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Manny Pacquiao Vs Shane Mosley: The Breakdown

By Geno McGahee

We are getting close to the May showdown between pound for pound top fighter, Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, 52-3-2, 38 KO’s, and Sugar Shane Mosley, 46-6-1, 39 KO’s. The lead up to the fight has not created as much of a buzz as the promoter and backers would like, but there is a significant amount of interest just with the name “Manny Pacquiao” to make this a wise investment for all involved.

Most boxing fans are already looking ahead and the question has become: How will Manny win? Very few are using the term “will he win?” Mosley, as great as he was, and he was and is an all time great, is not on the same level of Pacquiao at this point. Mosley is being advertised by many as the man with the “puncher’s chance” and an “unbreakable will.” He has a great punch. He has a great chin. He has great fortitude, but there is an opponent not from the Philippines that he is facing and losing to and that foe goes by the name “Father Time.” Father Time has a great record and isn’t used to losing, but perhaps Mosley can cheat him and put a 1 in that loss column of both Pacquiao and old age.

Shane Mosley is 39 years old, and has been considered over the hill for some time. In early 2003, after back to back losses to Vernon Forrest, Mosley took on Raul Marquez, a decent fighter, but nowhere near the level of a Sugar Shane and it ended with an ugly no contest. Mosley didn’t seem to be able to pull the trigger and he began to show the signs of aging.

In September of 2003, he would rematch Oscar De La Hoya, a fighter he defeated in 2000, and although he did win a decision in the rematch, he wasn’t the same fighter. The quick combinations were replaced with one hard punch at a time. The speed and reflexes that made him such a special fighter were diminished and he was slowly being eliminated from the pound for pound best list.

In 2004, back to back losses to Winky Wright made it obvious that Mosley wasn’t what he once was. He couldn’t pull the trigger and didn’t have the blinding combinations that left so many opponents on the floor. He was on the way out, but to his credit, he continued and did well.

After 5 straight wins, he took on undefeated Miguel Cotto and fought a close fight, losing a unanimous decision, but it was debatable and it was a moral victory. He wasn’t as shot as everyone seemed to claim. He would follow up with a struggle against the limited powerhouse, Ricardo Mayora, picking up the 12th round stoppage win, and then had the privilege of knocking out a plaster-less Antonio Margarito in nine rounds. It gave Mosley new hope, but the reality was that he knocked out a mediocrity that cheated his way to the top.

The truth was exposed in fights with Floyd Mayweather, JR., and Sergio Mora. Mosley was shot. He couldn’t pull the trigger. Floyd Mayweather, JR., the smart businessman saw the diminished reflexes and big name combination and quickly brought him in as an opponent and dominated him, picking up some big credit for the win and a big paycheck, even though he was beating up an old man.

Trying to maneuver into another big payday, Sergio Mora of Contender fame, was selected as the return opponent for Mosley and it should have been an easy fight, but it ended in a draw, which should have marked the end of his career, but instead, he faces one of the most dangerous fighters in the game: Manny Pacquiao.

Manny Pacquiao has been on an unbelievable streak, leaving many notable boxers in mangled heaps. He has stopped Erik Morales (twice), Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Marco Antonio Barrera, and has soundly defeated Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito. He has used his power and timing to go along with the strategies of Freddie Roach to become one of the best in the game.

Shane Mosley has never been knocked out. So there is the challenge. Can Manny knock out a guy that has never been stopped before? When you look at the fact that he hasn’t knocked out other bigger guys like Clottey and Margarito, you start to lean toward Manny by UD, but there is something that showed its face in the Mayweather fight that, if Pacquiao senses it and acts on it, we may be looking at a devastating knockout.

Against Floyd, Shane was shaky…nervous, and he was looking for the exit. Floyd elected to play it safe and pot shot him all night. Shane will get to the hopeless stage somewhere in the Pacquiao fight and look for the exit and Manny will most likely smell the blood and push forward, hitting Shane with everything he’s got. The return by Shane will be off the mark and ineffective, leading to the most likely scenario: a late stoppage by Pacquiao…just what Freddie Roach has recently stated.

The big hope for Sugar Shane is to find the right hand and that Manny will be too aggressive, seeking the early knockout and giving the opening. The odds are long against it, but Shane will be dangerous early. Freddie, being able to successfully read his opposition prior to the fight will most likely see this, and have Manny use movement and speed initially and then pile the aggression as the morale of Mosley ebbs. Pacquiao all the way in this fight and you can expect the first stoppage in the career of Mosley.

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