In the end, even for the greatest boxers, father time always prevails, and it did for Shane Mosley during his lackluster draw with Sergio Mora last Saturday night at Staples Center.
Mosley walked into the ring as a 3-to-1 favorite, but wasn’t able to unleash enough offensive fury against the younger and three-inch taller Mora in their junior middleweight battle.
Most of the action occurred over the final three rounds, as the fans whistled and booed throughout much of the other rounds, with the pair clinching and holding like dance partners.
Give Mosley credit for being willing to stand in the middle of the ring and exchange blows with the 29-year-old Mora, who hails from East Los Angeles, but who also appeared tired, out of gas, and arm weary by the eighth round.
Drawing upon an inner reserve only the immortals have, Mosley found another gear, and rallied in the ninth round, forcing most of the action.
The tenth round was the best of the evening to that point, with each man wading his way inside, and connecting multiple shots to the head and body.
The following round was an especially strong and effective one for Mosley (46-6-1 and 39 knockouts), with the 12th action-filled, and close enough to have gone to either boxer.
Mosley just turned 39 years old, and was coming off a unanimous loss to undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas in May.
Trying to sell Mosley now is going to be a challenge for Golden Boy Promotions, which put the future Hall of Famer and Mora, winner of the reality show “The Contender,’’ in 2005 together.
“I thought I was winning the fight,’’ said Mora, whose record stands at 21-1-2, with six KO’s. “I was hard-headed.”
In actuality, it’s really hard to understand what Mora, who found the range on 12 percent of his jabs, was talking about, given that he lost every statistical punch category.
In truth, neither was ever in danger of putting the other on the canvas, and there were more times than not when their punches missed the target.
Usually accurate, Mosley connected on 31 percent of his total punches, 19 percent of his jabs, and 37 percent of his power shots.
After a slow opening round that Mosley dominated early, Mora, a former champion who drilled 23 percent of his power punches, and 18 percent of his total punches, rallied for the latter portion, while the next round was simply too close to call.
Mora began holding Mosley in the third round, but in the fourth round, the five-time world champ nailed Mora with two well-placed right hands that caused a cut above Mora’s right eye, and also connected early in the fifth round.
Mosley’s best night’s are clearly behind him, and his place among the elite is secure. What’s not is whether the Pomona native will fight again, and whether the buying public wants to see him.