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Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs Shane Mosley: Don't Sleep on the Sugar

Joseph Herron Updated
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In a fight that has most boxing pundits shaking their collective heads with disapproval, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs) has been slated to defend his WBC Junior Middleweight title against future first-ballot Hall of Famer "Sugar" Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) on the undercard of the big Mayweather/Cotto card on May 5th in Las Vegas, NV.

Does the boxing faithful have sufficient reason to believe Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs 'Sugar' Shane Mosley will not live up to its already low expectations?

Shane Mosley is a three division world champion who has never been stopped in 55 professional bouts. He's only won two fights in his previous six attempts, but his last three losses have been against much more formidable opposition than a very inexperienced 'Canelo' Alvarez.  Shane dropped decisions to Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and Manny Pacquiao...no shame in losing to three of the best fighters of this generation.

Are most fight fans unfairly discounting Shane Mosley's chances at pulling off the seemingly improbable upset?

Although the 40 year old ring veteran showed his age in his most recent loss at the hands of Manny Pacquiao by ostensibly conceding to defeat, Mosley has, in fact, faced 10 world champions in his last 18 bouts.

Mosley has signature victories over Oscar De La Hoya, Fernando Vargas, Ricardo Mayorga, and Antonio Margarito; Shane is no stranger to facing larger opposition. Although Mosley hasn't shown very much success fighting at the Junior Middleweight level, his ring experience and solid beard could pose serious problems for 'Canelo' Alvarez in this fight.

Pictured: Shane Mosley, left, lands a left jab to Antonio Margarito's face
Courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions


The California resident has a willingness to sit in the pocket and fight most opponents, which could affect the younger Alvarez mentally in a negative way if he isn't seeing much success throughout the early rounds of the big PPV bout.

Mosley is a superb counterpuncher and Saul Alvarez has shown on numerous occasions that he is indeed susceptible to the right hand counter. He displayed an ability to strategically tie up an opponent to disrupt their rhythm and timing in his last big victory against the heavily favored Antonio Margarito.

Obviously, Canelo will be the favorite going into a fight with Sugar Shane, but will the pressure of being the overwhelmingly preferred fighter play against the young 21 year old WBC Champion?

An opponent like Mosley at this stage in his career is a very "high risk, low reward" assignment.

If Canelo breezes through Mosley with relative ease and becomes the first man to stop the 40 year old fighter, fight scribes will more than likely attribute Saul's success to facing a shop worn and over the hill combatant.

If Saul Alvarez has stylistic trouble winning a decision against the wily three division world champion, most pundits and ringside observers will begin to question the abilities of the Mexican favorite.

This fight realistically has no upside for the younger and less experienced champion.

Make no mistake about this; a fight with a future Hall of Famer like Sugar Shane Mosley is always a very dangerous task.  Mosley has defied the odds before in big wins over Luis Callazo in October of 2007 and more recently against Antonio Margarito in January of 2009. 

He relishes the idea of fighting on the biggest stage of boxing and welcomes the idea of overturning the proverbial apple cart.

But at the tender age of 40, can Mosley defy odds and turn back the clock one final time against Saul Alvarez, a much younger and stronger champion?

In the theater of the unexpected that is the Sweet Science, one just never knows.

I guess that's why they fight the fights.

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