Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather: Who Beat Shane Mosley More Impressively?

Robert PecchioContributor IIIMay 27, 2011

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 07:  Shane Mosley (R) talks to his trainer Naazim Richardson between roundsduring the WBO welterweight title fight against Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 7, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao retained his title with a unanimous-decision victory.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Going into this spring’s fight against Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley had to know that he was being used as a measuring board.

For over two years now, superstars Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have been avoiding each other like a divorced couple. While Manny seems to desire a reconciliation in the ring, Mayweather has resigned himself to playing the role of the jilted wife—unwilling to take her husband back yet always ready with a disparaging word or two for his alternatives (Mosley, Margarito,etc.).

So, Mosley, it seems, enters this dispute as an innocent participant, a victim of split custody. He spent time in the ring with Mayweather a year ago and then was placed under the care of Manny Pacquiao this spring.

Since Manny and Mayweather refuse to fight, we are left with only the ability to compare their performances against common opponents. We find ourselves, a truth-seeking judge, standing before Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez and now Shane Mosley and asking them, “Who treated you better? Who would you rather be in the ring with?”

Having watched both fights (Mosley vs Mayweather and Mosley vs Pacquiao), it is important to note that while it was the same man that fought Pacquiao this spring, it is quite possible that those who watched Mosely’s horrible performance were not watching the same fighter that we had seen against Mayweather.

It is possible that Mosley aged in year in the year between his fights against Mayweather and Pacquiao. It is possible that Mosley lost a significant amount of skill in a year. It is even possible that Mosley was in worse shape, mentally or physically, in the Pacquiao fight than he had been against Mayweather.

I said possible…not likely.

And it’s important to note this because I am going to say after watching both fights—I think it is Pacman wins the battle of comparison.

Here’s a couple reasons why I think so:

1. Pacquiao Hurt Mosley More

Early on in the fight, Pacquiao sent Mosley sprawling to the canvas with his notorious left hand. This knockdown marked only the third time in Mosley’s career that he had been knocked down.

It only took Manny until the third round to place a meaner hurting on Mosley than Mayweather did during their entire fight. Mosley even admitted to fearing Pacquiao power much more than other opponents in his postfight interview.

What does this prove?

Nothing we didn’t already know. Pacquiao has a vicious left hand. What we can see, though, is that he can get it off against fast fighters still. Before old-man fatigue sets in, Mosley is still very fast. Pacquiao will not have no problem matching Mayweather’s speed.

2. Mayweather Was in More Danger

In the second round of their fight last spring, Shane Mosley buckled Mayweather’s knees about as badly as any time in Floyd’s career. Mayweather had to hang on to Mosley’s arm just to stay standing. After landing his second haymaker, a lot of people thought Mosley had a chance to close the deal.

What does this prove?

Not a whole lot other than that Mayweather isn’t as invincible as he seems. He can be touched by a quick fighter, and who knows? Maybe Pacquiao would have finished off Mayweather that night.

A lot of people criticized Mosley for the way he fought Pacquiao. He was very cautious and seemed unwilling to take chances. These same people will probably defend Mayweather’s poor showing in this second round by saying that Mosley was much more aggressive and sharp against Mayweather. I think, however, that Mosley’s greater success against Mayweather has to do with the type of fighter he was in the ring against.

Pacquiao never once looked concerned about Mosley’s power. He was too busy making Mosley move around in the ring in hopes of avoiding another knockdown. Pacquiao, as any great offensive fighter, flips the switch on his opponents to where they find themselves running instead of trading.

Pacquiao doesn’t always need the incredible defense that people say he is lacking.

3. Pacquiao’s Off-Night vs Mayweather’s Off-Night

After the Mosley fight, Pacman admitted to suffering from some leg tightness as the fight went on. Upon inspection, it is easy to see that Pacquiao was not as smooth as he normally is. Many people have said that his performance is indicative of the fighter’s decline.

At the same time, Mayweather controlled Mosley for the whole of the fight following the nerve-wracking second round.

What does this prove?

Pacquiao fought one of his worst fights in recent years against Mosley, yet he still embarrassingly dominated every aspect of the bout. Mayweather, on the other hand, looked to be suffering from some ring rust early on, most likely due to his relative inactivity, having only come out of retirement for one prior fight.

Pacquiao had a better off-night than Mayweather. Pacquiao has enough athletic ability and the right kind of fighter’s mentality to make up for momentary crudeness in his technique.

In conclusion, Manny Pacquiao, even though he wasn’t at his best, had a better night against Mosley.

If we were to use Mosley as a measuring stick, Pacquiao appears to have the tools to be the first to defeat Floyd “Money” Mayweather.

Many people will probably disagree with this assessment...and that's okay. I guess that's why we have our court system set-up for custody battles.

In fact, you be the judge. After watching the way Mosley nervously danced around the ring against Pacquiao, do you really think Mosley would tell the court that he'd rather go through another 12 rounds with Filipino slugger?

Against Mayweather, Mosley could be himself...offensive, risk taking every once in a while. With Manny, he was a shell of a man, not because he wanted to be but because he had to be.

Besides, after the beating that Margarito took, I don't think there's a judge in the world that would give Pacquiao custody.