Boxing is a combat sport that requires two men to duke it out with their fisting skills, hurt each other and try to knock each other out for 12 gruelling rounds. It takes two aggressors, two willing souls and two brave hearts to make an action filled exciting fight to entertain people.
But in what was suppose to be the biggest fight of the year last May 7, 2011, in Las Vegas between the Eighth Division World Champion Manny Pacquiao against the legendary but aging five-time champion Sugar Shane Mosley, this was not the case.
It was a boring fight for such a matchup of this magnitude to say the least and fans watching around the world were far from entertained.
"I'll tell you the truth, I was expecting that he would fight with me at least five rounds of the 12 rounds, to fight toe-to-toe with me so that we could test our power and our stamina, you know. But what am I going to do if my opponent does not want to fight toe-to-toe?" said Pacquiao during the post-fight interview.
Manny Pacquiao, the most exciting pound-for-pound best, is known for his volume punching style, speed and fearlessness. Mosley, on the other hand, is known for his power, technical skills and quickness, but such qualities did not pan-out in the fight and despite these inabilities to deliver a good performance, Manny Pacquiao failed to administer the first knockout in Shane Mosley’s career.
Did we just saw a slowly fading Pacquiao like most people claim it to be? I highly doubt it was the case.
Shane Mosley to his credit has still a decent speed and footwork. He looked like he was in the best shape during the weigh-in, and there were no visible signs that he struggled cutting down the extra weight.
He was even confident of knocking out Pacquiao. Naazim Richardson even made his own assertions by saying, “Mosley can knockout anybody who steps with him at 147.”
What happened on that disappointing night was definitely not something we have not seen before. It was the wrong game plan to use for a fighter like Pacquiao.
Because Pacquiao is such a wicked volume puncher but one who can also be hit, people usually think they need to use counter punching effectively, be very defensive and look for that opening to hurt and hopefully overwhelm Pacquiao.
Clottey and Cotto both employed this strategy in the early rounds with Pacquiao, but just like Mosley, they too abandoned their pursuit of winning after they felt the potent power Pacquiao has that could send them to sleep.
Pacquiao’s power is so deceiving because of his size and physical appearance. The last time we have actually seen him really ripped and muscular was at 130. Unlike other boxers at WW, Pacquiao doesn’t really have that bulging biceps and his abs is not as intimidating as that of Mayweather, Margarito or Mosley.
During his training in Wild Card, Pacquiao was somewhat criticized of his frame giving doubt if he is really in the best condition to face a true Welter because he seemed to be too small for 147. Pacquiao responded by saying, “I may look really thin right now, but my punches are really fat.”
One can only tell the difference after tasting it and such power made these opponents take the safe course. Joshua Clottey elected to stay in the shell, Cotto opted to use the bicycle and so did Mosley.
It is not entirely about the age of Mosley that factored in his lack-luster performance against Pacquiao otherwise, Clottey and Cotto should be asked to retire as well for being old.