Shane Mosley: Does He Stand A Chance Against Manny Pacquiao?
Shane Mosley will be quite the underdog when he faces Manny Pacquiao next May.
A deal was put in place Tuesday, and the fight itself has already received tons of criticism from both fans and the media. The question now remains: Does Mosley even have a chance?
The former pound-for-pound king is as confident as ever, telling ESPN.com he knows what he's capable of, that he still has power and speed, and that when Pacquiao comes at him he will get knocked out. Every fighter thinks they have a chance, but at the same time, here are the facts: Mosley is 39, 0-1-1 in his last two fights and is facing an opponent who is just as fast and powerful as Floyd Mayweather Jr.
There are five months left until we find out if Mosley can back up his talk, or if Manny will punish him and add to his legacy. Here are five reasons Mosley has a chance, and five reasons he doesn't:
Reason No.5 He Doesn't: His Last Two Fights
If Mosley had that much trouble with Mayweather and Mora, how will this be any different? This fight is going to be ugly. Manny Pacquiao is a quick, powerful, smart, well-rounded fighter. Juan Manuel Marquez is a much better matchup, and has shown in their previous two fights he knows how to neutralize Pacquiao and challenge him.
Reason No.5 He Does: All He Needs Is One Punch
No matter if you're a young up-and-comer or aged veteran, one punch can change an entire fight. Sergio Martinez proved that recently with his knockout of Paul Williams. Both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. also scored vicious knockouts over Ricky Hatton. Mosley will be a huge underdog, but if there's one opening he finds, one punch could lead to a massive upset.
Reason No.4 He Doesn't: Manny's Got Freddie
No matter what Shane Mosley does, it won't be anything that will shock trainer Freddie Roach. Pacquiao's longtime trainer learned under the legendary Eddie Futch. He's seen it all, was a fighter himself and knows how to put Pacquiao in a position to succeed.
Reason No.4 He Does: A Step Up in Competition
He may be 39, but Shane Mosley is much better than Joshua Clottey or Antonio Margarito when it comes to natural talent. Mosley has been in just as many big fights as Pacquiao, has a great trainer as well in Naazim Richardson and has pulled off big wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Fernando Vargas and Antonio Margarito.
Reason No.3 He Doesn't: Manny's Too Tough
Floyd Mayweather Jr. proved he could take a punch from Shane Mosley and cruised to an easy decision. Manny Pacquiao can take a punch just like Mayweather, and can deliver punishment too. He's faced too many tough fighters, been in plenty of wars and is built to trade if that's what Mosley tries to do.
If you want an idea of what this may end up like, think back to Pacquiao's first victory over Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003.
Reason No.3 He Does: A Second Chance
Shane Mosley caught Floyd Mayweather Jr. with one good punch but didn't finish him off. If he gets that chance with Manny Pacquiao, do you think that happens again?
Reason No.2 He Doesn't: Where's The Edge?
Don't try to stretch this. Simple question: Name one advantage Mosley has over Pacquiao? Found one? That's what I thought. Mosley's getting a big payday, and that's it.
Reason No.2 He Does: Playing The Underdog
Sometimes, being the underdog is the perfect place to be. In the ring, you're not the one with all the pressure. You can fight loose, you can be the aggressor, you can take bigger risks.
Two of boxing's biggest underdogs came in fights with Mike Tyson. Fans will remember when James "Buster" Douglas shocked the world with his victory over Tyson back in Japan. Fast forward to the first fight with Evander Holyfield, who kept telling anyone who would listen he would win. He got laughed at, but what happened? He won.
One of the most memorable underdogs was former Olympian Meldrick Taylor, a sharp, talented fighter from Philadelphia who got a shot to face then undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez in 1990. Taylor was winning the fight, but in the 12th round he got caught with a shot and referee Richard Steele shocked everyone when he decided to stop the fight. Taylor was never the same after that.
Reason No.1 He Doesn't: Legacy at Stake
At this point in his career, do you really believe Manny Pacquiao is about to let up and endanger his legacy with a loss to Mosley? He'll be prepared, do what he needs to win and hopefully that will eventually lead to a showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Reason No.1 He Does: Something To Prove
Shane Mosley returned to the spotlight with his shocking victory over Antonio Margarito, but all that credibility he earned back has since vanished with his fights against Mayweather and Mora. Boxers are some of the proudest people in sports, and they put in countless hours to achieve success. And if you can't bring it any longer in the ring? That's when most know it's time to walk away.
Shane Mosley is one of the classier fighters in boxing and a gentleman. He'll stand in and trade with Manny Pacquiao and give him a test, but there's absolutely no way he pulls off the upset here. Right now, it's Pacquiao by an easy unanimous decision.