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Alvarez vs Mosley "Doesn't Pass the Smell Test," Says Larry Merchant

Shane Mosley is being considered for a fight with Canelo Alvarez. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Shane Mosley is being considered for a fight with Canelo Alvarez. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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In an interview with Chris Robinson of the Examiner, HBO Sports commentator Larry Merchant says that he's got no desire to see a fight between Canelo Alvarez and 40-year-old Shane Mosley:

"I’m not surprised that he wants to keep fighting. Why would anyone be surprised about an older, aging fighter wanting to keep fighting? ... I am surprised to see his name mentioned for Alvarez, because it doesn’t pass the smell test. Especially since he left Golden Boy to fight Pacquiao. He gave up his interest in Golden Boy. So I’m not sure that would happen."

... "I’ve been the biggest fan of Shane over the years but my attitude about him is the way it is about other once-top fighters who keep going; it’s their right to keep going and it’s my right not to want to see them."

Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KO) has had a rough three years since beating Antonio Margarito in July 2009, as age and reality have set in, and it's worth noting also that this isn't exactly new -- we have not just now seen Shane Mosley decline. Prior to defeating Margarito, Mosley had fought and struggled with a version of Ricardo Mayorga who was also well past his best and brought little to the table.

It's often easy to forget during a fighter's downtime what they've recently done, so let's seriously go back and look over Mosley's last five fights, dating back to September 2008:

  1. Struggled with Mayorga, winning in dramatic fashion. Some felt he was finally getting too old. Mosley looked inattentive and lost during the fight.
  2. Beat up Margarito, a stunner in the linked recap, less so with hindsight (which by the way, is incredibly valuable). Margarito walked into the ring mentally shell-shocked. Also, Margarito has really not done anything since getting caught with loaded wraps and having Mosley smack him around.
  3. Had a good round against Mayweather. Lost the other 11, and by the latter stages of the fight, looked totally lost -- I mean totally lost, with a blank stare that said it all.
  4. Stunk out the ring and your TV against Sergio Mora, coming out with a draw in one of the worst fights of 2010.
  5. Pacquiao completely dominated him, even with Manny looking a little slowed down himself. Mosley could not pull the trigger, was booed during and after the fight (as was the crappy fight itself), and it was a third straight miserable performance.

These are not new criticisms. After the Mora fight, I said this:

He was jerky offensively, couldn't pull the trigger, and had enormous trouble finding Mora. I kept giving him rounds because at some point, he'd usually land something -- anything -- and that was more than Sergio Mora was doing. Mosley was the aggressor almost every second of this fight.

As a fan, I just don't care to ever see Sergio Mora fight again. Also as a fan, I honestly don't care to ever see Shane Mosley fight again. HBO's Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant were very much pro-Mosley after the fight, hoping to see him in another big fight, and all but openly praying that this draw in this clunker of a boxing match wouldn't ruin that possibility.

I am a huge Shane Mosley fan, and I've got no interest in seeing a visibly worn-out, old, and tired Shane Mosley get in the ring with Andre Berto or Manny Pacquiao or anyone. I know how those fights end at this point, and it's not pretty. Shane Mosley has taken a lot of damage over his Hall of Fame-bound career. The time to get out is now. I don't mean to knock Mora when I say this, but if Shane Mosley can't convince three ringside judges -- no matter their experience level -- that he won a fight with Sergio Mora, it's time to hang it up.

After the Pacquiao debacle, these were my thoughts:

Mosley, on the other hand, was toast and it was clear from the third round on. The first round was close, and I gave Mosley a round later in the fight that Pacquiao coasted through in some respects.

Let me make this clear: Shane Mosley is 39 years old and needs to retire. There is nothing more for this once-great fighter, a very proud man, to accomplish in boxing. After the fight, Mosley was completely in denial about his performance, and still claimed that he can "get in with younger guys and do (his) thing." He quite obviously cannot. He's 0-2-1 in his last three, and while two of those fights came against the two best in boxing, he wasn't close against either of them.

Mosley needing to get out of the game is something I've firmly believed for over a year now. I don't need to see him make jerky motions at Canelo Alvarez to tell you that he can't beat Canelo Alvarez anymore. I didn't need to see Kermit Cintron come put in a non-effort to tell you that he'd go put in a non-effort and get stopped, either.

As for Merchant wondering if it would happen, I say sure it would. Mosley has said recently that Golden Boy has reached out for a Canelo fight; given that Shane has no interest in GBP anymore, he's back to being "just a fighter," and one that I'm sure Golden Boy would have no more problems exploiting than any other promoter might for the right amount of money. Boxing eats its fighters -- Shane Mosley is an expired product who might have a few drops of blood worth of name value left to beat out of him, and if he does, and he wants to fight, someone will find a way to beat it out of him.

Alvarez is due back in the ring on April 21.

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