Wednesday, August 17, 2022  |


Sugar Shane Mosley announces retirement

A peak version of Mosley opens up on Demetrio Ceballos. Photo by THE RING

Former three-weight world champion Sugar Shane Mosley has announced his retirement from boxing.

The 45-year-old veteran told ESPN that his body will no longer allow him to properly prepare for a prizefight and that he has been forced to accept the inevitable following a decorated 24-year professional career.

“What happened was my arm is breaking down, my knees, shoulders,” said Mosley. “My back is starting to break down. My body is telling me I’m older and I can’t do it at 100 percent. I can’t see myself fighting again. I’d have to say I’m retired.”

Mosley (49-10-1, 41 knockouts) was a devastating talent. The Pomona, California, native won his first 23 bouts, 22 inside the distance, before challenging Phillip Holiday for the IBF lightweight title in August 1997. He prevailed via 12-round unanimous decision and knocked out eight consecutive challengers in less than 18 months.

However, it was Mosley’s ascent into the welterweight ranks that confirmed his standing as one of the finest fighters in the world. The dynamic boxer-puncher skipped 140 pounds and dominated two welterweight contenders before taking on California rival Oscar De La Hoya in Los Angles in June 2000.

“It was such a big event,” said Mosley, who claimed the WBC title by 12-round split decision in a stunning fight. “I am so grateful Oscar gave me that opportunity to showcase my skills on a worldwide level so people could see who ‘Sugar’ Shane was. When I fought Oscar it really put me on the world stage and I kept on winning and knocking people out.”

The one opponent Mosley couldn’t beat, far less knock out, however, was Vernon Forrest. “The Viper” decked his former amateur rival twice on his way to scoring a 12-round unanimous decision in January 2002 and repeated the dose six months later.

Not to be outdone, Mosley moved on to the junior middleweight division where he claimed THE RING, WBC and WBA titles with a controversial 12-round unanimous decision victory over De La Hoya in September 2003. This title reign was short-lived, however, as Winky Wright outpointed him twice in 2004 to establish his own superiority.

Mosley would then fluctuate between welterweight and junior middleweight with mixed success. He stopped Fernando Vargas twice but fell short against Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto. The last great night was a pulverizing ninth-round stoppage of Antonio Margarito which saw Mosley win the WBA title in January 2009.

“I worked hard and I wanted to be a world champion and to make people happy when they saw me fight and I think I did that,” Mosley said. “People being happy and enjoying my fights and seeing that I put 100 percent into it was important to me and people have always shown me appreciation for it.”

The millennium’s “Sugarman” took on all-comers across three divisions and is a lock for the Hall of Fame. Following the recent retirements of Wladimir Klitschko, Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley, the 2023 class at Canastota might be the most glittering fans have ever witnessed.


Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for and a member of THE RING ratings panel.  Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing


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