By Lamar Sparkman
Saturday night marks the return of the international phenom and p4p best fighter in the world Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (52-3-2 38 KOs) facing “Sugar” Shane Mosley, it’s not the fight that fans wanted but for better or worse its what we got. From the moment this fight was made I called it a joke and joined in the outrage at Pacquiao facing another overmatched foe. Now that the fight is here my thoughts haven’t changed but at this point all we can do is sit back and hope we get an exciting fight.
There’s been numerous articles and videos dedicated to trashing this fight which is deserving considering Mosley hasn‘t won a fight since January 2009 when he beat then welterweight king Antonio Margarito. The 39year old version of Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) just doesn’t pass the eye test when I try to envision him pulling off an upset against the best fighter in the world which is reflected in the 6 to 1 odds. When I look at Mosley’s last 2 fights, a loss to Floyd Mayweather and a draw to Sergio Mora what stood out to me was his poor defense and his inability to pull the trigger which he admitted to Larry Merchant of HBO in the post fight interview. He does limited combination punching and his work rate all together has decreased which he‘ll need in order to keep up with boxing’s version of the energizer bunny. Mosley and his team have tried to dismiss these fights saying that both were defensive fighters who are difficult for everyone they face and although its true, I‘m not buying that it was the only reason he looked bad. Mayweather fought more offensive than usual and took the fight to Shane for which he had no answers, in fact he looked old and confused. I will concede that Manny is more offensive and will give him more opportunities to land his shots but the question is will he be able to let his punches go. Shane has so many flaws that Manny will exploit; for one he falls in with his head down when attempting to clinch and keeps his chin up while telegraphing those wide looping right hands and I‘m sure Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach have prepared for it.
The keys for Shane to win this fight is to counterpunch similar to the way Juan Manuel Marquez did with success in his two fights with Pacquiao. You have to set traps for Manny and use his aggression against him by timing him with straight right hands while he’s punching and catching him when he’s out of position. Shane has to use a consistent jab to keep Manny occupied and set his own shots up but the problem with that he rarely uses a jab these days. If Mosley wins this fight it will be via stoppage in the first few rounds because if it goes the distance he will surely lose for lack of work rate.
I respect Mosley to the highest degree, he’s had a Hall of Fame career in which he has fought everybody which is rare with current active fighters. He’s been a warrior that always wanted to please the crowd much like Manny does but I just don’t see him pulling this fight off. If I’m wrong I wouldn’t be mad at all but as good as his Trainer Naazim Richardson is in strategizing I think Shane will have a problem implementing it their game plan. I see him getting tattooed with an assortment of punches and not having the defense to get out of the way of those rapid fire missiles nor the reflexes to counter. The only chance he has is to land that big right hand or left hook as Manny pivots off to his right which he usually does. If not Manny will get in his rhythm and it will be a long night of taking punishment which will come to an end by the 9th or 10th round. This still won’t change the way I feel about Mosley and shouldn’t tarnish his legacy. On Saturday night we may see the end of a great career.
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