Can Sugar Shane really beat the Pac-Man?
Let's face it. Not a lot of boxing fans are giving Shane Mosley a chance against Manny Pacquiao when they face off this Saturday. As a friend of mine said the other day, give me a narrative where he wins this fight. Well, for my friend and everyone else, here's five things Shane can do to win this fight. Five ways he can shock the world.
Marquez gave Manny fits.
A lot of boxers who get in the ring get intimidated by Pacman's speed and power. Ricky Hatton was defeated walking into the ring. Cotto seemed more and more befuddled as the the bout when on. But one fighter who gave Manny fits in the past was Juan Manuel Marquez, a deliberate, counter puncher who isn't as fast as Pacquiao.
That's because Marquez rarely gets flustered and takes his time with Manny the same way he fights anyone else. In both fights he's been knocked down by Manny, including three times in the first round of their first bout. But Marquez continued to fight his own fight both times and almost won both bouts.
Stay out of the middle Shane.
Manny is always best in the middle of the ring. His unorthodox style, lightning speed and movement make him almost impossible for the average fighter to deal with when he's in the center of the squared circle.
But he's not nearly as effective on the ropes. Margarito's only good round was when he got Manny into the ropes in the middle of the fight. Mosley needs to use his size to try and pin Manny there when he can.
This is a tough one. Because you have to be able to get to Manny's body and that's not easy. But let's face it. Manny admitted after the Margarito fight that he was briefly hurt when Margarito caught him with body shots in that fight. You could see it, too. Manny visibly winced when Tony caught him there with a couple of hard shots.
Freddie Roach was on the Jim Rome the other day and he talked about the need to get Sugar Shane back on his heels. That's because as Freddie put it, "Older fighters have a hard time moving backward."The Hall of Fame trainer knows this well because he was once an older fighter.
And it's true. Watch YouTube videos of Oscar, Ali or Leonard. Late in their careers they still have decent hand speed, they know how to hit their target but they do not move well unless going forward. Shane's only chance is to to keep pressing the action and try to get Manny off his game. It's going to be tough with a fighter as quick as Pacquiao but it's Mosley's best chance.
Mosley was able to stun Mayweather so we know he can land the big blow and Manny's definitely more hittable than Floyd. The problem is that Manny's going to be on the move and he will often be moving away from Sugar Shane's punches. Mosley needs to stay calm, look for the right opening and then follow it up. Tough but not impossible.
I'll be honest. I think Manny will win this fight but I wouldn't bet my life on it. The fact is Shane Mosley is a terrific fighter and a tough one as well. He also knows this is probably his last hurrah as well.
Shane needs to stick to basics, use his size to his advantage and get Manny to fight his fight. If he does that he has a chance. If not it's going to be a long night for the Hall of Famer from Pomona.