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Shane Mosley: He Couldn't Versus Mayweather And Wouldn't Versus Pacquiao

BY Frank Lotierzo ON May 10, 2011
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When former three division champ Shane Mosley 46-7-1 (39) signed to fight WBO welterweight title holder Manny Pacquiao 53-3-2 (38), most observers were pretty confident that based on Mosley's recent history, he probably wouldn't win, but he'd at least push Pacquiao to fight and treat the fans to an exciting bout. Pacquiao represented another huge payday for Mosley and one last chance for him to redeem himself having coming off of two underwhelming showings against Floyd Mayweather and Sergio Mora in his last two bouts.

For Pacquiao, he wanted to beat Mosley more impressively than Mayweather did this time last year and make history by being the first fighter to stop Shane since he turned pro in 1993. So it was easy to see why the ballyhoo for the fight was huge. If nothing else the two warriors would deliver a thrilling fight for as long as it lasted. Only a funny thing happened once the two fighters stepped into the ring. Mosley came to grips with what mostly everyone was saying before the fight, that he was too old and civilized to mess with Manny and if he tried to push the issue on fight night, the reality would more than hurt, it would be embarrassing for the almost 40 year-old Pomona legend. And fighters fear being embarrassed more than they do losing or getting knocked out.

There's only two things that can make a fighter shut down and look to do just enough not to get knocked out or win. The first is the fight is a set up and the fighter who's not really taking any risk to win knows it - or he's afraid of what very well might happen to him physically if he dares to press the issue and fights with all he has to win. This past Saturday night we saw this from Shane Mosley during the course of the 12-rounds the fight went. Shane did all he could to prevent Pacquiao from getting the thing he wanted most, a stoppage win over him to add to his escalating legacy. So basically Mosley got what he wanted - he made a ton of money and wasn't stopped.

I have no doubt that walking to the ring that night Mosley's intent was to derail the Pacquiao express. No way the fight was a set up before the fighters exchanged blows at the bell for round one. However, that changed when Pacquiao asserted himself and had answers for everything Mosley thought he wanted to do. And after Manny dropped Shane for only the second time of his career in the third round,
Mosley accepted that he couldn't win the fight and the only thing he could do was try to keep Pacquiao from stopping him. And on the night of May 7th 2011, losing on his feet looked much better to Mosley than trying to win the fight and maybe getting stopped in the process.

See, those double and triple jabs that Shane threw were code in several ways. For starters, they were just enough to keep Pacquiao from really trying to take liberty with him because one of these times there just might be a big right hand behind one of them. And secondly they said "stay away from me." At first Manny was slightly fooled by them, but he soon caught on. And once he did it was as if Pacquiao said subconsciously that if you're not really trying to hurt me or win the fight, I won't try and kill you. I'll make a few runs and try to get the stoppage win, but it's not a matter of life and death and I respect your experience and reputation, so I'll be cool.

Again, forget about the official result and decision victory for Pacquiao. Just as he did with Joshua Clottey, Pacquiao showed Mosley enough that the thought of engaging him broke his will and forced him to fight to survive instead of to win. And doing that against even an old Mosley is impressive because of all the class fighters Mosley has fought  no fighter ever made him submit in the ring. Not Oscar De La Hoya, Vernon Forrest, Winky Wright, Fernando Vargas, Ricardo Mayorga,
Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito or Floyd Mayweather. Sometimes when one fighter can force his opponent to give up before he knocks him out, it's more impressive than actually knocking him out. For Manny Pacquiao to show Shane Mosley enough in three rounds that Mosley basically says to himself, I know you can beat me and you don't have to stop me to prove it, is pretty spectacular.

No, Pacquiao didn't look like Sugar Ray Robinson's equal this past weekend, but he never was. In fact I don't think he's Sugar Ray Leonard or Roberto Duran's equal, but he's still the fighter of the decade based on what took place between 2000-2010. He's an all-time great but I think it's pretty clear he's turned the corner physically and if he really did injure his leg training, maybe that's another sign that he's beginning to decline ever so slightly.

Yes, we were duped and believed Shane would make it a fight. And in hindsight as it was stated here before the fight, Mosley's only shot was to empty his wagon early and try to catch lightning in a bottle and stop Pacquiao. But apparently Mosley and his trainer Naazim Richardson thought that it wasn't worth the risk and that's why they watched a lot of Pacquiao-Marquez II. Shane was never going to win the wait and react game, but it would enable him to navigate his way to
the finish line in second place of a two man race, and it did.

So there you have it. Floyd Mayweather was too technically proficient and cerebral for a 38 year old Mosley - Manny Pacquiao was too physically brilliant for a 39 year old Mosley. In essence Mosley couldn't beat Mayweather and wouldn't try to beat Pacquiao. You be the judge of what's more impressive?

Personally, I'm more impressed with Pacquiao breaking Mosley's will than I am with Mayweather trumping his skill. But that doesn't necessarily translate into a Pacquiao victory over Mayweather. At the end of the day both fighters beat an empty package in Shane Mosley and all that he has remaining, or should I say had, was his name. In actuality, both Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto would be riskier fights for both Pacquiao and Mayweather than Shane Mosley circa 2010-2011.

Comment on this article

L.C. says:

Breaking someone's will
Is far more impressive because it's a signed you mentally and physically made him quite.

the Roast says:

Hee Hee! You are quite right L.C.

"B" says:

first of all no one broke Shane's will L.C. . He did not come to fight at all. All that bs about him never been being hit like that and that Manny was so fast was bull****. Vernon forest punches way harder that pacman will ever be able to . This was a ne guys who wanted to fight and the other who did not. Plain and simple

undisputed34 says:

i think that shanes will was broken in the fight with floyd, not paq. that was the last fight where he actually showed up to fight. he tried against floyd. he didnt try from the first bell to the last against paq. i dont see how the latter is better but hey..a win is a win. by the way, that wasnt the second knockdown of shanes career...he went down twice in the same round against vernon.

"B" says:

Frank...Really man. I love your articles most of the time but are you drinking the same kool aid that Bob Arum is. You honestly believe the guy you saw May 7th was even close to the guy who fought Vernon, Oscar, or Winky?? It is almost an insult to the readers that you even wrote that. I looked at Shane's face the moment the fight started and new something was off. And Manny didn't show Shane anything that made him quit. If anything Manny looked the worse I have seen him ever. Shane decided to get a payday well before fight night. A fighter of Shane's stature does not go through a whole camp of believing in himself just to get to the the fight and and get hit a few times just to say " ahhh well" . And when you mentioned Clottey giving up against Manny i have to respectfully say that that comparison doesn't carry much merit because anyone who saw Clottey fight before already new he was extremely talented but also mentally fragile. So Pacman beating Joshua was no surprise. I am not one of those Floyd fanatics and I definitely am not one of those people who Worships Manny but I do give a man credit when he deserves it. And Manny does not get credit for beating a man who was already defeated....

ultimoshogun says:

I see what you did there Roast...nothing for me to add here, "B" and undisputed34 are spot on.

Matthew says:

Mosley's non-effort was disappointing. I'm not saying that just because I spent $55 on the fight (at least we had a couple of good undercard fights), but I'm saying it as a boxing fan. I at least figured that Mosley would be competitive early, but the desire to be competitive ceased in the 3rd round when Shane was clearly hurt and on the canvas. He hadn't been buzzed like that since the first Forrest fight in '02. I know, it's easy to say when I'm not the one taking the punches, but Mosley's career body of work dictated that he would fight to the end. Simply put, he did not do that, and we all expected better. I do, however, think that Pacquiao showed some signs of decline in this fight. Maybe he really did have a leg injury, or maybe it was just an off night. To me he looked slower afoot, and his combinations did not look as crisp. Perhaps we won't know for sure until he fights again. It might be difficult to tell when he's in with an opponent that clearly is just trying to survive, but Clottey did the same thing against Pacquiao and I thought Manny was much more impressive in that fight.

FighterforJC says:

LOL. Now Floyd gets credit for "breaking Mosley's will?" And Pacquiao doesn't get credit for beating someone who's already lost? So then that makes Mayweather's record like 5-0 or however undefeated fighters he beat? "B" and "undisputed34" are probably the same person disguising themselves, probably the same clown who under a different name repeatedly picked Mosley to beat Pacquiao on this forum then created a new profile after the fight. LOL.

@Matthew: I think that we won't know for sure how much Pacquiao has slipped if indeed he has, until his next opponent. However I did watch the Mosley fight a couple of times more and it definitely looked like Pacquiao slowed down in the middle rounds but not due to fatigue or anything else, but he picked it up around the last quarter of the bout, presumably when his leg loosed up. I didn't see any signs of slipping in terms of reflexes or overall speed declining. After a second look at the fight I thought that Pac looked pretty sharp considering Mosley's 100% focus on defense and evading harm. Mosley's still a very quick guy. The problem with his age is he can't do everything anymore but if he focused on just one aspect he is just as good as ever; he chose to concentrate his efforts towards surviving. I think in spite of Pacquiao's troubled leg, the main reason he looked slow-ER is because of Mosley's elusive and shifty footwork. Marg, Clottey and Cotto moved pretty straightforward and Pacquiao was able to maneuver around them with ease.

undisputed34 says:

?

undisputed34 says:

@ fighterJC.. thanks for the "welcome" to the site lol..im not an old user with a new psuedonym, but again thanks for atleast reading my comment. this article is my 2nd or 3rd comment ever, but ive been reading this site for quite some time...long enough to know that some of you guys are pretty high strung about both pac-man and floyd, so let me attempt to clarify myself. i dont have a particularly biased opinion about either of these guys..i just try to reflect on what my take is of their performance inside the ring. Me saying that i think floyd broke shanes will was just my opinion based on these facts..1. shane actively tried to win against floyd, and at some point during the fight realized he could not..(presumably floyd had something to do with that) and i did not hear him afterward complain of an injury like blisters or anything of that nature..and 2. shane did not attempt to win the fight at any moment against pacman. considering that his career has been defined by him always taking the fight to his opponent..clearly some physical/mental changes occurred within the time between floyd and pac..could it be age? definitely..could it be he was facing a dangerous opponent in pac? absolutely. i posted on a previous article that not until the fight with floyd had shane faced an opponent his size who could dominate him and hurt him at will. i think mayweather could have kocked shane out, had he chosen to but we all know that is not his way. its not a stretch for shane to surmise that if floyd had his way with him then pacman could definitely hurt him. at the end of the day, i gave credit to pacman for going out there and doing what he had to and getting the V..a win is a win no matter how you get it. i dont think my previous statement took any credit from him or gave any undue credit to mayweather. as far as mayweather being undefeated goes, my standpoint in not only boxing but in any form of competition is you are only as good as the competition you beat. the same can be said of pacman. until next time bro..take it easy..

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