This one won't get inserted in the "classic" section of the Manny Pacquiao scrapbook. Pacman was not in vintage form against Shane Mosley Saturday night, though credit has to go to Mosley, the cagy vet who defended masterfully in the main event at the MGM in Las Vegas. The fans booed in rounds six-nine, and again after the final bell, showing their dislike of slow sections of the bout. Mosley came to stay alive, not thrive, and provide thrills as he promised. The judges saw this mediocre scrap, 119-108, 120-108, 120-107, for Pacquiao.
After, Manny said leg cramps hindered him, while Mosley said he thought he did a pretty good job, and wouldn't blame age for the loss in front of 16, 412 fans.
Pacquiao (age 32; from General Santos City, Philippines; 52-3-2 with 38 KOs entering; titlist in eight different divisions) weighed 145 pounds, while Mosley (age 39; from Pomona, CA; 46-6-1 with 39 KOs) was 147 pounds. Pacquiao's WBO welterweight (full 147 pound limit) belt was up for grabs. Duane Ford, Dave Moretti and Glenn Trowbridge were the judges, and Kenny Bayless was the ref.
In the first, both men were a bit cautious. Manny's straight left to the body worked early. Mosley assessed Manny's speed, and looked a half step behind. Neither man had a commanding jab.
In the second, Manny got a sweat going. He looked to put more punches together. Mosley felt the power and speed more than in the first.
In the third, Manny scored a knockdown with 1:15 left. A one two did severe damage.
In the fourth, Shane landed a right upper. But he ate, as Manny's hands were to speedy for him. He defended fairly well, giving enough head movement to minimize Manny's impact.
In the fifth, the two clashed heads for the fourth time, no cuts occurred. Manny gave Shane a little time to shine. It was a bit of a breather round for Manny, though he still won it. Shutout Pacman, to this point.
In the sixth, the crowd booed lackluster action. A straight right from Shane and a snappy jab touched Manny. This wasn't vintage Pacman to this point.
In the seventh, more boos. Mosley's head movement, and nimble feet, made it hard for Manny to land as clean as he's used to. The crowd booed after the round.
In the eighth, Manny missed with his right hook. More boos from the crowd. Shane landed a counter right. It must be said, his reflexes were much, much better than I expected. A left hook tagged Manny behind his ear. Not a bad round for the elder at all.
In the ninth, the crowd booed, not liking the lack of trading. A clean one two from Manny made them happier at 45 seconds to go. A left hand snapped Mosley's head back and Manny fans cheered.
In the tenth, the crowd got tired of seeing the men tap gloves after inadvertant butts. Shane scored a knockdown, which wasn't, with 1:10 to go. He was off balance and no blow caused it. A Manny combo hurt Mosley right after, after Manny woke up.
In the 11th, Shane moved more, as Manny was intent on hurt. In the 12th, the fans booed again. Then Manny put combos together, though Mosley stayed defensive. The fans booed hard after the closing bell.
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SPEEDBAG Did Manny miss some animosity? Did he like Mosley too much?