Anthony Mundine lands a left on Shane Mosley during their junior middlewiedght bout at Acer Arena on Nov. 27 in Sydney, Australia.
For the first time in 57 bouts, Sugar Shane Mosley was stopped before the scheduled distance in a fight.
A 42-year-old three-division titlewinner, Mosley (47-9-1, 39 knockouts) was out-slugged, out-maneuvered and out-muscled by the bigger man in Anthony Mundine, resulting in a technical knockout for the former super middleweight beltholder in his native Sydney, Australia.
The end came prior to the start of seventh round, with Mosley complaining of back problems, something he had begun after the fourth round with his trainer and father Jack Mosley.
Referee Raul Caiz Jr. came to Mosley’s corner after the sixth, heard the aging warrior’s complaints, and all but suggested to an attending doctor during a discussion in the ring to stop the fight due to Mosley’s apparent back spasms.
RingTV.com had scored the fight in favor of Mundine, 59-55, at the time of the stoppage.
“The referee came to me, and I guess that he felt my back, and he noticed that I wasn’t bobbing and weaving, and I wasn’t really moving, and I was just kind of standing straight up,” said Mosley, whose head had been an easy target for Mundine’s jabs, counter-lefts and right hands throughout much of the fight.
“Then, you know, he asked the doctor to come over and look at my back. I couldn’t move. It was something that developed through the fight. I didn’t come into the fight with this. It’s something that I guess happened with the heat of battle, and I had back spasms.”
In victory, the 38-year-old Mundine (45-5, 27 KOs) was able to rebound from January’s unanimous decision loss in a rematch with then-IBF middleweight titleholder Daniel Geale, whom he’d beaten by a controversial split decision in 2009.
“I want to take my hat off to Shane. Shane is a warrior and one of the best fighters that ever lived, man. No matter what you say, he’s not going to just punk out. Obviously he has back spasms that got him, but I’m just happy with the victory. I wanted to fight one of the best fighters,” said Mundine.
“I knew that he had a dangerous right hand and he had a good leaping left hook. He caught me a couple of times. He rocked me one time, but I was able to recover… I put it on him. I was in that killer mode. I wasn’t going to go down without fighting hard… It’s unfortunate what happened to him, but I thought I was dominating the fight. Now, I’m trying to get the bigger fish.”
From the opening bell, Mundine established his jab and fired an occasional right that backed up his smaller opponent. Mosley enjoyed some success with his own right hand in the second round, moving forward behind some decent body work.
But after tagging Mundine with a pair of early right hands in the third round, Mosley began to fight in retreat once again, conceding during a fourth round in which he was twice wobbled by hard right hands from Mundine.
At one point during the fourth round, an off-balance Mosley tried to grab Mundine around the waste as he fell to the canvas. The fall was correctly ruled a slip by Caiz.
It was after the fifth that Jack Mosley pleaded with his son to ignore the pain of his back, but the younger Mosley simply could not do so, apparently.
“I felt that I was behind. I felt that Mundine was out-pointing me. But I still felt that I had a puncher’s chance where maybe I could have caught him in the later rounds,” said Mosley. “I was trying to set him up for the okey doke, and my back, I just couldn’t move.”
Asked about a potential rematch with Mundine, Mosley expressed doubt that that would happen.
“What’s done is done right here. We’re both getting up there in age. I’m sure that he wants to try to take on some of the younger fighters out there. It’s truly up to him. But if it was me, I would probably try to face some of the up-and-coming fighters and get my name out there in America,” said Mosley.
“He’s [Mundine] up there [in age] just like I am, and sometimes, when you look good, sometimes the fighters don’t want to fight you. So he looked pretty good tonight. He threw his jabs and right hands and hit me with that big right. I take my hat off to him. He fought a good fight.”
In his previous fight in May, Mosley had out-pointed Mexico’s Pablo Cesar Cano over 12 rounds, earning a unanimous decision in Cancun, Mex., over a man who, at 23, was 18 years younger.
Still, Mosley said during an interview with RingTV.com that he thought he could still stop his younger rival Mundine, despite being in a higher weight class and having turned 42 in September.
“The fans over here have been treating me pretty good. There have been a lot of people over here telling me to ‘go ahead and knock him out,’” Mosley said prior to the bout.
“If comes down to it, I think that I can win a decision. But I didn’t come over here to win a decision or to allow the fight to go the distance. I came over here to get a knockout and I came over here to win impressively.”
In defeat, however, Mosley was talking much differently.
“I’ll go home and take a look at the tape and take a look at what was going on,” said Mosley. “And then, me and my team will make my decision when I get home.”
In victory over Mundine, Mosley had hoped to be in the mix to face a host of fighters promoted by Golden Boy in the 147- and 154-pound divisions.
“But if there’s not a big fight out there after this,” Mosley told RingTV.com prior to facing Mundine, “then I’m probably going to hang ‘em up. It they’re not there, then I’m pretty much done.”
Photo / Mark Metcalfe-Getty Images
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org