'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's Mailbag feat. Pacquiao, Mosley, Arum, & Khan!!!
Erick H. (Sweetwater, FL): I found it interesting that Top Rank put an option on Shane Mosley's next fight, rather than just doing a rematch clause between he and Pacquiao. How do you read this move?
Article posted on 17.01.2011
Vivek W. (ESB): I think you have to give Arum a ton of credit for the way he has basically monopolized the welterweight division between the dominance of Margarito, Cotto, and now Pacquiao; but I truly can't see the logic in not having the two sides agree to a rematch clause, particularly considering that Pacquiao is defending the welterweight strap rather than the jr. middleweight strap..
I do see logic in Arum taking out an option on Mosley's next fight, which is a move made to basically ensure that he will have yet another 'horse' in the welterweight race if in fact Mosley does shock the world, but not forcing a rematch clause brings another challenge. Basically, a Pacquiao loss would put he and Arum in a no-win situation because there aren't many options at 154, and whomever gets the nod would have to do so at a catchweight being that Pacquiao would be left holding a strap in a division where he can't even make the weight, let alone face someone at it!
I've questioned the decision making of Team Pacquiao for quite some time, and this is yet another move that makes me scratch my head, because a loss, coupled with limited quality opponents at '54 would mean he'd have to jump back in line at either '47 or '40. Part of the strategy may have been to make sure that Mosley doesn't come in with too much of a weight advantage in their showdown, considering that he used to fight at 154, but realistically, the lack of a rematch clause would mean he'd have to face someone heavier next time around regardless as the holder of the 154lb strap......so why not let Mosley be that guy?
I don't know how to read this move, to answer your question. It simply doesn't add up.....but hey, not much Arum and Team Pacquiao has done lately has, yet it continues to work. Best advice I can add is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.....until someone pulls the curtains and ends it!
Mark K. (Orlando, FL): The more I think about the Pacquiao/Mosley fight, the more I question how it will turn out. Pacquiao has so much speed and power it's easy to see him win, but Shane is a warrior and has faced some great competition and has never been stopped. Shane defeated Margarito in 9 rounds while Pacquiao couldn't stop him, while Shane lost to Cotto and Pacquiao stopped Cotto. What do you see as the biggest factor in the outcome in this fight?
Vivek W. (ESB): The two things I think will be most critical in the outcome of this fight are two things few people are talking about. (1) the fact that Pacquiao is not only a southpaw, but a damn near invincible one, which could spell trouble for Mosley when you think of how another better than average southpaw handled him (Winky Wright). And (2) the fact that Mosley is 5'10", with a 74 inch reach, which could spell doom for Pacquiao. Many felt I disrespected Team Pacquiao by acknowledging the fact that they decided to side-step Yuri Foreman on the grounds that (according to Michael Koncz) it was a "bad style matchup to put Pacquiao in with someone 5'10" with a 73 inch reach".
They always said hindsight is 20/20 and looking back, this move only further demonstrates my acknowledgment when you consider they have now gone from a decision to face Margarito (5'10", 73 inch reach), to suddenly facing the only other man to recently conquer him in Shane Mosley who stands 5'10" with a 74 inch reach. When you think about this anomaly, it makes you wonder if critics are right in their take that Team Pacquiao must feel that Mosley is a shot fighter, because nothing else makes sense.
When it all boils down, I don't know which mans hand will be raised in victory, but I do know that both these men come to fight, and neither will lay down. I lean towards Pacquiao because I've seen Shane's will broken on several occasions. That being said, each of the men that "broke" Shane's will had height and/or natural skill advantages over him. Pacquiao holds neither of the two. I can't think of one fighter who comes straight at you that has been able to stunt Mosley, particularly a shorter one. He uses his reach very well, and as Mayweather learned, he can often use it to setup thunderous shots that you won't see coming with his speed.
If he can use that reach to temporarily halt Pacquiao's entry as he sets up his own speed and power, things could get awfully interesting. To answer your question, I'd have to say the biggest factors will come down to Pacquiao's southpaw stance and Mosley's height, reach, and comparable speed. Margarito landed some devastating shots on Pacquiao and I can remember asking a media member beside me at the fight how things could have turned out had Margarito possessed the speed to actually connect on a higher selection of punches thrown? This time around, Pacquiao will be in with a man who will be able to land some of those missed shots. Will it make a difference? Can't wait to find out!
Kevin P. (Washington, DC): Why is Khan trying to face McCloskey, rather than trying to avenge his lost to Breidis Prescott? I think that fight would make more sense financially, and it would have a good storyline leading up to it?
Vivek W. (ESB): I would definitely agree that both McCloskey and Peterson fall short in comparison to a potential Prescott rematch. Problem is, people like you and I think like fans; wherein Oscar and Schaefer think like promoters who have a business investment to protect. We've seen several fighters in the sport take a KO loss and never look the same. Khan has done an excellent job rebuilding himself and his image since that loss, but at this early stage in his career, there's no room for error.
When you have someone like a Roy Jones Jr. who has been around the block a few times and completely established himself in the sport, you can afford to lose via KO and still face a guy again, knowing that even if you lose there are other big money options to follow. When you're fairly new to the game and you aren't quite established, two back to back losses to a not-so-popular opponent could mean the end of the road.....or atleast for a few years while you try to re-establish your recently re-established career.
At the core of the issue here, I'd venture to say it's possible that some members of Team Khan may not necessarily have the confidence of victory in this particular matchup that one may think. Some even argue it's possible that Khan may not have the confidence in himself that it appears he should have, as it relates to this particular fight. Yeah, he rocked Pacquiao a few times in sparring, and yeah, he overcame the thunderous punches of Marcos Maidana, but neither of those scenario's came with the looming backdrop that this is a guy who already dropped you for a full 10 count in the past. A Prescott fight would.
I think Khan and his promoters know that there's far too much risk involved to allow a potential huge payday go to waist. Would be nice, but fights like this that used to be made at the drop of a dime have been replaced with fights that aren't worth one.....simply so that the promoters involved can make some (more).....if you feel me! Peterson is a light punching guy who would present little fear; and McCloskey is one of those options with a good resume, yet no notable opponents on it to make you cringe either. Both men could serve as the perfect appetizer at home to whet the appetite of the British faithful before Team Khan cashes in with a shot at the real contenders....meaning the Bradley/Alexander winner in the Fall of this year!
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEKWALLACE747), Skype (VITO-BOXING), and Facebook).
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