LAS VEGAS -- Standing at the podium before a throng of reporters at the post-fight press conference, "Sugar" Shane Mosley pinched his right thumb within less than an inch of his forefinger.
"It was a good fight. I was that close. I was that close to getting him. But he's a helluva fighter. He's a helluva fighter. He's a great fighter," said Mosley, his cheeks puffy from the prolonged beating he had taken from Mayweather over a 12-round unanimous decision loss.
"In that second round, Floyd was hurt. He was hurt. He was hurt real bad. I think that's the most that he's ever been hurt before in his entire career. But it was really early in the fight, and when you have two guys who are in shape, sometimes, you get those big shots," said Mosley, who staggered Mayweather with a right hand.
"But he made adjustments and didn't make that same mistake. I didn't get a chance to catch him with a second overhand right," said Mosley. "He's a champion. He's a warrior. And he went out there and he proved that he's the best fighter tonight."
The 33-year-old Mayweather (41-0, 25 knockouts) recovered from the second-round scare to skillfully overwhelm the 38-year-old Mosley (46-6, 39 KOs) on the way to the win before 15,117 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mayweather won 119-109 on the cards of Adalaide Byrd and Dave Moretti, and Robert Hoyle had Mayweather 118-110.
FanHouse had it 119-109 for Mayweather, who out-landed Mosley, 208 to 92, in total punches, 85 to 46 in jabs and 123 to 46 in power punches.
"After I landed that big shot, then I wanted to land another big shot," said Mosley. "But there were a lot of different things that were going on in there that got me a little tight, and I just couldn't pull the trigger again like I wanted to."
Before the fight, Mosley's trainer, Naazim Richardson, likened Mayweather to an athlete who would "sprout wings, grow scales and a tale, and become a dragon."
From the third round on, Mayweather had become just that.
"That fireball hit us. When that fireball hit us, our [butts] got kind of hot in there. It was a matter of adjustments. You have to make adjustments and you have to make them exceptionally quick," said Richardson.
"Opportunities can open up on Floyd, and that's what happened when we landed that right hand," said Richardson. "But the window of opportunity closed just as fast as it opened."
So that moment was lost and never did return -- mostly because of the abilities of Mayweather to neutralize Mosley.
For when Mosley threw the right hand after that, he was often countered by perfectly-placed, perfectly-timed left hooks underneath. Similar left hands jarred Mosley from over the top. Later, lead left hands caused mists of sweat to spray into the air.
When Mosley tried to jab, often lazily, he was countered with right hands -- head-swiveling uppercuts, crosses, and later on, lead rights.
With all of those punches coming at him, Mosley often second-guessed himself and seemed hesitant to mount his own attack.
"A lot of times, when you're too aggressive with somebody like Floyd Mayweather, he can come back and get you. I didn't want to be too aggressive," said Mosley.
"That's why I was able to catch him with a shot, because I didn't just run in and just throw a punch into the wind. So I think that that's why the shot opened up for me. But Floyd made adjustments and I just didn't make any adjustments."
And then, there were the piston-like jabs that bounced Mosley's head around like a bobblehead.
"My neck is just tight, you know, from the fight," said Mosley. "Maybe, you know, from some of the jabs that he was throwing at me. But he did a great job."
By the seventh round, Mayweather had completely taken over the fight's momentum, and Mosley, his mouth agape, already had begun to lose steam.
Between the seventh and eighth, Richardson told Mosley to "show me something," adding, "You look like you're fading on me, man."
But in the eighth round, Mayweather scolded Mosley for holding on and not fighting whenever he was in trouble.
After the 10th round, Richardson threatened to end the bout if Mosley didn't start to fight back.
"I'm not going to stand here and watch you take a beating, son," Richardson said. "I know you. I know you're cut from a different cloth. Don't make me do something I don't want to do."
Mosley had fallen behind even further after the 11th round, so much so that Richardson told him that he required a knockout to win.
"This is it, man, he's got to go," said Richardson. "You've done it before. I need it now. This is what warriors do."
Richardson tried to summon the warrior in the Mosley.
That was the warrior Mosley who had beat down Antonio Margarito, hard-hitting world champion, in January of 2009, scoring a ninth-round knockout that not only dethroned Margarito as WBA king, but which came over a man who had never been knocked out.
It was the same warrior Mosley who twice defeated Oscar De La Hoya. Also Mosley the warrior who scored consecutive knockouts over former world champion Fernando Vargas.
That same warrior mentality is what caused Mosley to essentially throw down the gauntlet, so to speak, in September, when he interrupted Mayweather's in-the-ring post-fight interview with HBO's Max Kellerman following Mayweather's unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Marquez.
On Saturday night, however, that same warrior was out-gunned and out-gutted by a superior fighter, leaving Mosley to ponder what might have been.
Asked what's next in his career, Mosley said, "I don't know yet."
"I've got to go back to the drawing board and see," said Mosley. "But for now, I'm going to take me another vacation and relax and enjoy myself."