We're all adults here. We know that this is the fight game, and the name of the game is making money. And sometimes, when people are trying to convince you to reach into your wallet, and transfer some of your wealth to them, they will say things that veer into hyperbole. I don't want to say they lie, but rather, they skillfully shade the truth, massage it, choose to accentuate one portion of a story over another. They play up evidence which suits their cause, and sometime ignore evidence which might cause the potential consumer to keep that wallet glued shut.
We've heard oodles of skillfully delivered hyperbole in recent months, since Shane Mosley signed on the dotted line to become Manny Pacquiao's next victim. Initially, you'll recall the howls from the keyboard tappers resonated across the universe. They–we—I–didn't like the matchup, believing that the nearly-40-year-old Mosley, God bless him, had deteriorated too far from his prime time, and would be too ripe to get picked off by Pacquiao's laser guided killshots. Fans too haven't really embraced this tangle, which unfolds on May 7 in Las Vegas. But the players involved, the promoters, the trainers, the fighters themselves, have done their part to try and steer the promotion out of the realm of the nattering nabobs of the fightwrite fraternity.
There is a conference call today featuring Shane Mosley which will no doubt feature a boatload of this skillful marketing language. But I have to say, I have been somewhat impressed with what I've been hearing from the fighter himself, from Mosley. I chatted with him a few days ago, and was happy that he wasn't overselling his chances. Yes, he told me he think Pacquiao is a good style matchup for him. He said that Pacquiao doesn't have the same skills as a pure pugilist as Floyd Mayweather does, so Pacquiao will be right there in front of him, ready to be hit. Our man Frank Lotierzo has already picked apart this assertion, noting that Mayweather didn't win his bout against Mosley with his feet. He was in front of Mosley, ready to be hit, but Shane's reflexes are only human. They have diminished and with that, his chance at beating Manny, in my mind, have diminished tremendously.
And you know what? When I asked Mosley in our chat if he would consider retiring if Pacquiao beats him, what I heard convinced me that Mosley knows what he has, and what he's lost. “That decision would have to be made on how I lost,” he said.
I appreciated his honesty here. If he gets his butt handed to him, he implied, that will be it for him. I appreciate that he didn't try to BS his way through the question, offer false bravado, reject the possibility that on the night of May 7, his career might conclusively be finished.
See, while we are all adults here, I have to admit I'm a favorite of Barnum. I'm a sucker who gets convinced by the hyperbole. The more years I do this, the less easily I get convinced, but still. So I'm thankful when I see and hear the principals staying grounded in at least some realism.
My guess is that on the night of May 7, Shane Mosley will know after about six minutes that even though he's had a fabulous training camp, and his style matches up well with Manny's, and Manny has never fought anyone with his blend of speed and power, retirement is his obvious option.