And so it begins – some much needed hype before a big fight.
On May 1st, you can bet that both Sugar Shane Mosley and Floyd “Money” Mayweather will be ready to exchange punches. Sorry, I mean to report that earlier as both Mosley and Mayweather had a bit of a scuffle in a press conference held in New York. There was definite shoving involved, a stare down, and later, as Mayweather quipped, “Our noses touched, but between two men, you know it’s all about the ladies … and then he grabbed my hands.”
So, it’s hype before the hype.
As my colleague Brian Wilbur stated in his Mailbag, boxing is currently going through a bit of a hiatus (until March 13th anyway). Boxing can use some drama now because of the whole superfight fiasco. But don’t get too excited here fight fans, I’m sure it’s going to be the first of many back and forth verbal barrages between the two fighters. I’ll be watching HBO’s acclaimed 24/7 series showcasing both training camps in anticipation (or hype) of the fight.
Sugar Shane Mosley, 46-5, 39 KO’s is one of my all-time favorite fighters. I always admired his strength, stamina, and speed. Mosley has a solid chin and has always shown up to fight – no excuses, no talking about how good he is. Mosley is just good, period. He has never taken time off from the sport of boxing and I always awaited the announcement of his next opponent. I rooted for him when he fought his battles against Oscar De La Hoya.
When Mosley is on, he is on and he fights like he wants to win every time.
But then there was the period of his fight career that had a shadow of doubt about where he was going in boxing. In 2002, Mosley suffered what seemed to be a string of losses against strong and worthy opponents. He lost twice against the late Vernon Forrest in 12 round unanimous decisions.
In 2004, he suffered the same record against Ronald “Winky” Wright. In the first bout against Wright, he lost in a 12 round unanimous decision followed up by a 12 round MD later in November. I thought he seemed to be on a straight path to retirement, but even with these losses, he never stopped challenging his ability. He continued to take fights against such talented fighters as Fernando Vargas and Luis Collazo. Mosley’s last loss came against Miguel Angel Cotto in 2007 via another 12 round unanimous decision.
In 2008, he fought against the volatile Ricardo Mayorga. But he handily defeated Mayorga with a 12th round KO. Mayorga, who is now on an MMA path, absolutely scared me because you just never knew what to expect from him as a fighter. Finally in 2009, he fought against Antonio Margarito for the WBA Super World Welterweight title and defeated him with a 9th round TKO.
It’s amazing to think that with such a string of notable victories and losses, Mosley is considered the underdog against Mayweather. But let’s move on to Mayweather.
For Floyd “Money” Mayweather, 40-0, 25 KO’s, there’s no mistaking Mayweather’s speed and defensive ability. His tight defensive stature reminds us of Sonny Liston and even Arthur Abraham. It’s a peek-a-boo, a guard the chin with your shoulder defense and it’s always worked for Mayweather. Mayweather moves in out with his speed and always connects in a flurry. Although 6 years younger than his opponent and perhaps rested from his retirement, Mayweather has always stayed in tremendous shape so his stamina has never been a problem. It’s going to be a fight of speed versus super speed.
Mayweather’s fights have gone through 10 rounds or more which is testimony to his stand and fight ability. Because of his strong defense, he hasn’t had to take a punch, but he will trade – in and out – and more than likely his opponent will feel the full extent of his punches. I actually get a little bored watching Mayweather because of his defense, but I don’t question its effectiveness.
It’s been criticized that Mayweather chose fighters that serve as perfect counters to his boxing ability, but much like Mosley, he didn’t exactly pick fighters that didn’t have a bit of punching power to them. I was rooting for Juan Manuel Marquez because he isn’t a weak fighter by any means.
If you look at Mayweather on paper, he smartly chose a fighting schedule that was never more than 2 to 3 fights a year, and by his own admission, in his retirement, he never stopped training in the gym. But, it’s also no mistake that his fights have gone on for 10 rounds or longer, he also hasn’t been knocking them out with a KO punch either (Boxrec.com shows Mosley with a KO stat at 75% versus 62.5% for Mayweather). His last TKO came against Hatton in the 10th round – back in 2007. There will be no KO in this fight. It will go 12 rounds by split decision.
I love the underdog and in this case, Mosley is the underdog. But I expect a good fight from both fighters. Mosley is the perfect foil for Mayweather because they can evenly match and exchange on speed and power. Both fighters are going to be dragged down to a degree as the fight may be dubbed as the fight that happened because another fight didn’t happen.
As both Mosley and Mayweather represent the best of the welterweight division, it’s going to be a battle – one that both fighters may come away as the rightful and well deserved opponent for any bout with Manny Pacquiao.