Pacquiao/Mosley Just the facts!!
By Robert Jackson: Once again, the facts must be examined, for the May 7th matchup between Sugar Shane Mosley and P4P King Manny Pacquiao. They will be fighting for the WBO Welterweight Championship.
Article posted on 29.04.2011
Mosley at 39, once pound-for-pound King himself during his 135lbs and early 147lb (having skipped the 140lb weight class entirely) days, has, 2 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw, with 2 KO’s in his last 4 fights. Pacquiao 32, is 13 – 0 in his last 13 fights with 8 K0’s to his credit. The common opponents between the two fighters are Oscar De La Hoya (2-0 Mosley-SD, UD, 1-0 Pacquiao-RTD) and Antonio Margarito (1-0 Mosley-TKO, 1-0 Pacquiao-UD).
Sugar Shane Mosley of Pomona California stands 5’9”, weighs 160lbs, with a 74” reach – trained by Naazim Richardson is a 5 – 1 underdog going into this fight, not many give Mosley much chance of making it to either bell of the 12th round. The fact that Mosley is coming off of a lackluster draw against the ‘Latin Snake’ Sergio Mora and a wide points loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr doesn’t sit well with some fans as having earned Mosley the right to fight Pacquiao. The fact that Pacquiao has chosen his last 5 opponents that have either come off of a loss or lackadaisical showing doesn’t sit well with the rest. That being said let’s talk about the facts.
Freddie Roach trainer of the 5’6”, 150lb, 65” reach, Manny Pacquiao has professed to have trained as many as 17 world champions, and for the past 7 or 8 years has been working to hone the pugilist from General Santos City Philippines into a complete fighter. Their run together has spanned 18 fights and sees a 16-1-1 record. Roach has turned the previously one handed fighter into a fighting machine with KO power in both hands as well as lightning speed, and improved defense. This world class trainer and owner of the Wild Card Boxing gym in LA, also trains WBA 140lbs champion Amir Khan and has recently taken on the training duties for prospect Daniel Jacobs. Add S&C Coach Alex Ariza into the mix and you have a ‘dynamic duo’ in the P4P Kings camp.
Naazim Richardson going into his 4th fight with Mosley as his charge also handles the training chores for the Bernard “The Executioner “ Hopkins. Richardson trains his son, up-and-comer and former Olympian Rock Allen as well. A Bouie Fischer protégé, Richardson has been responsible for Mosley’s late career resurgence and has cornered Mosley to a pivotal win over Antonio Margarito (TKO-9)where his keen powers of observation prefight were responsible for the discovery of an illegal handwrap on the Mexican’s hands. Richardson’s strength seems to be putting together a ‘game plan’ for his fighters and observing the flaws of the opponent. Mosley now comfortable with Richardson after 3 -fights, can be expected to show much improvement going into and during the fight.
Heart and Courage:
To attain championship in 8 weight divisions takes courage! To jump from 135lbs straight to 147lbs also takes courage as this was the path that fighters ‘back in the day’ took because there was no 140lb division. To fight on after losing to Vernon Forrest twice and Winky Wright twice after which the words ‘shot’ and ‘washed up’ were being whispered takes a lot of courage. To come up from 106lbs and make a name at 147lbs is what legends are made of. At 39 years of age to take the chance of facing the P4P king and believe you can win takes guts.
Adaptability and Ring Intelligence:
For the 17+ fights that Freddie Roach, himself an ex-fighter, has tutored Pacquiao we all have witnessed a metamorphosis, not only has his right hand developed but the Philippino also adapts to the changing chaos from round to round. The same cannot be said about Sugar Shane, who flusters when things aren’t going his way and shuts down.
As a lightweight Sugar Shane Mosley was one of the smoothest, slickest, and powerful 135lb boxers on the planet. Taking a risk Mosley bypassed the 140lb division in pursuit of a ‘big money’ fight with amateur rival Oscar De La Hoya in the 147lb division, which he got. Many experts have pointed to the skipping of the 140lb division as the reason for the discontinuity in Mosley’s skills. Looking at the stats, Mosley wasn’t quite as good or sharp as a welterweight compared to his lightweight performance, but Mosley was and STILL is a very good 147lber. One troubling aspect of Mosley’s current skillset is his lack of punch diversity and selection, while Pacquiao throws multiple combinations from all angles and dispositions.
As stated earlier Shane Mosley has tremendous physical advantages approaching this fight including height, reach and being the naturally bigger man. If Shane can regain some of his 135lb form as an addition to the physical advantages then May 7th might just be his night. ‘Been there done that’ has to be the Team Pacquiao camp mantra, having faced De La Hoya, Clottey, and Margarito who were all as big as or bigger than Mosley, in short, Mosley’s size won’t bother Pacquiao. Anyway, will Shane be able to capitalize on those advantages on fight night?
Positioning will be the key for Shane Mosley to win, he will need to shadow Pacquiao and smother his distance to negate Pacquiao’s punching. Pacquiao also has the tendency to bob & weave just prior to launching his attack, attack, then step back to examine his work, then repeat, knowing this Mosley should look counter keying in on the bob & weave cycles.
Mosley tends to be limited in his punch selection and rarely throws uppercuts his predictable pattern of 1) Paw with the jab, 2) right hand upstairs, 3) left hook to the body, 4) left hook upstairs, repeat, is clearly understood by Freddie Roach who will have Pacquiao throwing a lot of combinations to negate this pattern.
Overall Advantage: Pacquiao
Finally, I believe that Pacquiao will overwhelm and overrun the older fighter by the late rounds. Mosley will have a few moments but by the middle rounds he will be frustrated and non-committed to winning. Pacquiao will win by TKO in the 9th or 10th round, but there will be surprises along the way.
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