Tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network, 44-year-old Shane Mosley looks to take a final step back into the limelight, as he faces Russia's David Avanesyan for the interim WBA welterweight title, with the winner assured a fight against the Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter victor.
Mosley (49-9-1, 41 KO) is seven years removed from his last world title, but says he's healthy and feeling better than ever, and is ready to prove to his doubters that he can still be a top-flight welterweight. The doubts are understandable, though, as it's been a long time since he's been a serious contender, and it feels like we've seen this story before, countless times, with many fighters.
Avanesyan (21-1-1, 11 KO) is basically just good enough to beat Mosley if Mosley is really shot. He's won both of his last two fights by stoppage, against Dean Byrne and Charlie Navarro, and will be defending the interim WBA belt, which he won against Navarro in November.
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David Avanesyan def. Shane Mosley by unanimous decision (114-113, 117-110, 117-110)
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ROUND BY ROUND
SHANE MOSLEY vs DAVID AVANESYAN
Round 1: Mosley throws a left to the body early. Mosley trying to jab early, something he was never great at doing. Mosley's reaction time looks alright early, slipping shots from Avanesyan. Mosley just jabbing and controlling the tempo. Avanesyan gets a little left in. Avanesyan throwing power shots late, none of them landing. Mosley 10-9
Round 2: Avanesyan still missing a bunch, Mosley throws a body shot and it strays low, quick break in action. Ava trying to close the distance but not having a ton of success. Still, just working is a nice change from the first round. Mosley still sticking his jab out a bunch, not with big authority, but just keeping range. Avanesyan with a body shot, misses a right upstairs. Mosley gets clipped with a counter right over the jab. Mosley having problems really pulling the trigger on anything more than the range finder jab. Avanesyan 10-9, 19-19
Round 3: Mosley with a right hand up top, partially blocked. Mosley with another low blow on a body shot, this time a hook. Avanesyan felt that one. Mosley jittery. He looked sharp and relaxed in the first round but that's faded fast. Which is not that surprising. Mosley with a body shot, Avanesyan ducks a right hand, but can't counter. Avanesyan starting to time his own right hand better, though. But Mosley is doing OK, more or less. Avanesyan 10-9, 29-28
Round 4: Mosley trying to get closer and throw shots, which is what Duran sounds like he wants. Mosley goes low again, but Avanesyan didn't eat that one flush, so we just go on. Hard counter right from Avanesyan rocks Mosley a bit. Avanesyan starting to settle in and exposing Shane's reflexes and age. Chopping right up top after a body shot. Mosley having a tough time this round getting a rhythm. Another right from Avanesyan at the bell. Avanesyan 10-9, 39-37
Round 5: Mosley is very jittery, having trouble reacting, having trouble pulling the trigger. It's the Mosley we saw against Pacquiao and Canelo, basically. Avanesyan with a right, couple of body shots. Mosley trying to go to the body again, but he's just not that good at it, it's not an instinct for him, and he's been doing this a long time with a lot of instinct. Mosley looks a little tired. Mosley's jab is also gone now. Avanesyan 10-9, 49-46
Round 6: Mosley trying to get back to flicking his jab. He's never been a jabber and he's still not. Mosley slips after the legs tie up a little following a missed Mosley right. Avanesyan letting Mosley work a little like in the first round and a half or so. Mosley looking more than a little tired now. Avanesyan not doing a ton this round but Mosley not doing much either. I'll edge to Mosley on activity, I guess. Mosley 10-9, Avanesyan 58-56
Round 7: Left hook from Avanesyan as he chases a reluctant Mosley around. Both guys switch southpaw. Mosley once again seems to be zoned out in the corners between rounds. If he's listening, he's not then executing. Avanesyan fighting with a lot of confidence and landing shots. Mosley has the will but the body isn't executing anymore. Avanesyan 10-9, 68-65
Round 8: Mosley just has nothing left, really. Besides determination. But he hasn't been able to pull the trigger in years and that's not changing. Mosley landing a couple shots this round, but Avanesyan landing the better shots, and Shane is hit with a clean hook late in the round. Avanesyan 10-9, 78-74
Round 9: Mosley has very little energy and very little on his punches. That same sort of vacant stare we've seen repeatedly over the past six years. Avanesyan doing enough again this round. Avanesyan 10-9, 88-83
Round 10: Mosley loses a point for a low blow halfway into the round, and it was coming. He got away with some, too. Avanesyan lands a left, Mosley lands a right, Mosley's gets called by TV. The commentary is horrendously biased. Not that Mosley isn't landing when they say he is, but they're just ignoring Avanesyan's work constantly. Mosley landing some decent rights down the stretch here, fighting with urgency. Mosley gets caught off balance with a couple pot shots late, and his balance is weird. Mosley 10-9, -1 for Mosley, Avanesyan 97-92
Round 11: Mosley still has the determination, the heart, the spirit, the toughness, the will, the chin, the belief. Physically, he's done. HARD body shot from Avanesyan hurts Mosley in the last minute of the round, but he's really worked hard this round. Combination from Avanesyan. Ava won the second half of the round, and did the damage. Avanesyan 10-9, 107-101
Round 12: Mosley again coming out with determination and spirit. He's throwing. Mosley throwing to the body. Avanesyan to the body now. Round in the balance halfway in. A little trade, Avanesyan getting the better of it. Mosley tried really hard in this round and this fight overall but he really did not win. Avanesyan 10-9, 117-110