By Tyson Bruce
To say that Anthony Mundine vs. Shane Mosley was an unpleasant viewing experience would be a drastic understatement. In what has become an unfortunate and bizarre tradition in Australia, another ancient shopworn American boxing star was crated over to fight a local Australian hero. Remember when the shell of what used to be Roy Jones Jr. was brought over to box Danny Green and was slaughtered in less than a round? This wasn’t quite that awful, but it was pretty bad. Hopefully the Australian fans are able to see this as the farce that it truly is. Mundine, 38, did not really beat Shane Mosley; he beat his ghost—some kind of hologram projection that resembled Mosley only in appearance but not in ability.
Mosley, 42, after being easily outpointed by the larger and fresher Mundine through six rounds, retired in between rounds because of reported back spasms. While the injury may very well have been legitimate and serious, Mosley looked exhausted, confused, and ready to quit regardless of the circumstances. His legs were extremely weak and he went down on the canvas several times in the last couple rounds of the bout simply because he didn’t seem able to handle the pace. Mosley was also being pushed back and bounced around the ring by Mundine, who is not known for being a big puncher.
The bout started out with a classic feeling out round, as Mundine tried to establish the jab and Mosley attempted to get into rhythm by working the body and getting range on his trademark overhand right. The first two rounds of the bout, which featured very little action, were probably the best Mosley had in the fight. That is both frightening and revealing about where the man they used to call “Sugar” is at in this stage of his career.
It was in round three that Mundine began getting into rhythm and began pushing Mosley backwards and landing short right hands and uppercuts on the inside. Mosley also began to noticeably tire around rounds 3-4 of the bout, as he was visibly gasping for air in-between rounds. In round four Mosley landed his best punch of the fight, stunning Mundine with a big right hand. His success would be brief, as Mundine quickly regained his footing and resumed the beating. Mosley fell to the canvas after attempting to clutch around Mundine for balance, simply because he didn’t appear to have the legs to stand. It was around this time Mosley began complaining of back spasms to his corner. The wheels were falling off the wagon.
Rounds 5-6 were a continuation of the pattern set in the previous rounds with Mosley attempting to land something big (and failing) and Mundine applying steady, if not ascetically pleasing pressure. As the bell for the seventh round rang Mosley remained standing in his corner and after a brief dialogue with the referee and ring doctor the fight was waved off. It marks the first time in Mosley’s career that the words “L-TKO” will appear on his record.
Let’s all hope that Mosley will finally see the light and call an end to what has been a hall-of-fame worthy career. Five years ago this fight, regardless of Mundine’s natural size advantage, would have gone dramatically different. Even Mosley’s famed durability (he has only gone down twice in his entire career) appears to be waning. His long-term health should be his paramount concern now, and with nothing left to prove let’s all hope this is the last time we see him competing. As for Australian boxing, maybe it’s time to stop the delusion and pick on someone who still has it, instead of ‘cherry picking’ famous but long faded names.