HBO card with Chavez Jr and Donaire fights on DVR, I was just an hour or so behind real time. I came to TSS to see what the people had to say and I saw nothing. Crickets. Tumbleweeds rolling through. We need all hands on deck. Old posters, new posters, everybody. Are you really back Salt??



Hehehehehehehehehe, you got me figured out, ah Roast?

Yeah, I've been away from time to time, but still I managed to get in here and read what you guys write once in a while. I'm just not a big talker before fights. But anyways, yeah, you can say I'm back, and I mean full-time back here in TSS like years ago. Thanks for the thoughts, man.

And by the way I'm still having some trouble logging in to comment, even when I write my username and passwords correctly.

Anyways, I'll be seeing you guys around. Peace!

ali says:

Ahh, the Salt Lover has returned. "I'm back" he says. Many past TSS greats have said the same thing. #1Pacfan, Big Daddy, and Anony have come back. A few posts, a few days, a week, and they are gone again. Poof, as if they were never here. I watched the HBO card with Chavez Jr and Donaire fights on DVR, I was just an hour or so behind real time. I came to TSS to see what the people had to say and I saw nothing. Crickets. Tumbleweeds rolling through. We need all hands on deck. Old posters, new posters, everybody. Are you really back Salt??


The good days...Im with u 110% Roast

the Roast says:

@Dino, I am no longer considering retirement from my beloved TSS. That was just my reaction to not being named reader of the year for 2011 when I clearly dominated 2011. I don't care about that anymore. The Roast does not type for awards or adulation. The Roast types for the love of Boxing. For the feeling I got when Leonard stopped Hearns. When Holmes stopped Cooney. When Arturo Gatti stormed back to KO Wilson Rodriguez. When Evander Holyfield shocked everybody and beat Mike Tyson. For Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillio. The next epic moment is always right around the corner. I can almost taste it.

dino da vinci says:

So what you're saying is you had a change of heart but it had nothing to do with my timely little pep talk that I titled: Percentage point. Or %, (as it appears in my files) this is in case I ever have to dust it off and use it again.

Sorry about the Academy snubbing you. Think Pacino with his one award and it becomes evident that there are powers at work that will spare no expense in denying greatness it's rightful rewards.

That said, the winners to date (Not saying you didn't deserve it, Roast) have been formidable. Hey, I say if you get overlooked for fourteen, fifteen straight years and Editor Mike tries to give you a lifetime achievement award, you wouldn't be out-of-line contemplating doing a Teddy Atlas to EM's Donny LaLonde. I mean who could faultcha? Really.

Radam G says:

@Editor Mike, pretty please make it TSS OFFICIAL! Keyboard tap that the Roast has been officially named TSSU 2011 Reader of the Year. Holla!

dino da vinci says:

Rad, I think that honor went to mortcola. Or was that the previous year?

the Roast says:

Thank you Radam but I don't want it now. It's too late. TSS History will forever read; Reader of the Year Award 2007, Radam G. 2008, DonPuto69. 2009, Fe'Roz. 2010, Brownsugar. 2011, No award given.

Radam G says:

C'mon, Editor Mike, spit it out dat the Roast is da TSS ROTY MAN for 2011 and shut him da double fudge UP! Hehehehe! He is gettin' on his Marquez's crybaby mimicking.

@DVD, NYET! Mortcola has mean game and will probably get the honors for 2012. That is, of course, if you don't beat him out, and/or the nutcases are right about the world ending on 12-12-12. WTF! I couldn't handle that jive, because I winked my eye and told 'em to shut da double fudge up, because it is gonna to end on 10-11-12, and I'm going to sell my planet of Mars to give yall a$$es somewhere to live, and a place that you can call home. HEHEHE! [Some people believe anything.]

Of course for a Radam G grand prize. I'm one Don King -- I mean one generous muthasucka. Hehehe! Holla!

dino da vinci says:

Actually, it's Dec 21, 2012. And it would be my luck to win something this year that is scheduled to be announced December 22nd. It will be like 11:45 on the night of the 21st and the optimist in me would be, "I like my chances" just as a undetected meteor the size of Jupiter hits us and drives us into the sun. It's like the gods are playing billiards. I can hear them now: "What are you celebrating? Jupiter went into the sun as well. Scratch!

"And you rack."

Any fight fan would know it should of ended August 9, 2010 (8...9...10)

Actually, I can't win anything. I'm sort of with management. :-)

dino da vinci says:

@DVD, NYET! Mortcola has mean game and will probably get the honors for 2012. !


Rad, you're not helping the cause.

Radam G says:

I know that it is Dec. 21, 2012, DDV. But the nutcases don't learn syet the right way. They like coded sameness jive. They don't know Jack about the Mayan Calendar or Jill about Gregorian one.

I'm reminded of when the doom-forecast nutcases told me that the world was ending on 2-02-2000, because in January of that year Jesus Was Coming Back Riding a white pony on a cloud. Hehehehe!

The world didn't end and the Jesus on the white pony riding that cloud didn't show up. So da dumb muthasuckas change it to 2001. And doing that year, we did get a sucka from Texas who loved to ride ponies on the Texas range and look up at the clouds. And that was Prez Bush. But the only riding in the sky that he did, was shotgun to a Navy pilot landing on a carrier. And the only world that ended, was the rulership of Saddam Hussein and the Afghan Taliban.

WTF! At least somebody's world ended. But I ain't seen sight or heard sound of Pony-riding-on-a-cloud Jesus. Maybe he got lost, or got the time mixed up or something. Hehehe!

I'm still with Editor Mike hollering out da props to the Roast! Holla!

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