“You always say I’ll quit when I start to slide, and then one morning you wake up and you’ve done slid.”—Sugar Ray Robinson
Time has caught up with Shane Mosley.
Saturday night at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, WBA World interim welterweight champion, 27-year-old David Avanesyan (22-1-1, 11 KOs) from Pyatigorsk, Russia, outpointed 44-year-old “Sugar” Shane Mosley (49-10-1, 41 KOs), the future Hall of Famer from Pomona, California, to retain his title over 12 scheduled rounds.
The final scores were 114-113 and 117-110 twice, all in favor of Avanesyan.
Shane Mosley didn’t embarrass himself. Shane Mosley never embarrasses himself. He had his moments. His skills got him this far. But how much further will they take him?
Another title seems out of reach. Avanesyan fought well. He won fair and square. He’s a solid fighter. But he beat a diminished Shane Mosley. Survivor of countless wars, star in an endless loop of memorable fights, Mosley may have reached the point of no return.
Mosley took this fight seriously. He had Roberto Duran working his corner. That old black magic can still weave its spell under the right conditions, but Duran’s juju had little effect.
If Avanesyan had fought a prime Shane Mosley it would have been a different fight. But time moves forward not back. Even ageless wizards like Archie Moore and Bernard Hopkins grew old. And now it’s Mosley’s turn. He can still beat 99% of the men on the planet in a fistfight. That’s no small accomplishment. But winning another title exceeds his grasp.
Avanesyan won the biggest fight on his career Saturday night. He will soon have the pleasure of meeting the winner of Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter. It will be a big payday in his biggest fight thus far and we naturally wish him well.
We want Shane to make as much money as possible in the shortest possible time. If it is fighting so be it. There will always be bums in the park wanting to get a shot at the legendary Shane Mosley. But a dignified career deserves an equally dignified exit. It is something to consider.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.