Hall of Fame fighter “Sugar” Shane Mosley fought three out of the five nominees for the fighter of the decade (2010-2019), as decided by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Mosley lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2010, Manny Pacquiao in 2011 and Canelo Alvarez in 2012 — all by unanimous decision — and although the popular pick appears to be Mayweather Jr., Mosley said the honor should go to Alvarez — even though the Mexican star lost his only pro bout to Mayweather in 2013.
“The fighter of the decade for me was Canelo Alvarez,” Mosley told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “He moved up in weight from 154 to 160, 168, 175, and he dominated. He fights all of the best fighters out there.”
Alvarez finished the decade as a four-division champion with a record of 21-1-1. Mayweather finished the decade with a 10-0 record to bring his unblemished record to 50-0. He last fought Conor McGregor in 2017.
“Canelo is a man now. When I fought him he was 22 years old. He was really good and I was impressed by him when I was in the ring with him. I really was trying to use my experience and walk him down because he didn’t know as much as I did. He has a great corner and a great team. The coaching is spectacular. They make him throw punches the right way. He has great reaction, punching power, speed. The guy is a total package. He’s pound-for-pound the best right now. He knows old school and new school. I was surprised by the knowledge that he had. He beat me, and it’s obvious that he’s a great. … I would love to see him fight David Benavidez. That would be a tremendous fight.”
Mosley was 41 years old by the time he fought Alvarez, and a tad younger at 39 when he faced Mayweather. He arguably hit Mayweather with the hardest punch of the undefeated fighter's career in the second round that buckled Mayweather’s knees and forced him to hold.
“It goes to show you how great of a fighter Floyd is — that I can hit him with one good shot, maybe two — and that defines my whole fight with him,” said Mosley. “Floyd is really a great fighter. Not just anybody could hit Floyd, but I hit him, and I’m getting praise for it.”
Other fighters that were nominated by the BWAA for the Joe Louis Fighter of the Decade were Wladimir Klitschko and Andre Ward.
Winners will be announced later in the year.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at email@example.com.