This Saturday night, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, undefeated middleweight Floyd Mayweather—arguably one of the greatest middleweights in the history of boxing—will take on WBA Welterweight Super Champion Shane Mosley. NOT Manny Pacquiao. I repeat, NOT Manny Pacquiao.
Obviously, the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout is the one everyone wants to see, and would undoubtedly be one of the most talked about fights of the decade. Unfortunately, due to Pacquiao’s refusal to satisfy the Mayweather camp’s demand for an Olympic-style drug test and Pacquiao’s retaliatory lawsuit against Mayweather for slander, it doesn’t look like those two are going to be in the ring together anytime soon.
The Pacquiao vacuum has opened up a slot for none other than fellow-Oscar de La Hoya beater, Sugar Shane Mosley, and while Mosley might not be as much of a draw as Pacquiao, he is not to be underestimated.
If anyone can put a digit in the L column for Mayweather (other than Pacquiao), Mosley would surely be the one. He’s a smart, seasoned fighter, with a hard punch, great stamina, and more so than any of Mayweather’s past opponents—he’s fast. He may not be as fast as Mayweather, but he’s fast enough.
No one has ever been able to come close to beating Mayweather to the punch—except for maybe Zab Judah in the early rounds of their 2006 fight—and even then, once Mayweather warmed up, Judah couldn’t touch him.
It was speed that won that fight for Mayweather, just like it was speed that earned him victories in his fights with Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya, and the late, great Arturo Gatti.
But Shane Mosley is no Zab Judah. He comes into this fight with an astonishing 39 knockouts out of 46 bouts. He's taken on and beaten some of the hardest hitters in boxing, including glove stuffing ex-champion Antonio Margarito. Mosley is just as calculating of a puncher as Mayweather. He’s strong, agile, and just the type of fighter who can put Mayweather on his butt.
Mayweather has never fought anyone like Mosley before, and (like everyone Mayweather has ever fought) he doesn’t have any respect for him. That lack of respect might just be what Mosley needs to pull off an upset. Mosley may not have the ability that Mayweather has, but he’s the perfect opponent to make Mayweather beat himself.
Boxing fans far and wide have been waiting to see Mayweather get knocked out for years now. He’s loud, cocky, obnoxious—and not in the endearing Muhammad Ali kind of way. Aside from the fact that they were two of the best in boxing, this is one of the biggest reasons everyone was so thirsty for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.
Pacquiao is a soft-spoken, well-mannered, nice guy. He’s the pride of the Philippines and underdogs everywhere. Mosley may not be as well known as Pacquiao, but he has just as appealing a persona, and he’s definitely an underdog. People love underdogs, especially when they actually have a shot.