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Shane Mosley discusses his reasons for retiring: ‘It was crazy and surreal to learn that I could never fight again’

Shane Mosley speaks on the reasons he’s hanging up the gloves for good, and what it was like to have his career ended by injury.

Anthony Mundine v Shane Mosley Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

As you may have read last night, “Sugar” Shane Mosley announced his retirement from boxing this week. Today, he reached out to Bad Left Hook to give us the full story of his decision to hang up the gloves — which he says he was not yet fully ready to do.

“I had a few more years left in me and had a few big fights lined up for 2017 and 2018, and wasn’t planning to retire just yet,” he said. “[Bernard] Hopkins fought up to 50 at the world class level, and he has always been a role model and friend.

“However, fate if you will, stepped in and took those options away from me earlier this year. I went in for a ‘minor’ arthroscopic surgery to remove a couple loose bone fragments from my elbow, and the surgery turned into a whole ordeal after the surgeon admittedly accidentally burned me on my forearm, leading to getting a sick infection and needing, like, four or five days of IV antibiotics and two weeks of antibiotics at home.”

Mosley, 45, was stunned to be forced into retirement ahead of his desire to give up the sport, something he’s done professionally since 1993.

“It was crazy and surreal to learn that I could never fight again. I can’t even straighten my arm or bend my arm still to this day, and have numbness in my fingers,” he said. “It’s really sad and I have been dealing with some depression over losing something that was this important to me.”

Mosley (49-10-1, 41 KO) says he was looking forward to getting into the ring with Magomed Kurbanov, a young Russian junior welterweight, and that he thought he’d do well against the inexperienced fighter.

“I have been in physical therapy since it happened trying to get my arm ready for the fight against Kurbanov, which was an easy win for me,” he said. “The kid only has [11] fights under his belt and had no idea what he was getting into. We just finished a four city fight tour in Russia and I was amped to get back in the ring and prove myself after the decision against Avanesyan.”

Mosley told us that he wanted to get the full story out there, and that he’s happy to have had the response from fans that he’s gotten.

“I am hearing I have post-surgical trauma, causing bone spurs or something like that, and need another surgery, so I know this was the time to announce retirement. I need to make it clear why I am really retiring. I felt pretty helpless, but I am thankful for all the support from the fans and writers like you guys who make me feel the career was good and will be remembered.”

Fight fans, no doubt, as well as media (like myself) will say that Mosley “should have” retired years ago. But one thing I bring up all the time with these stories is that the fighter sees it differently than we do. This is their love and their life, a passion they’ve usually had since they were children, something they worked incredibly hard to do.

Most of us are not going to be told we have to or should retire at 33 or 38 or 40 or 45. That’s not an inevitability in our lives. For a fighter, or really any competitive athlete, it comes up much earlier than it will for us. And to have it taken away is another thing entirely.

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