The biggest fight of Shane Mosley’s career was likely his bout against Floyd Mayweather, but he had another fight with a scandal that almost sunk his career. Mosley was a force to be reckoned with in the ’90s, but in 2003, he admitted that it wasn’t all him. In fact, Shane Mosley admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, this addition would forever tarnish his legacy.
A brief look at Shane Mosley’s career
Like most high-level boxers, Mosley’s career started off strong and it started off fast. Mosley started boxing professionally in 1993 and he just kept on winning, almost always by knockout.
In 1997, with 23 wins under his belt, Mosley beat Philip Holiday to win his first world title. Two years later, Mosley would have the biggest fight of his career at the time.
This fight was another world title fight, this time against Oscar De La Hoya. The two men fought for the full 12 rounds, and ultimately, the judges gave Mosley the win. Mosley seemed to be at the top of the world, but less than two years later, in 2002, Mosley would suffer his first loss.
Vernon Forrest beat Mosley after a 12 round fight and the two men had a rematch a few months later. Once again, Forrest beat Mosley in yet another 12 round fight. This was just the start of Mosley’s fall from grace.
Using performance-enhancing drugs
According to Bleacher Report, in preparation for a rematch against De La Hoya in 2003, Shane Mosley started using a performance-enhancing drug called EPO. EPO wasn’t a drug that would make you hit harder or punch more accurately, but it was a very useful drug for athletes like Mosley. As Bleacher Report explained, EPO is a drug that improves a person’s endurance.
This doesn’t really matter in the early rounds of a fight, but in the later rounds, EPO can have a massive effect on a fight. No matter how hard you train, after doing 12 rounds of boxing, most boxers will be a little tired at the very least.
Getting tired might mean that your punches are slower, have less sting behind them, or that you’ll move slower and can’t dodge as well. EPO, in these late rounds, can allow a fighter to not be tired, and so, perform better.
Unsurprisingly then, after another 12 round fight against De La Hoya, the judges gave Mosley the win. Despite testifying to using EPO, Mosley did it in court and the documents were sealed until they were released to the public in 2008.
Despite this delay, Mosley’s career kept sliding anyway. He’d win a few fights, and he’d lose a few fights. And then, when his admission was revealed to the public, his reputation and career were tarnished forever.
How this scandal affected Shane Mosley’s reputation
Bleacher Report said that Mosley’s reputation, before this scandal, was squeaky clean. There wasn’t a great reason to dislike him, but after he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, the flood gates blew open. Nowadays, every single one of Mosley’s wins have an asterisk on them for boxing fans.
On the official record, he may have won those fights fair and square, but since he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, nobody knows if he actually was fighting fair.
Plus, any time that Mosley was mentioned after the scandal became public, reporters almost always talked about or asked about it. Mosley denied that he knew they were performance-enhancing drugs when he used them, but he admitted to using them regardless.
That said, ESPN wrote that, when Mayweather’s team was negotiating with Mosley’s team, they made sure to ask for more strict drug tests. It’s normal for boxers to do random urine tests, but Mayweather wanted random blood tests as well. Mosley agreed and the two men fought for 12 rounds, with Mayweather getting the win.