Pacquiao – Mosley: Don’t Like It, Then Don’t Buy It

Pacquiao pummels a brave but outgunned Margarito
Pacquiao pummels a brave but outgunned Margarito
By Matthew Hurley: When the announcement came that Manny Pacquiao would face Shane Mosley on May 7th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas I shrugged, placed my hand over my mouth and yawned.

However, despite the protestations of many in regards to this matchup I don’t see it as complete farce. In fact it will certainly be more compelling than Pacquiao’s beat down of the wooden Antonio Margarito. And how could it not be more entertaining than Mosley’s tedious draw with Sergio Mora?

The problem with the bout, and there are more than a few, is that the outcome is not in doubt. Pacquiao will beat the shopworn Mosley, perhaps brutally. Mosley’s legs are shot and his inability to pull the trigger when his prey is in the crosshairs has become more evident in every fight.

His defenders will argue that he had defensive wizard Floyd Mayweather in serious trouble in round two of their bout back in May of 2010. But that was one shot and Mosley lost every second of the following 10 rounds.

Granted, Pacquiao is an offensive-minded fighter and will stand in the pocket with Mosley, but Shane’s herky-jerky style telegraphs his punches and Manny is a much better defensive boxer than he is given credit for. Couple that with his amazing punch output, and his explosive accuracy, and it’s hard not to envision a gallant Mosley being beaten senseless and carried out of the ring on his shield.

The most severe of critics of this bout point to the fact that Pacquiao could have faced Juan Manuel Marquez in a third go round of their contentious rivalry – and it would have fallen on the weekend of Cinco de Mayo to boot.

But Pacquaio is now a full-fledged welterweight and Marquez’s only showing at 147 pounds was an embarrassing 12 round decision loss to Floyd Mayweather. That fight proved only that Marquez can’t perform effectively above the 135-pound limit. His subsequent wins over Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis cemented that fact. So Marquez was out.

Another choice could have been welterweight belt holder Andre Berto. But it says here that Berto has done nothing to earn a shot at the best and most popular fighter in the sport. In fact, Berto still has unfinished business with one Luis Collazo, who he beat by dubious decision back in January of 2009. For the record, I had Collazo winning that fight by a couple of points.

A meeting with the winner of the Timothy Bradley – Devon Alexander fight, who will unify their junior welterweight titles on January 29th, could still happen. But Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum had already set aside May 7th for Manny’s return to the ring and needed/wanted a signature on the dotted line of the contract ASAP.

Other names tossed around by the boxing public included both Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams – middleweights! Just how far up in weight is Pacquiao supposed to go? Besides, Williams was concussed by Martinez in two rounds in their rematch and now must rebuild both his confidence and his reputation before stepping back on center stage.

Martinez, the SecondsOut fighter of the year for 2010, was immediately scheduled to face mandatory challenger Serhiy Dzinziruk on May 12th in order to hold onto the WBC belt he fought so hard to attain.

Finally, with the one fighter everyone wants to see Pacquiao swap leather with, Floyd Mayweather, in legal limbo and seemingly unwilling to answer the call, Team Pacquiao were really left with no other big name options other than Shane Mosley. The operative term being, “big name”.

In a sense Pacquiao is running his final victory lap before heading off into retirement. He only wants name recognizable opponents before that hoped for showdown with Mayweather. And if those fighters are on their last legs, so be it. It will only make him look more spectacular in the run up to Floyd. And if the fight with Mayweather doesn’t happen, and it looks more and more probable that it won’t, Pacquiao will have added names like Mosley’s to his victory ledger and highlight reel.

But make no mistake, Pacquaio – Mosley will be fun for however long it lasts. Their styles mesh nicely. It’s the timing that is all wrong. Mosley is several years past his expiration date, but probably still has a few rounds of excitement left in his aging body.

If the fight offends, don’t buy it. The best way to protest potential mismatches on the pay-per-view level is to keep your money safely tucked away in your wallet.

However, if you want to watch a truly great fighter ply his craft you better get used to the path Manny Pacquiao has chosen to close out his career. For if Floyd Mayweather decides to never step in the ring with him there will probably only be fighters like Shane Mosley in Pacquiao’s future.

As Manny has said recently, “I already feel I’ve done enough in my career.” It may never be enough for an often fickle, overly critical boxing public but Manny Pacquiao doesn’t seem to care. And you know what? Good for him.

January 16, 2011
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