The four-year winless streak of 41-year-old Shane Mosley has ended, as the former lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight champion downed 23-year-old Pablo Cesar Cano via unanimous decision tonight in Cancun, Mexico. Mosley won the 12-round welterweight fight on scores of 115-113 across the board. BLH also had it 115-113 for Mosley.
Mosley (47-8-1, 39 KO) had his struggles in the fight, and certainly didn't look like he was "back," which is what you're going to hear coming out of this fight. But he was better at this level, certainly, than he has been against the likes of Mayweather, Pacquiao, and Canelo, where he was outclassed by younger, stronger, better fighters, and also matched up better than he did against Sergio Mora, his last non-loss (a 2010 draw), because Cano was there to hit and be hit.
It was a solid fight and decent win for Sugar Shane, who was reunited with his father Jack as lead trainer for the first time since Mosley's troublesome win over Ricardo Mayorga in September 2008. And though Cano (26-3-1, 20 KO) is no top contender, really, and is hardly a special fighter, he's also no bum. Mosley stood in there with him, hurt his foe with some good shots, and stood up to some solid blows in return. Both guys were staggered a bit at various points of the fight, and both fought on. Mosley, in the end, was legitimately the better man on the night, even if just barely.
So what can we expect next? Cynically, a world title shot could be within Mosley's reach. He still has a little name value, certainly more than a lot of the would-be opponents out there, and Golden Boy has the WBA (Malignaggi) and IBF (Alexander) titles in their stable. If Adrien Broner beats Malignaggi in June, and decides to stay at 147, would anyone really be shocked to see Broner face Mosley?
Or if Amir Khan indeed goes up to 147, would anyone be shocked to see Mosley as his first full weight test?
So no, Mosley is not returned to his younger form. He never will be. But he got the win tonight and will fight another day. He gave a genuinely spirited effort and fought hard for all 12 rounds. He was as good as Cano, and that means he's as good as a lot of guys at 147. Compared to his prime, Mosley is shot. But a shot Mosley is still better than a competent, second-tier welterweight. And there are a lot of those guys out there.