By Lamar Sparkman
Shane Mosley will be returning to the ring tonight Sept 18th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles live on HBO pay-per-view to face the “The Latin Snake” Sergio Mora a little over 3 months after his one sided loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. This is a very quick turnaround for a fighter who turned 39 on Sept. 7th and looked every bit his age in the middle to late rounds in that fight, admitting afterward that he couldn’t let his punches go. Mora (22-1-1, 6 ko‘s), a former super welterweight belt holder best known for winning season one of the reality show “The Contender” could give Mosley another tough night.
After the one sided loss to Mayweather many thought Mosley (46-6, 39 ko’s) would consider retirement or at least take a break and asses his future but the future hall of famer was back in the gym a week later training and working out so when the chance to face Mora was presented he accepted. The bout will be contested at super welterweight (154lbs), a weight class Mosley has campaigned in before but Mora is coming down from middleweight and is naturally the bigger man.
Stylistically this fight is all wrong for Shane, he’s typically had trouble with fighters who move around and box instead of coming straight at him especially in the later part of his career. Also at 6’ foot, Mora’s height and reach could pose problems for the 5’9 Mosley like the late Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright; both fighters gave Shane trouble and beat him twice. If Mora uses his jab, slick movement and doesn’t allow Shane to set up his big punches he could get up on the scorecards and it could be a long night.
Other than Vernon Forrest who Mora beat to win a belt at super welterweight which he lost in a rematch, there aren’t any significant wins on his record compared to the list of top name opponents Mosley’s faced in his career so experience and veteran savvy could carry Mosley but he has to be more active and tie up to conserve energy because at 29 Sergio is 10 years younger which could be a factor in the late rounds. Mentally I wonder if his last fight, which was the worst performance in his career is still lingering in his mind as he’s had to answer countless questions about what happened. He’s been adamant that “it just wasn’t my night is all…the fight just didn’t go my way, the way I thought it would you just move on and hope to be better the next time.” Just like before the Margarito fight, many believe age has finally caught up to him and the speed and quickness that made him great in his prime has left.
This fight will answer those questions and will probably determine if Sugar Shane still has something to offer. As much as Mora needs this victory to become respected as an elite fighter and shrug off the contender label by beating a marquee name, Mosley needs this fight just as bad to prove to himself that he can still compete on the elite level. For weeks Sergio has said beating Forrest was a big accomplishment but this would be his coming out party. A win would definitely propel his career and that’s why I think this fight has the making of being a lot better than initially thought when it was first announced. Also both fighters are fighting at home with Mora being from East L.A. and Mosley from nearby Pomona, you have to think at some point both fighters who are known to fight with there hearts will be enticed by the crowd to stand and trade. My mind says Shane wins a close decision but my heart is telling me that Sergio will have just enough to pull off the upset. The good thing about this sport is that all the questions will be answered and the ring doesn’t lie.
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