Today, the ten-year anniversary of Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Shane Mosley, boxing fans continue to reminisce about the non-title welterweight super fight that so nearly resulted in the first ever Mayweather defeat.

The outcome of the bout eventually decided by a wide unanimous decision in favour of ‘Money’ (119-109, 119-109, 118–110), it looked in a couple of moments on the evening of 1st May 2010, that the contest wouldn’t last that long.

Competing before a packed MGM Grand Garden Arena 15,000 strong crowd, both athletes entered the ring with fierce records and the world watching eagerly. The added ringside pressure of Muhammed Ali, Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya contributed to a great night of boxing.

Ring Magazine’s second-best pound-for-pound boxer in the world (Mayweather) versus their third best on the pound-for-pound list (Mosley), the former may have had the age advantage, but the latter was a dangerous opponent, as he proved in round two.

Pre-fight comparisons drawn to when Sugar Ray Leonard stopped Thomas Hearns in 1981, ‘Sugar Shane’ looked determined to make history as he took Mayweather by storm in the opening six minutes.

Quicker and more powerful as he flew out of the blocks, Mosley threw all that he had, hurting one of boxing’s greatest of all time. Throwing shots to the body, the underdog teed up his opponent for two famous right-handed blows to the head. Loosening up and timing his first well, Mosley jabbed to the stomach and then targeted the chin. Mayweather was stunned and desperately hung on to Mosley’s arm to prevent further punishment. Less than 60 seconds later, Mosely connected again, this time with a looping right hand forcing Mayweather’s knees to buckle, the favourite lost balance as ‘Sugar’ threw a second right hand. Although not so clean, Mayweather was in serious trouble as he entered round three.

By remaining on his feet, however, ‘Pretty Boy’ recovered from the onslaught, bouncing back with faster, more precise and stronger combinations, a powerful right hand in the fourth round signalling the beginning of the end for Mosley. Punch statistics exhibited the dominance shown by Mayweather, who landed 208 of his 477 punches. Mosley managed to land 92 of his 452 thrown.

A toe-to-toe battle that was ultimately dominated by Mayweather, a knockout may not have been on the cards but ‘Money’, even if only early on, displayed vulnerability – a trait rarely showcased by an almost faultless fighter.

Generating $78.3 million in revenue, the fight earnt both boxers a small fortune. Not bad for a bout that only went ahead because of the consequences of an earthquake in Haiti.

Initially, Mosley was scheduled to face Andre Berto for a WBC and WBA Welterweight title unification bout. The event was cancelled just 12 days before fight night after Berto lost several family members in the 2010 Haiti earthquake disaster. This in turn sparked negotiations between teams Mosley and Mayweather, ‘Sugar’ back in the ring after 15 months out.

Writing themselves into the history books, not only for a thrilling contest but by agreeing to Olympic-style drug testing rules – the first fight ever to go under such conditions in the United States – both men were catalysts for change in the sport.

The two Americans now retired from boxing and with incredible careers behind them, the stage that they shared billed as “Who R U Picking?” remains one of the most exciting fights in recent years.

The late Roger Mayweather exclaimed post-bout that: “Mayweather boxed his ass off, and the fight wasn’t even close.”

Previously beaten by both Mayweather and Mosley, promoter for the event Oscar De La Hoya summarised the spectacle and said:

“We have to really respect what we have just witnessed. Mayweather fought Shane Mosely, which was supposed to be the most dangerous fight of his career, and he showed us why he is the best.”

A battle of brilliance between two elites, boxing fans can only hope to watch another fight of that calibre soon!

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Noah Abrahams articles

 

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