May 5, 2011

Prediction: Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Mosley

It's been the Year of the Upset.

After starting off the new year writing about the demise of the big boxing upset, wondering, "Whatever Happened to the Upset?" - the sport of boxing has answered me with a year full of against the odds surprises such as: Hyped prospect James Kirkland KO'd by the unknown Nobuhiro Ishida. Power punching middlweight contender David Lemieux stopped by Marco Antonio Rubio. Alleged "quitter" Victor Ortiz becoming a vicious tiger before our eyes and defeating the favored Andre Berto, and biggest of all so far; top pound for pound featherweight sensation Juan Manuel Lopez KO'd at home in Puerto Rico by the unheralded Orlando Salido.

This weekend in Las Vegas, 39 year old Shane Mosley takes his shot at the biggest upset of all, facing current pound for pound king, and all time great Manny Pacquiao in a fight that many panned as a regrettable, undesirable, mismatch the moment it was made. That negative reaction struck me as odd at the time, considering what a warrior Shane Mosley has been all throughout his career. Surely Mosley would at least be competitive with Pacquiao I figured. Hell, he might even beat him, especially if you buy into the logic that an aging great fighter is sometimes capable of that one last great performance when nobody expects it. That's certainly what we saw last month when Eric Morales gave the boxing world a thrill and came within a few points of defeating the highly favored Marcos Maidana.

So will the upset trend continue with Mosley beating Pacquiao on May 7th?

No, I don't think so.

A few months ago, I thought maybe an upset was possible, or at the very least a competitive fight but everything I have seen and heard so far since that time leads me to believe that Shane might look OK for two or three rounds but after that he's gonna start taking a beating from Pacquiao, and at that point the fight will effectively be over with Shane reduced to just going through the motions, ineffectively stalking, looking for one punch while Pacquiao will consistently hit Mosley with every punch in his formidable arsenal. All that remains to be seen is if that beating will be enough to stop Shane inside the distance.

Defeating Shane Mosley is expected from Manny Pacquiao, stopping him would be the true feather in his cap. 

Can he do it? Will Pacquiao earn that feather and become the first man to stop Mosley? The feeling here is that he will not. Shane has a ton of heart and a damn good chin but considering Pac's propensity for showing mercy to opponents, Shane is likely to hear the final bell. What he is also likely to hear is that he just lost a very wide, unanimous decision to Pacquiao in a pretty dull fight that failed to live up to the hype.

It won't even be remotely close, and Pacquiao will make beating Mosley look even easier than Mayweather made it look because at no point will Shane be able to hurt Pacquiao like he hurt Mayweather last year in the second round. Shane wins no more than two rounds, takes a full body beating from Pacquiao and wisely hints at retirement after the fight.

Prediction: Manny Pacquiao W12 Shane Mosley