Shane Mosley, who hasn’t fought since a May 2016 loss to David Avanesyan, has officially announced his retirement at age 45, after a 23-year pro boxing career.
"I decided that I'm older now. I'm not the same as I used to be, so I need to let it go as far as me trying to compete as a fighter anymore," Mosley told ESPN. "I'm definitely always going to be around boxing. I'll still go to the gym and show people stuff, help them out. I still love boxing. It's still my life but just not as a fighter anymore."
Mosley first announced a retirement back in 2012, when he was 40, following a devastatingly one-sided loss to Canelo Alvarez. I even wrote a career retrospective of Mosley, one of my favorite fighters of all-time and one of the key men responsible for making me a boxing fan in the first place.
But Mosley fought on. He went to Mexico to edge past Pablo Cesar Cano in May 2013, then went to Australia and was stopped for the first and only time in his career six months later, when his body simply gave out on him. He again announced a retirement in December 2013, but once again, he returned.
Mosley didn’t fight again until August 2015, when he beat Ricardo Mayorga in something of a sad rematch, where an in-shape Mosley battered a flabby Mayorga for six rounds before knocking him out.
Mosley beat Patrick Lopez in Panama in December 2015, then lost to Avanesyan in an interim WBA welterweight title bout. It was another tough showing for a once-great fighter, a man who was a dynamite lightweight, top welterweight, and strong junior middleweight contender. He won titles at those three weight classes in his career, which started in 1993.
Recently, Mosley had intended to fight Magomed Kurbanov in Russia, but injuries pushed the fight back, and ultimately canceled it.
"What happened was my arm is breaking down, my knees, shoulders," he said. "My back is starting to break down. My body is telling me I'm older and I can't do it at 100 percent. I can't see myself fighting again. I'd have to say I'm retired."
The two biggest wins of Mosley’s career came in 2000 and 2003, when he beat Oscar De La Hoya in a pair of controversial decisions. He also scored a notable upset in 2009 against Antonio Margarito, a fight where he was considered a massive underdog and washed up by many after a mediocre showing against Mayorga, a fight he won via literal last second knockout in 2008. Mosley battered Margarito in January 2009, a fight best remembered for the handwrap controversy surrounding Margarito before the fight.
That bout led to Mosley finally landing a desired showdown with Floyd Mayweather, where he hurt Mayweather early before being dominated the rest of the bout. The Margarito bout, it turned out, was really his last stand as a top fighter.
After losing to Mayweather, he went to a draw with Sergio Mora in a miserable fight in September 2010, then lost badly to Manny Pacquiao in 2011, a fight where Mosley didn’t even look remotely competitive. A year later he lost to Alvarez, and the writing was on the wall.
But like many before him and more who are still to come, Mosley fought on past his sell-by date. It’s not anything that should really affect his legacy, at least not in my view — his prime was tremendous, and he was at one point one of the best fighters on the planet, period.
His Hall of Fame case is open-and-shut in some ways, but there will surely be at least some questions about his PED usage as part of the BALCO scandal with Victor Conte, something he’s admitted to, though he has always said that he didn’t knowingly use banned substances.
How will you remember Shane Mosley now that his career is — hopefully — at its end?