SecondsOut breaks down the matchup and figures out who will win
By:Mike Sloan: Not many people are expecting “Sugar” Shane Mosley to walk out of the MGM Grand with his hand raised in victory on Saturday night. He’s 40 years old and has clearly seen better days. The future Hall of Famer hasn’t looked dominant in years and his opponent is a young, unbeaten superstar in the making in Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (39-0-1, 29KOs). Mosley is a prohibitive underdog going into the contest but it’s possible that he can shock the world.
Mosley’s been around the block for quite some time and he’s fought the absolute best opposition there has been in his career. He’s capable of pulling off the unthinkable; he did so in January 2009 when most thought he was beyond shopworn and Antonio Margarito was thought to be invincible. Mosley (46-7-1, 39KOs) tore him up. Mosley finds himself in a similar position and he is confident that he can once again pull a rabbit out of his hat and resurrect a career that is on its last legs.
Can Mosley do it? Can he topple the young lion in Alvarez? Or will the red-headed, freckle-faced Mexican be too young, too fast, too strong and too good for Old Man Mosley? SecondsOut.com knows exactly what will happen and knows who will win on Saturday night. If you want to know the result of the fight before it even starts, read on:
Punching power: Mosley has a ton of fights on his professional ledger that didn’t go the distance and he’s scored some impressive knockouts along the way. However, aside from the one-punch destructions of Adrian Stone and Manuel Gomez, Mosley isn’t really a massive puncher. The vast majority of his knockouts came courtesy of accumulative beatings and only has four total knockouts since 2002, or in his last 17 bouts. Similar to Mosley, Alvarez isn’t a huge puncher, either, and like Mosley, his knockouts usually come via systematic beating. Alvarez hasn’t really shown crushing one-punch power, either. Advantage: Mosley
Speed: Back in his glory days, Mosley was flashy with blistering speed. At 130 and 135, virtually nobody threw faster, more accurate combos and he did it with ferocity. He kept his speed throughout his career, but he’s been slowing down with each passing battle. He looked very sluggish against Floyd Mayweather towards the end and he appeared to be stuck in syrup against Manny Pacquiao. Alvarez has some great speed behind his fists, but nobody is going to confuse him with a prime Roy Jones. Still, his youth is a major factor and he should be a step or two ahead of Mosley in terms of speed. Advantage: Alvarez
Size: Canelo is the larger man but it’s not by a ton. He’s half an inch taller and has an identical reach. Mosley has fought at lower weights for much of his career, though he has been flip-flopping between welterweight and junior middleweight for years. He’s comfortable at 154, which is Alvarez’ natural weight. Alvarez will eventually move up to 160 but it won’t be for another year or two. Since “size advantage” is the biggest myth in boxing history, this category for this particular matchup is virtually moot. Still, one man is more natural at 154 than the other. Advantage: Alvarez
Age factor: Mosley has looked shopworn for years and it’s not getting any better. He’s slower and slower each time out and he’s been getting hit much more than he used to. Alvarez is as fresh as a spring chick and is entering his prime as a fighter. It’s one thing if Mosley was still dominant/competitive like 47-year old Bernard Hopkins, but that’s nowhere near the case. He’s a very old 40 and Alvarez is young and hungry. Advantage: Alvarez
Chin: Mosley has been knocked down only a few times in his life and he’s never been stopped. Pacquiao came close, so did Vernon Forrest, but they couldn’t put him away. Alvarez has shown terrific whiskers as well. Out of all the categories aside from size, this one is as big a wash as they come. Since Alvarez hasn’t fought the same sort of competition as Mosley has over the years and he’s still in the building stages (see: hand-picked opponents most of the time), he’s still a bit untested. Mosley’s chin has stood the test of time and this one hinges on who could take the other’s best punch better than the other. Advantage: Mosley
Experience: Easily the biggest mismatch of all categories, Mosley’s experience compared to Canelo’s is like man versus mouse. Mosley has taken them all on: Oscar De la Hoya, Mayweather, Pacquiao, Margarito, Winky Wright, Forrest, Miguel Cotto, Fernando Vargas. The list goes on and on. The best opponent Alvarez fought wouldn’t even crack Mosley’s top ten. This one’s not even fair. Advantage: Mosley
Intangibles: Mosley’s experience in some of the biggest fights of this past generation will certainly be helpful for him but it will only go as far as his well-rode legs will take him. He knows every trick in the book by now and if things get hairy, he’ll know what to do. There shouldn’t be a ton of pressure on him because most expect him to lose to Alvarez, but he does want to prove the naysayers wrong. Alvarez still hasn’t tasted defeat and this is hands down the biggest fight of his still-blossoming career. He knows a mega fight against the likes of Mayweather or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. loom in the near future if he dispatches of Mosley so he wants to look sensational. Still, Alvarez’ speed advantage and youth should get him through the more grueling encounters and Mosley has faded late in recent fights. That trend should continue on Saturday. Advantage: Alvarez
The bottom line: Mosley will make things interesting for young Canelo with his early aggression and he’ll tie up the kid every chance he gets. It’ll be a dirty, ugly fight but Alvarez seems like a cool cucumber inside the ring. Eventually Alvarez will start to land some stinging shots and back Mosley up. Alvarez has that great killer instinct and when he knows his opponent is withering, he pounces. Mosley will begin to tire out and his 40-year old body will begin to betray him. He’ll see the punches coming but he’ll be a step slower than normal, unable to avoid the punishment. Late in the fight Alvarez will start digging to the body even more, sapping the energy from Mosley and he’ll score a knockdown around the ninth or tenth round. Mosley will be too tough for his own good and will begin getting hammered on the outside. Alvarez will close out the show and force either a referee stoppage or the towel to be tossed in after Mosley is being battered after the second knockdown. Alvarez will become the first man in history to stop Mosley as a professional and he’ll do it in the 11th round. Bank on it.
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May 3, 2012