Does Shane Mosley Have a Prayer? (Part 2)

7424744_1_medium For Shane Mosley, his fight with Antonio Margarito is arguably his most daunting task in years.

The last time Mosley beat an elite opponent came in September 2003, when he won a 12-round decision against Oscar de la Hoya in their rematch. And a Google search of that fight will tell you there may have been something more than hard work going on that night with Mosley.

Since that win over the "Golden Boy," Shane has gone 6-3, beating Fernando Vargas (twice), Ricardo Mayorga, Luis Collazo, Jose Luis Cruz and David Estrada, and losing to Winky Wright (twice) and Miguel Cotto. In other words, on the three occasions he's faced a truly top-shelf opponent, Mosley has lost. He hasn't fought badly in any of the fighs (no Tito Trinidad losses), but he's lost.

Shane is an interesting fighter for any number of reasons, the biggest of which to me has always been style. Though Mosley has long had the skills to be a hit-and-avoid slickster perhaps nearly on par with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., (in my opinion, of course), he has never fought that way.

As has often been said, Mosley can't help himself when he tries to box. He loves to throw down. He loves to fight.

Against Miguel Cotto, who does not have huge power at 147 pounds, he managed to fight tooth-and-nail. Against the big, rangy, powerful and rugged Margarito, conventional wisdom points to one thing: Mosley stopped early for the first time in his career.

Of course, that also tells us something else. Shane's chin, like Margarito's, is outstanding, among the best in the sport.

It's already been brought up in the comments for part one of this preview, but if Mosley is to beat Margarito, he will have to ignore that impulse to brawl. It simply doesn't seem as though, at 37, he'll have the firepower to stand up to the younger, stronger, and bigger Margarito for 12 full rounds without getting beaten down at some point.

Mosley, now trained by Nazim Richardson, will likely have to incorporate a gameplan that looks something like what Bernard Hopkins did against Kelly Pavlik, and something like what Cotto did against Margarito for six rounds. Margarito is slower of hand than Mosley, same as Pavlik was against Hopkins, but Pavlik's weight gain, possible sickness, and perhaps a lingering elbow injury made him look really slow. Margarito will throw a lot of punches, and will be more than happy to get hit in order to land on Sugar Shane.

Unlike Cotto, Mosley won't want to simply glide around the ring looking to land and avoid, either. That wore Cotto down -- it would wear anyone down, especially with Margarito pot-shotting to the body the way he did against Cotto.

If Mosley is to beat Margarito, he will have to be perfect, or damn close to it.

So does Shane Mosley have a prayer? Of course he does. He's a world class fighter, a Hall of Famer-to-be, and he hasn't yet slowed down the way other future HOFers still fighting on have done.

But does he have a legitimate shot? Is this close to a 50-50 fight on paper? If you're asking me, no, not even close. Shane Mosley should be considered a huge underdog.

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