The Bad Left Hook staff doesn't see Shane Mosley having much of a chance against Manny Pacquiao tomorrow. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Starting with this fight, the Bad Left Hook staff will be getting together on Friday to preview and predict the weekend's coming major fights. This week, we start with tomorrow's big event showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley.
Our staff agrees with the folks who drew up the Pacquiao vs Mosley odds that we posted earlier: It will be a true stunner if Shane Mosley can win this fight.
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There's not much to say at this point. Pacquiao should crush Mosley and if it goes past 8 rounds, I'll be surprised.
This fight looks a lot better in terms of names than it probably will in the ring itself. Manny Pacquiao has had some tremendous recent accomplishments, but he looked just a hair slower against Antonio Margarito, and between having a very long career, fighting well over his ideal boxer weight, and a lot of extracurricular activities, I doubt we'll again see the Manny Pacquiao who demolished Miguel Cotto. Still Shane Mosley is MUCH further removed from his prime, and has looked downright past it in has last two bouts.
For Shane Mosley to stand a chance, he'll need a great gameplan and he'll need the physical talent to execute it. He had both when he whooped Antonio Margarito, but only the former (and possibly not even that) against Floyd Mayweather. With as much as he's slowed down, and as gun-shy as he's become (which he's exhibited in every fight since the Cotto bout other than against Margarito), I doubt he has the talent to actually compete. Even if he does, there are few as good as Manny Pacquiao at frustrating an in-ring plan early. Maybe this looks like a fight for a round or two, but Pacquiao takes over after that. (Un)fortunately for Mosley, he has a monster chin and a corner with bravado, and is unlikely to be stopped before the distance. Pacquiao UD-12
The only shot that Sugar Shane has in this fight is pure power, and he'll have to hope that Manny Pacquiao is going to leave himself open to a dangerous degree. Shane Mosley is one of my all-time favorite fighters, but the Shane Mosley who fights today is not the same Shane Mosley who fed my developing boxing junkiedom way back when. He's now a 39-year-old fighter who has issues pulling the trigger.
But if he lands a bomb, this fight could stun the sports world. I always get uncomfortable when any fighter starts being deemed unbeatable, especially someone like Manny Pacquiao who does give his opponents opportunities, but is generally so good that he can overcome the mistakes he makes, or the vulnerabilities he shows. Mosley will have the muscle to knock out Manny Pacquiao in this fight, but will he get the chance? And more importantly, if he does, will he be able to take advantage? I can see it, but I don't see it. I'm taking Pacquiao by decision in a fight that should really be stopped by the ninth round or so, but won't be unless referee Kenny Bayless just can't stand to see a huffing and puffing Mosley physically abused any longer. Pacquiao UD-12
This isn't a fight I'm looking forward to with much enthusiasm. I had hoped Shane Mosley would retire after his loss to Floyd Mayweather, and his performance against Sergio Mora appeared to confirm that hanging up the gloves would be wise. But, like so many before him, Mosley can't resist the urge to try just once more - and for that obstinance, he's likely going to pay the price with an extended beating at the hands of Manny Pacquiao.
That's not to say he doesn't have a chance, as Pacquiao will be open for countering opportunities - and Mosley can still crack, at least for the first few rounds. In that early window, when Mosley's wind is still there, and his legs haven't quite lost their spring, we'll probably seem some good action - and maybe, just maybe, a right hand blast separates the Pacman from his senses, and the impossible becomes reality. Unlikely of course, but it's boxing, so you never know.
My pick: Pacquiao TKO - Mosley's corner stops it after 10 rounds.
The case being made by team Mosley is that while the evasive styles of Mayweather and Mora presented a dire picture of the former three-division champ's current pugilistic abilities, the more direct approach offered by Pacquiao should provide the ingredients necessary for a much sweeter version of Sugar Shane to make an appearance. Unfortunately for the Mosley camp, the line between styles is not so black and white as to be reduced to the mere difference between an offensive fighter and a defensive one.
While Pacquiao is certainly more prime for the fight than either of Mosley's previous two opponents, the manner in which he goes about searching for that action bears little resemblance to the squared up, lead-footed fighter Mosley would have you believe will be waiting for him in Las Vegas. Far from playing into Shane's hands, the in-and-out, side-to-side quantum movement of Pacquiao should wreak havoc on the weary legs of the 37-year-old battle horse. Last May, an unusually stationary Floyd rendered Mosley a tightly coiled mess of nerves and confusion using only precision pot shots and limited movement. Against a frenetic, high-volume Pacquiao, expect Mosley to sink even deeper into quicksand once the initial rush of adrenaline abandons him.
Pacquiao TKO10, via corner stoppage.
I think a better question than "who will win" when it comes to the Mosley vs. Pacquiao fight this weekend is "will it be competitive" or maybe "will it be entertaining"? There is at least some possibility of disagreement there, but seriously, will anyone really pick Mosley? In what area can Mosley be said to have an advantage against Pacquiao? Chin, I guess, and he'll need it. Is anyone really entertaining doubts about this one? I'm not. And unfortunately (I have long been a huge Shane Mosley fan), my guesses as to the other two questions above are "not for more than a couple rounds at most" and "not as much as any of the top five fights of last month, pretty much guaranteed."
Ever since the fight was announced I've thought it was a money grab by Pacquiao and his team, so I never gave it any real thought until now.
I think most fans are picking Manny to stop Mosley for the first time in his boxing life, and while now is as good a time as any for that to happen, I don't think it will. Shane is one of the toughest guys of this era. Even if things aren't going his way, he's got enough guile to get through 12 ounds with just about anyone. In boxing you're only as good as you last fight appaently, but Pac got to face a punching bag while Shane was in there with a tough, awkward middleweight.
I think Pacquiao's power is a little overrated vs welterweights. The good ones he's fought have all taken him into the 12th round. Mosley will see the final bell. And Manny had better be careful in there because Mosley is the biggest puncher he's ever been in against. I'm not really sure who will win. I guess you have to favour Manny because of his fresher legs down the stetch, but I think he'll be hurt in this fight and he may find himself on the canvas for the first time in years.
Since I can't make up my mind, I'll take the draw.
This is a farce of a fight. We all know this. Shane Mosley is a spent force. He's washed up. His speed and stamina are shot and he's simply no longer an elite level fighter. He's 0-1-1 in his last two fights and doesn't deserve this opportunity. I predict Pacquiao will stop him before the second half of the fight begins.
I'll be watching anyway. I like to refer to the weekends of Pacquiao fights as "Pacquiao weekends." He's just so important, and I consider his fights a chance to watch a living legend and icon in real time. If he beats Mosley it will mean that he owns victories over the three best featherweights and four of the five best welterweights of his era (the other premiere welterweight being the one who seems to have no intention of facing him). Not all of these victories can be taken at face value, but the mere fact that that can be said is truly amazing. Here's someone who makes a conscious effort to put on crowd-pleasing fights, draws 1 million PPV viewers an outing...and fights every six months! De la Hoya and Mayweather were/are part-time fighters, Manny Pacquiao is the real deal.