Bad Left Hook's Big Fight Week coverage for Mayweather-Mosley officially kicks off today as Ted "The Bull" Sares offers our first analysis and preview of the fight this week.
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He's [Nazim Richardson] a great trainer. I think he's one of the best if not the best trainer right now today in this era. I couldn't ask for a better person, a better friend and a better trainer in my camp right now.
-- Sugar Shane Mosley
There is a blue print to beat him [Mosley] because he has lost five times already. But there is no blueprint to beat me.
- Floyd Mayweather Jr.
A month ago, my tentative feeling was that a well-rested Floyd Mayweather Junior will dominate Sugar Shane Mosley over 12 rounds and cop a unanimous decision on May 1, 2010 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Nothing has changed since then to alter this prediction.
Mosley (46-5) is a determined and proud warrior type who, at his peak, possessed great hand speed that helped generate great power in his punches. Against the likes of Luis Collazo, he displayed effective jabs once again using feints, quickness, and crafty head and body movement to go with his super hand speed. But that was then and this is now, and I submit he is no longer capable of doing what he was able to do against Collazo, Vargas, and especially Margarito-- the later of which raised everyone's eyebrows. However, I believe that the variables surrounding the Margarito fight were such that the shocking outcome was more an anomaly than anything else, and should not necessarily be used as a barometer for how Sugar Shane will do against Junior.
Regarding Mayweather (40-0), as I have said time and time again, he might be too good for his own good. His use of shoulder rolls, feints, parrying, upward jabbing, giving angles, counter punching, crossover defense, strategic lateral movement, and deflecting punches is all part of the old school mix, along with his mastery of the basics. In fact, when he resorts to pot shotting (which he often does when things start to turn in his favor), the shots come with such speed and accuracy that they almost appear to be a new type of combo. If a purist is one who appreciates the technical aspects of the Sweet Science, Floyd Mayweather Junior is a purist's delight. His fights with Ricky Hatton, Phillip N'dou and Juan Manuel Marquez showcased these attributes to a tee.
Mayweather's has never really been tested, nor have I ever really seen him truly hurt. Mosley was beaten up by the late "Viper," Vernon Forrest, in their first battle and was schooled by Winky Wright twice. Neither, of course, has ever been stopped.
Roger Mayweather and Junior enjoy a great symbiosis. If it ain't broke, you don't fix it. Richardson's appearance in Mosley's corner is a big improvement for Sugar Shane. I see this one as a wash.
Pretty Boy Floyd exhibited his power against Chico Corrales and Ricky Hatton, but Mosley has the edge here. His knockouts have been brutal and decisive, particularly his destruction of Vargas, Mayorga, and Margarito. Once he has someone hurt, he closes like a male lion on a hyena, a quality Floyd somewhat lacks. However, there was a period between 2002 and 2005 when Shane went 3-4-0-1 with none of the fights ending by stoppage. Even against Mayorga, the fight was in doubt before he waxed the crude brawler with one second remaining.
Level of Opposition:
Both have fought Oscar De La Hoya and both came away with a win, but in my opinion, Mosley was fortunate to win against "The Golden Boy," as I had him losing both. I think one of Shane's most underrated (and telling) wins came when he KOd Wilfredo Rivera in 1999, as he showed he could carry his power with him to the welterweight division. The fact that Mosley has fought opponents like Vargas (twice), Winky Wright (twice), De La Hoya (twice), Vernon Forrest (twice), Jesse James Leija, John John Molina, Philip Holiday, Collazo, Mayorga, Margarito, among others), is noteworthy and praiseworthy, but it also has a way of giving a fighter more ring age than he might want.
Mayweather has fought at the top level as well, but at a much more restful pace, given his strategic retirements, etc. With notches like Pep (Tony), Hernandez (both Genaro and Carlos), Manfredy, Rios, Juko, Augustus, Corrales, Chavez (Jesus), Castillo (twice), N'dou, Corley, Gatti, Mitchell, Judah, Baldimir, Hatton, and Marquez on his belt, no one can accuse him of avoiding tough opposition. Of course, avoiding a prime Margarito was not the worse strategic decision on Floyd's part. However, he has only fought 5 times since April 2006, and that's why charges of "cherry picking" are sometimes lobbed at him. But if cherry picking is involved, here is something to ponder: Mosley has only fought 6 times since February 2006.
The Age Factor:
Sugar Shane Mosley, born in 1971, is getting long in the tooth and his great skills, which showed signs of erosion against Mayorga and Cotto, (but became revitalized against Margorito), could be sorely tested against a fighter with the defensive acumen of the 33 year old Mayweather. My own thinking is that despite the Margorito beat down, I no longer believe Mosley is at the top of his game, while I cannot say the same about Mayweather.
I see Mayweather avoiding getting into wild and dangerous exchanges with Mosley. Instead, I expect Mayweather to fight tactically and strategically in a somewhat boring bout that will keep Mosley off stride and somewhat frustrated. Mosley will try to lure Mayweather into a brawl, but no one has ever really been able to do that, and I don't think Mosley will be the first.
Sugar Shane has suffered mental lapses from time time, loses focus, and can be lured into doing the wrong things in the ring. To be more precise, he does not, in my opinion, possess the highest ring IQ. Mayweather (40-0), on the other hand, can adapt to and neutralize Mosley's strengths while at the same time exploiting his weaknesses. Floyd's ring IQ is among the highest in boxing. This, in my view, is the major difference and should offset whatever advantage and/or positive adjustments Nazeem Richardson can provide. Mayweather to win by dominant UD, as speed and defense win out.