Former intercontinental super middleweight champion and ESPN boxing analyst John “Iceman” Scully never runs short of intelligent and in-depth blurbs when it comes to the sweet science and its simplicities and intricacies. A straight-up classy boxing figure, Iceman, who now also works as a boxing trainer, is widely regarded as a modern boxing historian by his peers within the boxing circle.
Filipino Boxing Journal’s Kenneth Ragpala caught up with the Iceman and collected his thoughts on the upcoming welterweight showdown between reigning pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and former three-division titlist Sugar Shane Mosley.
Filipino Boxing Journal: Pacquiao is the huge favorite going in to the fight. But what do you think would be his weaknesses that Mosley can take advantage of?
ICE: Honestly, at this stage of the game I don’t think Pac has weaknesses that Shane could really take advantage of. Best case scenario would be a thing where he could counter Pacman and use his aggression against him, run him into some good hard counter punches that Pacman isn’t used to. Usually when Pac is throwing punches his opponents are so busy defending themselves against him that they can’t really counter him with anything effective. Shane has proven over the years that this isn’t normally a problem for him. If he has the reflexes to deal with Pac’s speed then Shane could make this very interesting for a while.
FBJ: What do you think Mosley’s game plan should be on fight night? What about Pacquiao’s?
ICE: I would say that Mosley will need to minimize Pac’s offense as much as he possibly can by turning him, getting angles on him, not standing right there after he punches. Stay off the ropes and out of the corners. I think he definitely needs to use a busy jab and alternate between leading and countering with Pacman so that Manny cannot get into a constant and comfortable rhythm. He needs to use speed and guile and intelligence to force Manny to do things that he doesn’t exactly want to do.
Pacman, on the other hand, in my opinion, needs to keep Shane working every minute of every round. Let it be a thing where he doesn’t allow Shane to dictate the action, make it where Shane is either punching or defending, never just taking his time to set things up. Never give Shane the opportunity to lay back and remain calm.
FBJ: Say Pacquiao wins, what do you think is the next move for him if Floyd Mayweather still won’t fight him?
ICE: I would assume people will call for him to move up in weight and fight Sergio Martinez. I don’t necessarily think he should do that. Martinez is much bigger and stronger, but that’s probably what they will want him to do. After Mosley and Mayweather, unless Cotto continues to redeem himself in a big way, it doesn’t seem like there is anyone there that could bring him a really big Pay-Per-View fight.
FBJ: What are the implications for each man’s career should Mosley win?
ICE: Should Mosley win it would be terrible for Pacman because unfortunately many foolishly will claim he was overrated all along and that this just goes to prove that he could never beat Mayweather. As impressive as he has been each time out, I think he will unjustly have to keep provong himself right to the end without failing because people just don’t want to believe that a man could move up so many weight classes with such success. The minute he loses people will say, “See? I told you so, he couldn’t keep doing it.”
For Mosley it would be a huge rebirth that could even lead to a return match with Mayweather. Or maybe face Cotto in a return of their match and then the winner faces Mayweather. No matter what, a win over Pacman sets him up in a huge way.
FBJ: What is your prediction?
ICE: I think that Pacman will most likely break down and overwhelm Shane. I would think by the 7th or 8th round, maybe after some early success, that Pacman will have gotten to Shane with enough speedy and jarring shots that Sugar will realize the time has past him by. He’s dangerous because he’s always going to be game so I think he can make the distance and if it’s a stoppage I think it would be a case of his corner throwing in the towel.