Last year's win over Oscar De La Hoya may have secured Shane Mosley's reputation as one of boxing's premier talents, but it doesn't seem to have done much for the advancement of his career. Since that victory, when he seemed on the precipice of glory, he's beaten three no-name opponents (Antonio Diaz, Shannan Taylor and Adrian Stone) before ballroom-sized houses and nothing ratings. It hasn't been the payoff either he or HBO figured on.
Part of the reason was De La Hoya's refusal to agree to an immediate rematch. " Mosley was severely hurt by that," says HBO boxing chief Kery Davis. "We all anticipated that fight. It was a natural." Yet another drag on Mosley's ascension was caution on the part of his camp, which until recently meant father-manager Jack's decision to opt for easier opposition.
Mosley, who is playing a bigger role in negotiations these days (promoter Cedric Kushner may be gone after the next fight, according to Mosley, and Jack's input will be reduced), says he's now throwing caution to the wind. Last week he was still trying to maneuver his way into a junior middleweight title bout with tough IBF champ Winky Wright, which might pave the way for a 154-pound tournament similar to the middleweight unification series Bernard Hopkins recently won. "I want that so bad," says Mosley, who had already moved up one division to take on welterweights. "It would be spectacular—me, Winky, [Fernando] Vargas, Oscar, [F�lix] Trinidad."
Wright was waffling in contract talks, however, leaving the proposed Jan. 26 fight in jeopardy. Should the bout fall through, Mosley will be left at welterweight with only Vernon Forrest to fight in that division. A nice match, but until Mosley can trap the bigger names who have long since left the 147-pound division, his name will never catch up to his talents.