Number one was De La Hoya, the WBC titlist, recently and controversially deposed as lineal champion by a vacating Felix Trinidad.
The first Mosley-De La Hoya confrontation is regarded in some historical circles as the quick rebirth of lineage at Welterweight and, for Mosley, the night he was truly born into the game’s elite.
Dropped twice in the second round and nearly stopped in the tenth, Mosley took a shelling en route to a unanimous decision loss of the Welterweight crown in January 2002.
A tepid rematch between the two in July of the same year produced the same result, if no real fireworks, and then De La Hoya came calling again.
Perhaps seeing vulnerability in the one man who the public universally saw as having defeated him, Oscar locked horns with Mosley a second time in September 2003 for the lineal, WBC and WBA titles at Jr. Again Mosley fell behind early and again a late surge saw him into the victory circle, this time unanimously. Mosley was dominated in his next outing, the crown wrested away by Winky Wright in March 2004.
Waiting until 1993 to turn professional, Mosley tallied 23 victories and went the distance only once before challenging undefeated Phillip Holiday for the IBF Lightweight belt in August 1997.
While less than scintillating, the decision in Mosley’s favor was unanimous and he followed with eight consecutive defenses by knockout, five of them in 1998. in 1999, Mosley was heralded as one of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound by fistic followers but needed bigger names to get his name beyond those circles.
Electing as Lightweight legend Roberto Duran had a generation before to skip entirely past the Jr.
Welterweight division, Mosley picked up two more knockouts at Welterweight and almost immediate acclaim as no less than the second best Welterweight in the World.
By Cliff Rold“Sugar” Shane Mosley is a star in the world of Boxing, but the cruel winds of fate probably kept him from being more. Star power and the affections of the public are fickle commodities. What’s Left to Prove With that in mind, let’s head to…Age: 37Height: 5’9 Homeland: Pomona, California Turned Professional: February 11, 1993 (KO5 Greg Puente)Record: 45-5, 38 KORecord in Title Fights: 14-5, 11 KOLineal World Titles: World Welterweight (2000-02, 3 Defenses); World Jr.
A punch or point though, here or there, and it might have different for the Southern California native. The Barcelona Olympiad in 1992 came and went with only a single Gold Medal for the United States. Had he been there, he would have been a favorite for the Gold Medal stand. Middleweight (2003-04, 0 Defenses)Other Major Titles: IBF Lightweight (1997-99, 8 Defenses); WBC Welterweight (2000-02, 3 Defenses); WBC/WBA Jr. Amateur champion from 1989-1992, twice at Lightweight and once at Light-Welterweight, Mosley also captured the World Junior championship at Lightweight in 1989.