Boxing analysts and casual fight fans are not giving Shane Mosley much of a chance in his upcoming fight against WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. Mosley has been dismal in his last two performances and his last significant and perhaps his career-defining victory was more than two years ago. Pacquiao, on the other hand, is a steamroller on a warpath since losing to Erik Morales in 2005.
Even a computer game simulation picks Pacquiao as the likely winner for their May 7th clash in Las Vegas, USA.
Between the two, momentum sides with Pacquiao. And it is not just momentum. Talking to this writer via electronic correspondence, Tony Whitby of Boxing IQ said that “all advantages point to Pacquiao. He has speed, foot work and endurance.”
This writer argued that Mosley’s power has declined in recent years. Although admittedly Mosley still have some pop in those fists, as evidenced in his second-round almost-annihilation of Floyd Mayweather last year. Mayweather survived the onslaught and made the necessary adjustments to win the rest of the rounds and eke out a win.
“I would agree if you say they are even on the power department,” Whitby told this writer. “But one must take note that it is Pacquiao’s speed and volume punching that causes the real damage.”
Another thing that goes almost unnoticed is Mosley’s physical advantages. Mosley stands at 5’9”, has the longer reach, and is the bigger guy. But Pacquiao has been demolishing bigger, taller, and presumably stronger guys since he went up against then WBC lightweight titleholder David Diaz that Mosley’s physical attributes have almost become a non-factor.
WBC light welterweight youth champion Steve Claggett looks at both fighters’ prior fights to determine his favorite. And with such line of reasoning, Claggett’s choice is pretty obvious.
“I like Shane but looking at their previous bouts, I am going with Manny on this one,” says Canada’s top-rated light welter.
Points to Victory
Whitby and Claggett share the same sentiment on what Mosley can do to win the fight – hurt Pacquiao in the early rounds and finish him off. Easier said than done, but if Mosley has to win the fight, he need not to let it go too long. Mosley is a fader. Pacquiao isn’t.
“Shane needs to do enough damage inside the first four rounds to at least take out Pacquiao’s wind and edge. I also think he can score a flash knockdown if he can catch Pac with a perfectly timed punch. Not very likely to happen though.”
“I think Shane has to risk taking punches and try to catch Pacquiao in between in his combinations. Shane really needs to start strong because we all know Pacquiao does not run out of gas. Shane’s only chance is to land something big early on and be smart about staying on Pacquiao and applying the right amount of pressure if he drills Pac with a huge shot.
But Pacquio’s extreme mobility will keep him safe. Mosley still has fast hands but his feet are sometimes awkward and his movement is not as fluid as Pacquiao’s.
My prediction? Pacquiao will be the first to stop Mosley. TKO in 10.”
Photo credits: 15Rounds.com