Sugar Shane Mosley recently sent out a memo to the press about the basic disrespect he’s been shown by one and all in the boxing world.
He has a point.
Not to disparage the great Manny Pacquiao on his easy victory, he did take some shots. And not to denigrate the career and talent of Floyd Mayweather, he is undefeated. But how can anyone think Mayweather is a cinch to beat Mosley on May 1, in Las Vegas?
The one-sided thinking of promoters, trainers, television analysts, fans and even Pacquiao himself mouthing their wishes for a Mayweather fight is downright short-sighted. Does everyone truly think Money Mayweather is that much better than Mosley?
Only the blind and easily fooled thought Clottey had a slim chance of beating the speedy Pacquiao. The Filipino fired combinations at will and Clottey covered up like a Midwestern family in a basement during a storm of twisters. That won’t happen when Mosley fights Mayweather.
“Most people think I’m just a strong puncher and a brawler,” said Mosley, 38, who is the WBA welterweight titleholder since knocking out Antonio Margarito a year ago in Los Angeles. “People forget I’m a master boxer too.”
Many believe that Mayweather’s defensive boxing prowess and athletic ability will be too much for Mosley to overcome. Odds makers tab the undefeated Mayweather a 4-1 favorite.
“There are five ways to beat Shane Mosley,” said Mayweather, 33, alluding to Mosley’s five career losses. “He could have fought me 10 years ago and had a chance.”
Odds don’t always tell the real story.
Undefeated fighters aren’t necessarily indicative of perfection or invulnerability. History’s best recognized prizefighters all have losses. From Sugar Ray Robinson to Jack Dempsey to Willie Pep and Muhammad Ali, all are considered among the greatest prizefighters the world has ever seen. All sustained losses.
“If you don’t have a loss it means you just haven’t fought everybody,” said trainer Roger Mayweather himself two years ago. “In the old days everybody fought everybody.”
When Ali fought Foreman he was a huge underdog. Some had Foreman a 12-1 favorite after he easily demolished Joe Frazier and Ken Norton who both gave Ali fits when they met. But in 1974, it was Ali who found the antidote for Foreman’s seemingly invincibility. Ali won by knockout in the eighth.
Need another example?
Let’s go to the lower weight classes. Back in 1951, the great Sugar Ray Robinson traveled to London, England to defend his middleweight world championship against little known Randy Turpin. Robinson (128-1-2) hadn’t lost a fight in eight years and was thought to be a cinch after 88 fights without a loss. Turpin (42-2) had a great record but was thought to be out of his depth against the God-like powers of Robinson. That night Turpin’s unorthodox style confused and bewildered Robinson who sailed back home without the world title belt. A return match two months later saw Robinson knock out Turpin in New York City, but he still had problems with the British boxer.
Boxing is not a simple matter of who is faster or who is stronger. Nor is it about who is more experienced or younger.
“It comes down to who has the better skills,” said Mosley, adding that speed and power are not skills but God-given.
The euphoria of Pacquiao’s victory combined with the missed opportunity to fight Mayweather due to his demands for a blood test may have blinded all sides to the truth about the big showdown between Mosley and Mayweather.
It’s not going to be easy for either fighter.
“If you know me then you know I always get up for big fights,” Mosley said. “That’s what motivates me.”
Fights on television
Sat. HBO, Wladimir Klitschko (53-3) vs. Eddie Chambers (35-1).
Sat. Fox, 7 p.m., Odlanier Solis (15-0) vs. Carl Drummond (26-2).