By Francis Walker
Updated: February 12, 2007
NEW YORK — Usually when a boxer advances in age there is a noticeable decline in boxing skills. The risk of losing to questionable opposition increases. Shane Mosley is one of the few fighters that can successfully continue his career as one of the most dominant fighters in the world “Pound-For-Pound” at age 35.
Mosley (44-4, 37 KOs) returned to the welterweight division from 154 to win a unanimous 12-round decision against a much younger, 25-year-old Luis Collazo (27-3, 13 KOs) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.
“Pound-for-Pound” is a term used to identify the very best fighters in the world. “Pound-For Pound,” refers to boxers that have superior boxing skills in comparison to other fighters other weight classes (heavier or smaller).
The legendary Sugar Ray Robinson was highly regarded as the best fighter in the world “Pound For Pound.” During 1946-1960, Robinson won five world middleweight championships and a welterweight title.
Robinson was 128-1-2, 84 KOs at the height of his career. Robinson was dominant and was considered one of the greatest fighters of all time.
Sugar Ray Leonard, from 1979-1990, fought and defeated the best fighters of his era: Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, and Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Leonard is the first boxer to win world championships in five separate weight classes.
Both Robinson and Leonard fought in their forties, well past their primes. It’s unlikely that Mosley will fight into his forties like is predecessors.
In the last decade, Mosley has proven to be one of the best fighters in the world “Pound For Pound.” Mosley was 9-0, 8 KOs as a former undefeated world lightweight champion (1997-99).
Mosley vacated his championship at 135 to move up two weight classes to beat Oscar De La Hoya for the WBC 147-pound title in June of 2000.
Mosley, who also fought both Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright twice, became the only fighter to beat De La Hoya twice after unifying the WBC/WBA junior middleweight championships in September of 2003.
During a current five-fight win streak, Mosley, in 2006, scored a pair of stellar knockout victories against Fernando Vargas as a junior middleweight before returning to 147.
Collazo was the first southpaw opponent that Mosley has fought in his entire career. Collazo, a former world champion, was given a lot of praise following his performance against Ricky Hatton.
Collazo returned from the mat after suffering a knockdown in the opening seconds of the fight. He frustrated Hatton with his hand speed and had him hurt in the final round. Collazo ended-up losing his title to Hatton.
Mosley’s hand speed wasn’t the same as when he fought De La Hoya in an epic 12-round battle more than 6 ½ years ago. However, Mosley was faster and a harder hitter than Collazo.
Mosley, although he’s more flatfooted at an advanced stage of his career, bent from the knees to duck punches and feint effectively. Mosley threw a lot of flurries frequently and had an easy time forcing Collazo to fight backwards.
“I knew I could hurt him with quick jabs,” Mosley said. “It feels good to be a welterweight again. I felt light on my feet. I want to keep myself in shape and maybe fight again in June. I’m going to keep myself tuned up.”
Mosley applied additional pressure in the later rounds and even dropped Collazo in the eleventh round. All three judges scored the bout for Mosley 119-108 and 118-109 (twice).
Mosley Interim Champion
Mosley’s bout with Collazo was billed as a WBC interim welterweight championship fight. Meaning, if WBC 147-pound champion Floyd Mayweather beats Oscar De La Hoya for his WBC super welterweight championship on May 5, Mayweather would more than likely relinquish his WBC welterweight championship status and Mosley would be declared champion.
If Mayweather beats De la Hoya, the “Pretty Boy” can also vacate the WBC super welterweight title to fight Mosley for the undisputed WBC welterweight title.
Harris Improving, Earns World Title Shot
Vivian Harris (28-2-1, 18 KOs) won a 12-round decision against Juan Lazcano (37-4-1, 27 KOs). Harris, a former WBA junior welterweight champion, was once in position to fight the elite boxers in the world.
He spent the majority of his title reign calling out everyone from Zab Judah, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, and Ricky Hatton.
In his fourth title defense in June of 2005, Harris suffered an upset loss to Carlos Maussa. In Maussa’s next fight five months later, he coughed up the WBA title to Hatton in a fight that could have easily been Harris’.
Harris’ win against Lazcano was a WBC junior welterweight title eliminator. Harris will be the No. 1-ranked contender to WBC champion, Junior Witter. He has only one loss in his professional career, a 12-round unanimous decision defeat to Zab Judah in June of 2000.
Witter fought Judah when he was younger, hungrier, and blowing through everyone he faced at 140. The only other fighter to last twelve rounds with Judah at the time was hard-hitting Mickey Ward.
Watching Witter’s performance against Judah, it was clear that Witter would eventually become a world champion one day. Witter has won his last 20 fights, since the loss to Judah.