Recently, Shane Mosley 46-6-1 (39) has been saying that he'll look a lot better against Manny Pacquiao 52-3-2 (38) next month than he did Floyd Mayweather last year because Manny will engage him more than Floyd did when they fought. In other words Mosley is insinuating that Mayweather didn't win by fighting him straight up. And if you buy Mayweather ran from Mosley when they fought you must have missed the fight or don't know what you were watching.
Since Mosley was shutdown and out-thought and fought by Mayweather he was held to a 12-round draw by Sergio Mora in his next bout four months later. Ironically, in Mora's next fight he lost a split decision to Brian Vera 18-5 (11). Shane has blamed Mora practically being a middleweight and a defensive first minded fighter as the reasons why he wasn't impressive during the fight. And although that may be partly true, I believe it's more the case of how Mosley has regressed as a fighter.
Before Mosley's high profile bout with Floyd Mayweather in May of last year both fighters were subjected to Olympic style blood and drug testing. In the dressing room before going out to the ring the night of the fight, Mosley looked like an empty package shadow boxing and warming up. And it's my belief that Mosley had to give up a lot more blood for the testing before the fight than Mayweather did. No, I cannot prove it but with the suspicion being around Mosley more than Mayweather in regards to fighters using supposed performance enhancing drugs, that's what my instincts tell me. And when it comes to the behind the scenes goings on in professional boxing, I trust my instincts.
What I can speak to with impunity is what transpired over the course of the 12-rounds Shane and Floyd spent in the ring against each other. After a somewhat uneventful first round, Mosley almost put Floyd away with a right hand during the second round. Mayweather survived the round and seemed to be recovered by the bell ending it. Starting in the third round and all the way through the 12th and final round, Mayweather was in control of the bout. For 10 straight rounds Floyd out thought and fought Mosley - and he didn't do it by running and using the circumference of the ring in order to avoid engaging with him.
Actually, Mayweather stood right in front of Mosley and beat him with his jab. Once Floyd saw that he could stymie and disrupt Mosley's offense with just a jab, he picked it up and mixed in some one-twos. On top of being neutralized offensively, Shane was frozen mentally and physically. With him not being sure if it was smarter to try and lead or counter, Mayweather cut loose and gave him more to think about. And a lot of that had to do with Shane's physical decline as a fighter. In actuality, there was no reason for Mayweather to fight Mosley the way Roy Jones did Antonio Tarver during their rubber match. And that's what's so disappointing about Mosley saying he'll do better against Pacquiao than he did Mayweather because Manny won't avoid fighting him the way Mayweather did.
The fact is Mayweather did try to fight Shane. And for whatever the reason was, Mayweather stood right in front of him and got the better of it. It didn't matter what Mosley did or tried, Mayweather controlled the bout from a physical vantage point for the last 10 rounds. In fact he looked like the bigger and stronger fighter. Even when Mosley became desperate and attempted to impose himself physically over Mayweather, he looked unsure and out of sync.
Since he's turned pro Mosley has been a great ambassador for professional boxing. He's always been more than willing to fight the best available even when it wasn't the best move for his career business wise. It's great to see him getting his two biggest paydays at the end of his career. However, it's dishonest for him to reiterate that he matches up better with Pacquiao because Manny will engage him unlike Mayweather. If you really think about it, Pacquiao engaging him will probably be the reason why there's a good chance he'll be subjected to the worst beating of his career.
As of 2011 Manny Pacquiao's style is much better suited to thump Mosley more than Mayweather's was/is. On the other hand Mayweather is much better equipped to deal with Pacquiao than an almost 40 year old Mosley. At this stage of the game both Mayweather and Pacquiao can better Mosley via boxing, counter-punching or attacking him.
I don't think anyone would dispute that Shane Mosley was one of the two or three greatest lightweights since Roberto Duran ruled the division circa 1972-78. But if you buy that Shane looked so flat against Mayweather because he couldn't find him, you've been mislead or didn't see the fight. Mayweather held his ground and fought Mosley and got the best of it. Pacquiao will also be able to hold his ground and out fight him on May 7th.
Frank Lotierzo can be reached at GlovedFist@Gmail.com