Sunday, May 2, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
This was the fight Shane Mosley always wanted.
Mosley, the 38-year old boxing veteran and former world champion, swore he was no longer boxing for money leading up to Saturday night’s welterweight bout against Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
This was about a shot at shocking the world by beating the undefeated Mayweather and cementing his own legacy.
So, after a unanimous decision defeat to Mayweather, a legitimate question was whether or not Mosley was done with boxing. Mosley wouldn’t commit one way or the other after the fight.
“I will go back home and look at the tape and take it slow,” Mosley said. “When I get home, we’ll see what happens.”
Mosley announcing his retirement would come as a surprise. After all, he still holds a 46-6-1 record and was far from embarrassed against Mayweather.
The fight started with a fairly even first round. One judge awarded the round to Mosley, making his final scorecard 118-110 in favor of Mayweather, while the other two gave the edge to Mayweather for a final score of 119-109.
Mosley’s moment came in the second round when he landed a massive right and flustered Mayweather. It was arguably the biggest shot Mayweather (41-0) has taken in his career.
The crowd started chanting Mosley’s name. For an instant, it appeared that his upset aspirations weren’t so far-fetched.
“He’s a hell of a fighter,” Mayweather said. “He’s tough. He hit me with a good shot.”
But Mayweather adjusted and the fight became one-sided for the final 10 rounds.
Although Mosley never looked like he was on the verge of being knocked down, he couldn’t deal with Mayweather’s signature defense and quickness.
“I opened up too much and played into his hands,” Mosley said. “When I hit him with the big right hand, I thought I was going to get the knockout. He started to avoid the punches. He did surprise me.”
While Mayweather answered questions about a potential mega-fight against Manny Pacquiao after his victory, no one speculated on potential opponents for Mosley.
No one knows if there will be a next time, but there are certainly those hoping for one.
“Shane Mosley is a great champion,” said Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions and who lost to Mosley twice as a fighter. “He will always be a great champion.”
Nazim Richardson, Mosley’s trainer, had similar comments. Richardson only recently started working with Mosley after the fighter left the long-time tutelage of his father.
But Richardson said he had been around Mosley enough to know that he was special and had more to accomplish in his career. Richardson can only hope he gets the opportunity to continue his work with Mosley.
Right now, there’s no indication of that being a certainty.
“I’m going to take some time and relax,” Mosley said. “I’ll think about it.”