SHAME, SHANE Mosley's Legacy Is Stained By His Poor Effort Against Pacquiao...WOODS

BY Michael Woods ON May 10, 2011
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PacquiaoMosley_Hogan_8It's not just Hopkins. Many fighters I talked to shook their heads and scoffed at Mosley's showing against Manny. It's not just super critical fightwriters and sarcastic fans who want to see buckets of blood who looked down on Mosley's (non) effort. (Hogan)

I've held off writing this, for a few reasons.

Mostly, I was still trying to figure out what it was that I saw on Saturday night at the MGM in Las Vegas. But also, the part of me that holds considerable respect for Shane Mosley, and what he has done in the ring, didn't want to be too harsh.

I didn't want to come down too hard of Mosley, who turned in the most disappointing performance of a stellar career. Or, should I saw, stellar to a point.

Because after a few days to mull, I have to say, Mosley did some damage to his legacy on Saturday night. Somewhat appropriate for the locale, which features no shortage of available ladies to engage in untoward behavior for a fee, Mosley basically traded on his reputation and history, and gave it away for a pile of cash. For a fat fee, Mosley allowed himself to be whacked around by Pacquiao, and most shamefully, the "john" in this sordid arrangement, the fans, didn't get any bang for their buck.

I'm not so proud of offering up this analogy, but days later, I'm still feeling a bit dirty for being involved.

Going in, I thought and put it on record that I thought Shane was shot. I thought he'd get beaten down worse than Margarito did against Pacquiao. He showed me little against Mayweather two fights ago, and less against Sergio Mora in his last bout. But I for sure thought he'd give his best effort against the Congressman. I figured, and he'd given me no reason to think otherwise as a future first ballot Hall of Famer, that he'd do his best to win the fight against Pacquiao. I believed him when he said he'd attempt to use his power to touch the Filipino, I believed him when he said, "I’m expecting a very exciting fight on May 7 and a lot of big fireworks."

Sue me, I believed him.

People can bust my chops if they want, say I'm naive, that I should have known better. But I make no apologies for not assuming everything I hear from a fighter is just hype. Yeah, sorry I haven't transformed into one of the bitter ultra-cynical fightwriters. No, at the very least I presumed Shane Mosley, who I saw as being 3/4 of the way to shot, would try to make an exciting fight. I presumed he would, if not go out on his shield, then do everything in his power to try to win.

From my seat on Saturday, it didn't look like he did that. It looked like he was there to pick up a check, first and foremost, and beyond that, his aim was to not get knocked out.

By the way, this column isn't purely meant to put Shane on blast. You read my fightnight report; I gave Mosley immense props for being so adept defensively. He moved his head and his feet often and swiftly enough to give Pacman some problems finding him. Unfortunately, that defensive wizardry only bolsters my case against Mosley for not giving his all, and basically cheating the fans at the MGM and those who ponied up for the PPV. If Mosley has enough athleticism and strength and stamina to defend as he did for 12 rounds, then he darn sure could have used a helping of those attributes to go on the offense, and throw more than 37 paltry punches a round.

No, he didn't live up to the contract, to the unwritten but well understood code of the fighter. He didn't do everything in his power to win. That's my take on it. And that's Bernard Hopkins' take as well.

I asked Hopkins on a Tuesday conference call put together to hype his May 21 rematch with Jean Pascal if he watched Pacquiao-Mosley, and what he thought of it. He said he was struck by how many times Mosley went to touch gloves with Manny, before and during rounds. "When fighters are touching gloves every round, it's a sign of submission," said the 46 year old hitter who attempts to be the oldest man to win a title in two weeks. "It's called body language." If he saw Pascal doing what Mosley did, Hopkins said, he would know he had him mentally, and would then try and finish the job physically. "He submitted early, after the knockdown."

Top Rank has taken some flak for the fight, but I'm not inclined to rake them over the coals. You'll notice that promoter Bob Arum never oversold the fight, or not beyond the bounds of reason for a salesman, anyway. He said Mosley had a chance, that he was more dangerous early, but he told me before the scrap that Pacman had a decent chance to stop Mosley. I called Top Rank's Carl Moretti to see if really, behind closed doors, Arum wasn't mad at Mosley for not giving his all, for not battling in the mode of a Hall of Famer, instead of a guy going through some motions to pick up a payday. "I don't know if I'd say Arum was "pissed," Moretti said. "I'd say he was disappointed. "We all thought we'd get a better effort from Mosley."

Moretti comes off a bit kinder to Mosley than I. He stated that many times guys just don't know what they have left til fight night. "It's a lot easier to try and win when you're not fighting Pacquiao," he said. He theorized that Mosley was trying to survive, not get knocked out, so he could fight another day. "Because there wouldn't be another payday after that," he said. Isn't that really cheating the people who bought the fight, I wondered aloud in response. Were people paying to see Mosley save up his best effort for another day, to protect himself so he could secure another check? The "c" word, "cheating" is a rough attack, I know, but Moretti understood where I was coming from.

If Mosley were to wave adios after this fight, to me, his legacy would be stained a bit. For me, for 16,000 at the MGM, for 1.5 million who watched it on pay per view, for the millions and millions who logged on to thesweetscience.com and boxingchannel.tv to read about and view Pacquiao-Mosley coverage, this non-effort will stick in their minds. On May 7, Shane Mosley had an opportunity to strike a blow for himself, for soon to be 40 year olds, and for all people who had been dissed and dismissed as a used up shell of themselves. And he didn't have to win to be seen as a winner. He just had to compete, and give his very best effort. And he didn't do that, and that's on him.

I'm not certain he gets it, either. At the post fight press conference, he didn't seem to. Maybe he did, but the prospect of cashing the check washed away any pricks to his pride or conscience. He said he it was a "great fight;" dismissed the possibility that there were shots available to him that he couldn't pull the trigger on; said he didn't hear the six or so occasions when fans booed the cruddy action in front of them; said he'd vacation and "enjoy the fruits of my labor" for a few months; said losing to Pacquiao is "not I think a big deal because he's the pound for pound king," and finally blamed  blisters for his lack of success.

If he had come clean, admitted that he fought to survive, and not thrive, then that would have spoken volumes. Of course, in the fog of the aftermath, we can understand a lack of clarity. So there's still hope for Mosley. He can come out with a statement, admit that he didn't do what he promised he would do, didn't live up to his resume and his history. I won't hold my breath for it, but it would be a nice gesture. To all the people who bought into the hype, who ponied up their hard earned cash for the PPV, or a lifetime-dream-of-a-trip to see their Filipino idol, Pacquiao, in Vegas, to all the fighters who would've been overjoyed to get the same opportunity, and would have lived up to the fighter's code, it would be a nice gesture.

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Comment on this article

ultimoshogun says:

I agree 100%...It appears Shane's goal was only to survive and not win...and i'm not buying that after the knockdown Shane was so intimidated by Manny's power that he decided to tuck his tail and run...even against Vernon Forrest, (who I believe hurt him worse), he kept bringing it and tried to win the fight...Shane was just there for the $$ saturday night.

Radam G says:

Every bit of damage that this Sugarman may have done to his legacy will be well forgotten in a few years, just as all the damage an old Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard and an old Sugar Ramos did to their legacies. No experts will blame an old fighter for gettin' dat old arse whupped. This is expected. If he wins, greatness and more mythology are added to his legacy, but if he does the expected and lose, no experts with a brain will count that later down the line and in history. Thirty to fifty years from now, the talk will be about the prime Sugar Shane, not the slime Sugar Shane. One of Da Sugarman signature fight will be his whuppin' of Tony Margarito, just as Sugar Ray Robinson's more seen and signature bout is his thrashing of Jake LaMotta. Tony and Jake made both of the Sugarman looked invincible. And that is the case. Sugar Ray Robinson hardly fought anybody who gave him movement and moved side to side. This is why he was not exposed. Shane Sugar was not fight business smart like Sugar Ray Robinson. Sugar Shane will go down in history as one of the greatest lightweight fighters of all times. As SRR never lost to a welterweight, Sugar Shane never lost to a lightweight. History and legacy are just like boxing -- full of optical illusions and the threatre of the unexpected" for some. I didn't really feel that SSM was going to fight Da Manny once the Sugarman felt da Pac-Power. Holla!

brownsugar says:

Radam you could easily say the same thing about Pac,.. he fought old fighters,.. paper champs,.. and crushed the good ones with catchweights... I'd would say that OL Sugar Ray beats Pac at least 9 out of ten times... But let me not focus on the negative...or fantasy matches... Pac had a good day against a man that has obviously lost his fire... and pugilistic desire... Mosleys last hurrah was the shot heard round the world when he blasted Mayweather in the 2nd round.... it created so much hype that Manny blocked and evaded more punches in this fight than he has in his whole career(what few Mosley threw)... and in preparation for the fight he trained so hard,.. he got cramps in a fight he didn't even have to lose weight for...But I commend Pacman for shoring up his defense,.. and being able to still learn new things at this stage of his career.

the incessent touching of gloves was more sappy and repulsive than an old Disney romance. at one point I thought Shane was going to take off his gloves and try to shake the mans' hand.

The Sugary One couldn't take advantage of many opportunties and barely threw his vaunted right hand... being content to only waive it as an impending threat...

And with the venomous old codger Arum stating he'd never let Manny fight a Golden Boy fighter,.. Ortiz will probably never get a chance to show what he could do against the PI Phenom. Not saying Ortiz would win... but could you imagine the action that fight would bring... Sadly Mosley gets relegated to gatekeeper duties as long as his chin hold out...

But don't cry for Mosley,.. did you see his 24 year old girlfriend???(Damnnn)... with six figures in the bank I'm sure she'll be at his side to make him forget his night of unadulterated shame..

From what I saw,.. Mayweather would match up well with Pac... but with all the mounting cases he has to contend with... I almost have to wonder if he's trying on purpose to get locked up? (a new lawsuit everyday)

Hopefully Arthur Abraham vs SOG will fill the void for a tense,.. exciting battle of wills and skills this weekend.

undisputed34 says:

hey guys..first time actually ever commenting on this site, but ive been reading for years..big fan of all you guys...ultimo, radam, brownsugar..heres my take: when i saw the pics of mosley at the weigh in, he looked like a guy who had overtrained..maybe peaked too early. i looked at his body then and in his previous two fights against mora and floyd, and yes those guys had more than just a little to do with it, but ive been in a position where physically you look the part but you leave something behind in the gym. is it possible that shane the elder is still trying to train like shane of yesteryear? i mean with all three of these fights, especially against paq, shane looked tired from the 3rd round on...what do you think?

now im not going to try and take anything from Paq's victory, but i think what little shane had left was taken from him by mayweather. ive followed shane for quite some time and i think that he actually bought into the idea of his chin being impenetrable and nobody his size being able to stand toe to toe with him. we all know that the two guys who really dominated him were bigger and able to impose their will on him, while everyone else shane's size went the way of the dodo. i mean, cotto got by him, but in no way did he dominate shane. floyd was the only guy shanes size who stood in his face all night long and came IMO thisclose to knocking him out. after that fight, i think floyd did to him what margarito did to cotto, only the damage was inside.

yes shane did disappoint but i think this fight says more about paq than it does shane. i wouldnt call shanes sticking both his arms out trying to stifle paqs punches while moving backwards in a straight line "defensive wizardry" like the author up there, but i am well aware that if a guy decides that hes gonna fight to not get knocked out then its probably not gonna happen. if paq is the pound for pound greatest right now, how come he couldnt impose his will? forget knocking shane out..why didnt he cut the ring off and try to force him to the ropes instead of just running
in guns blazing? i think if he could have gotten him on the ropes he stood a great chance of getting the tko.

all in all, props to paq for trying to make a fight of it and for doing what it took to get the V, but i see him losing a unanimous decision to floyd after realizing that running in with a flood of punches until he finds the leak in his guard isnt going to work. i see floyd countering him to death while controlling the distance and turning him all night long. paq shoul retire on top...theres nothing left for him to accomplish. all he can do is go up and lose against a naturally bigger guy or go down and eventually lose to someone who is younger, hungrier and can keep pace with him

"B" says:

I just want to forget May 7th. But I know I won't be able to........It was a sorry thing sight.

Radam G says:

B-Sug, you just restated my thesis. Why would Da Manny be different? Every great fighter and dey momma fought old fighters, paper champions, bums, criminals, cowards, tomato cans, catchweights. etc., etc. Why would Da Manny be any different? He -- like them -- is in the hurt bitnezz of prizefighting, not pridefighting. I must keep quoting Uncle Roger: "Most people don't know sh** 'bout boksin!'" Catchweight is as old as the game is. The reason that Jack Johnson won the heavyweight title is that he agreed to fight a much smaller Burns at a catchweight. Ninety-five percent of all boxers in the history of boxing have fought at "catchweights." It just that the fine TSS scribes are probably frustrated with so much jive here, and won't waste their copy schooling anybody. But then again, I would not be surprised to see Masterweaver Springs To JUMP TO to shame some mouths, as those boxing journalists in da know have always done. Da Manny is really givin' a ton of doubters and haters problems. Don't be surprised to see him kayo Tim "Bowling Dome" Bradley in November. Holla!

Radam G says:

Talk is talk, then the excuses flow after the show. The injured-legged PacMan would kayo da shoulder-rolling Money May in less than four rounds. Fam May knows what time it is. Pops Joy May has instructed his seed to never enter into dat squared jungle with Da Manny. Thus far da seed has listened. For old Pops know that his seed would perish in the fashion that Kennedy McKinney and Pops's little brother, Uncle Roger May, did. Whenever a Pinoy fights a "slick, innercity African American boxer," he knocks that arse out EARLY. And HISTORY backs me up on this one. Holla at da history. The only slick, innercity African American boxer who was successful against a Pinoy was the late, great Sandy Sadler. Later for cyberspace Mythology and sh*tology. Holla!

Radam G says:

If Money May does ever get into the squared jungle with Da Manny, and after Da Manny kayo dat arse, all the Lil' Floyd fanboys, nuthuggers and groupies will say that a younger Floyd woulda and coulda killed Da Manny. Da brain-mouth connect of a hater is just right amazin' and on crack and bad food it probably is glazin.' Holla!

Radam G says:

Welcome to da newbies and to those oldies with additional pseudonyms. Maybe they think that more is better than one. Holla!

brownsugar says:

@Undisputed34, nice copy,.. like you say Pac did his best to make it a fight..and Mosley,.. well.. nevermind..... @Radam G thanks for your response... I'm sure we'll talk more later... If MoneyMay can infact dodge 4-6 court cases .... he will have truly proved that he's got the best defense in the world "literally". ...and if he can get back in the ring then the true debates can begin... pc.

ultimoshogun says:

Welcome to the TSS family undisputed34, thanks for the shout out...looking forward to reading some more of your posts.

undisputed34 says:

@ Brown Sugar, thanks my man...
@ Radam and Ultimo, thanks for welcoming me into the fold fellas..i look forward to all the future debates about who's next at the top of the heap and who's the latest bum of the month...

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