By Buster Paris, howiGit Boxing Writer, Boston, MA
It’s being billed as a super fight. It’ll be on Showtime Pay-Per-View. Millions will be watching around the world – and in the end, it will just be … eh … ok.
Saturday, May 7th, 2011 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada – Manny Pacquiao (52W, 3L & 2D) will be facing “Sugar” Shane Mosley (46W, 6L & 1D) for the WBO Welterweight (147 lbs) title.
The fight will be very interesting in the first three or four rounds, but only interesting for those rounds. Here are two solid reasons why:
1. We’ll be discovering which Shane Mosley has shown up – will it be the one who beat the ever-loving snot out of Antonio Margarito, who at the time was perceived as a savage and brutally barbaric ass-kicking monster – or will it be the Shane Mosley who couldn’t beat the diminishing bravado and fermenting Sergio Mora?
2. We’ll see Manny Pacquiao being faced with something he’s never been faced with before — a black fighter. Check out this article for more background if you’re interested, but the 2 cent version is that Bernard Hopkins (in November of 2010) brought to our attention that Manny hasn’t faced the styling’s of a black fighter, and that due to “that style”, a black fighter would be successful in beating Manny Pacquiao “…the styles that African-American fighters—and I mean, black fighters from the streets or the inner cities—would be successful. “
Those two points above are intriguing. We’re also seeing two legends about to go to toe to toe, and that’s clearly capturing an excitement, however there are groups of fans that think this is just not an exciting fight and not an exciting match up. Even some fighters see it that way.
Jimmy Lubash, a talented and scrappy middleweight from Pittsburgh, PA (14W & 2L) says of the Pacquiao Mosley match up:
“I have a lot of respect for Mosley. I do not like this match up. I am interested in seeing another fighter give Pacquiao a serious challenge. Mosley doesn’t have what it takes anymore to compete against Pac’s caliber. Pac is an animal, Pacquiao by knockout in under 8 rounds.”
Coyote Duran, Managing Editor at MaxBoxing.com, as usual has some great insight:
“When I first heard Manny Pacquiao was defending a welterweight title against Shane Mosley, a fighter who’s unquestionably given us so much great action and so many terrific moments in the ring, I had to laugh. It’s a sobering consideration but this is also the same Mosley who couldn’t squeak out a win over Sergio Mora and failed to capitalize on a brief advantage over Floyd Mayweather, one fight prior. Granted, Mosley has only fought three times in two years but hasn’t actually won a fight in two years, so for this, he gets a shot at an alleged “world title”? Ohhhhhh-KAY…”
Duran has two points that should get you nodding your head and saying “oh ya, what up with that?”
The failure of Mosley to capitalize when he had Mayweather hurt AND within 4 months after that he couldn’t “squeak out a win over Sergio Mora.”
Shane’s last two fights were simply lackluster and tired, so how in the world then does he expect to beat the current pound per pound best fighter on the planet?
According to Benny “Big Dog” Henderson Jr, Senior Writer for BoxingTalk.com and the host of Big Dog Radio – it’s a question of time:
“It is all about time. Meaning, can Mosley turn back the hands of time and fight as he did when he defeated the likes of a prime Oscar De La Hoya? Or will the style and skill of Pacquiao as well as father time be the downfall of a Mosley upset? If he is to pull off an upset over Pacquiao, Mosley is going to have to make an impression early in the fight, as time goes on and rounds pile up the straight forward aggression from Pacquiao will wear down Mosley. I am not going to say that Mosley can get the W over P4P King Pacquiao, but I will say do not count out the old dog because he may still have a bit of a bite left in him.”
Based on Shane’s last two outings it’s safe to assume that he’ll start out strong, make an impression, but then slow down and let opportunities pass him by – AND – Manny will fight him the right way … or maybe it’s better to say the “Wright” way.
“What made some of Mosley’s best opposition too daunting for him? Fighters not unlike him: boxers. Sure, Mosley’s still got power, if not so much his daunted speed anymore, but at one time, it was all about the boxing. The quick, stinging jab. The jolting left hook. The excitable flurries. Yet, with the exception of Oscar De La Hoya and Luis Collazo, pure boxers have always had Mosley’s number, from the late, great Vernon Forrest (who also administered Mosley’s first loss) to Winky Wright to Mayweather to Mora (and even a very good boxer in Miguel Cotto). The brawlers, on the other hand, sealed their fates by facing “Sugar Shane.”
The Winky Wright example is really perfect for this scenario, as Pacquiao is a Southpaw, and Southpaw’s always cause a problem for orthodox fighters, and unfortunately for Shane, Manny is a Southpaw who has tremendous power and has the speed of the RoadRunner on 23 cups of espresso. For only the second time in his career, Mosley will not be the fastest fighter in the ring.
The big question then, will Manny do the smart thing and box?
“If I were Manny, I would box my ass off. If I were Mosley, I’d force Pacquiao into a brawl…and have a little faith in 2011 being the Year of the Upsets, thus far. If magic can happen for Victor Ortiz, Orlando Salido and Nobuhiro Ishida, it can sure as hell happen for Mosley. My pick? If Pacquiao boxes, he takes nine rounds to three. Pacquiao won’t be able to knock out Mosley but might be fine in taking control and carrying his opponent out of pure respect. If Pacquiao opts to brawl, look for Pacquiao to eke out a dental floss-thin lead, with surprising dividends for Mosley…perhaps that thin a decision that the crowd and Showtime’ broadcast crew miiiiiiiiight just not entirely agree with. If the latter comes off, look for a rematch some time in September, to the delight of the masses.”
Here’s how I see it — rounds 1 and 2 will be a feeling out of sorts with Pacman doing some ‘boxing’, then Manny will pick up the pace in rounds 3 and 4, and during round 4 is when Shane will start to miss opportunities.
We’re looking at either the 4th or 5th round as to when we’ll see the same path that was taken on May 1st 2010, when Floyd Mayweather shut down and soundly beat “Sugar” Shane Mosley. The difference being that Manny will open up on Shane and the punches will be coming from all angles and coming fast, hard, and in bunches.
Manny Pacquiao will win by TKO in the 9th or 10th round.
Mosley is a great fighter and clearly a future Hall of Famer, he’s had a spectacular career, but the Margarito fight was his last hurrah. For the next few years he will be a gatekeeper and a tester of the hearts of the next batch of young warriors venturing in to Welterweight territory.
In the final analysis – it’s being billed as a super fight. It’ll be on Showtime Pay-Per-View. Millions will be watching around the world – and in the end, it will just be … eh … ok.
Final thoughts about May 7th’s WBO Welterweight title fight:
“I look forward to checking out your article more than the fight itself lol but I am definitely going watch it.”
Buster Paris always enjoys receiving your thoughts, comments and questions – pleasefeel free to leave any below.