By Gary Purfield
Once again Manny Pacquiao proved to be far too fast, too powerful, too talented, and simply too good for his opponent to handle. This time it was an aging Shane Mosley who simply could not handle the ferocious attack of the Filipino tsunami. Most experts, writers, and fans thought this would be a mismatch where Manny would be far too much for the past his prime Mosley and the fight went according to the script with the younger Pacquiao dominating Mosley. Pacquiao rolled to a unanimous decision victory by scores of 119-108, 120-108, and 120-107 (this writer scored it 119-108 for Pacquiao).
The first round each fighter tried to measure the other and find the range to connect their punches. Mosley had a decent round that some may have given him on the scorecards as he tried to employ a stiff jab to keep the shorter Pacquiao away. Manny looked to use his foot speed to move in quickly to land his straight left and right hook. In round two Pacquiao heated up the action by attacking more aggressively coming in landing combinations that Shane was not able to counter.
Then in round three Manny took over the fight with his speed and power. Pacquiao moved in throwing a series of punches pushing Mosley back and finished with a straight left that put Mosley down on the canvas. Shane was able to rise but looked like he could be finished. Pacquiao pursued to end it early but Mosley using his veteran knowledge was able to escape the round.
From that knockdown on Mosley never had his legs and more importantly was reluctant to engage Pacquiao in exchanges. What was already a lopsided fight became a complete one sided affair with Pacquiao being the aggressor landing combinations and Mosley in survival mode the majority of the rounds. At times Shane would land a good jab but never pumped that left with any consistency which he would have had to do to have any chance of keeping Pacquiao honest. Even when Mosley landed his feared straight right to the head or body on occasion it never seemed to faze Pacquiao at all.
The middle rounds actually had a slight lull compared to typical Pacquiao fights and at times caused the crowd to boo and jeer the lack of action (relatively speaking lack of action for a Manny fight). Afterwards Manny stated that his legs were tight and prevented him from doing more. Then in the tenth Mosley was awarded a knockdown from what clearly appeared to be Mosley pushing Manny to the canvas. This seemed to anger the pound for pound king who went after his opponent with rapid fire combinations chasing the winded Mosley all around the ring.
Pacquiao turned up the heat in rounds eleven and twelve and despite landing a host of powerful punches Mosley made it to the final bell. For Mosley making it the distance can hardly be seen as a moral victory considering the normally aggressive warrior from Pomona California was anything but in the outing where surviving the distance seemed to be his only goal from the moment he was floored in the third round. Mosley said as much in his post-fight interview stating he had not felt power like that in years and acknowledged he did not take the necessary chances needed to win the fight because he realized his opponent’s power could deliver a knockout. Mosley falls to 46-7-1 (39 KO).
It may not have been Manny’s best performance ever but still was a clear dominating decision where he controlled the fight from start to finish and never allowed his overmatched opponent any opportunity to get into the fight. Pacquiao improves to 53-3-2 (38 KO) and further cements his place as the best boxer in the world.
Now we all wait again to see if the fight that everyone wants between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather finally happens. No one other than the man who likes to call himself Money has the skills and ability to give Pacquiao a challenge. Victor Ortiz, Tim Bradley, and others at or around the welterweight limit are good young fighters but do not possess the experience or skill at this time to give the Filipino hero a true challenge. Only Mayweather can present this test (some would argue Sergio Martinez but in this writers opinion the middleweight champ is simply too big and skilled for Pacquiao and it would be asking too much of Manny to take this challenge).
- Can we finally stop the talk of Manny being the “little” fighter taking on such “bigger” men. Give Pacquiao credit that he has developed his body into that of a full fledged welterweight. Simply being shorter than your opponent does not make you the smaller fighter. Take one look at Manny’s legs and specifically his calves and you will see they were far larger than Mosley’s or any of Manny’s recent opponents. Punching power and movement come from the legs which is where Pacquiao has his weight.
- It is his decision but I strongly hope Sugar Shane hangs up his gloves. He had far too great a career where he did not win every big fight but had the guts to always take on the best. He has nothing more to prove and it would be sad to see a once top notch champ continue on with so little of his past skills left.
- On the undercard Jorge Arce 57-6-2 (44 KO) scored a 12th round knockout over previously unbeaten Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. 20-1-1 (17 KO) in a close competitive brawl. Arce was the underdog but his toughness and veteran experience carried him over the younger favorite.
- Kelly Pavlik made his return to the ring after his loss to Sergio Martinez in April of last year and following inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse. Pavlik 37-2 (32 KO) won a majority decision by scores of 95-95, 98-92, and 99-91 (this writer scored it 97-93 for Pavlik) over Alfonso Lopez 21-1. Pavlik looked rusty early and was taking a lot of shots from Lopez but settled into more of a groove in the middle rounds. Pavlik showed signs of the old Kelly in the tenth and final round when he staggered Lopez and had him badly hurt but was not able to get the knockout. Pavlik will likely need a few more fights to work off the rust before returning to championship level fights.
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