Pacquiao vs Mosley Post-Fight Analysis: Shane not tough but smart survivor
Leading up to the fight, that was the common consensus among boxing fans—analysts and laymen alike. Even Roach was in agreement of this.
Nazeem Richardson, Mosley’s trainer, had been saying that he was training his fighter to fight a defensive fighter because once Pacman felt Mosley’s power, the Pound-for-Pound king will go on the defensive.
The aging Shane Mosley might have that one-punch power like everyone was expecting but it proved to be almost a non-factor in the fight. Pacquiao was definitely tentative during the first two rounds but it is expected to be that way.
The first round was an obvious feel-out moment but Manny pick up in speed and aggression after that. The eventful third round came and it was perhaps the most exciting moment of the bout. Mosley was caught at the tail-end of Pacquiao’s combination—the renowned left straight of the champion. Mosley hit the canvas clearly dazed and confused.
For me, it was proof that Pacman has the power to knockout the likes of Shane Mosley who has endured the punches of light-middleweight fighters in the past. Shane also realized the very real possibility of him getting knocked out as he stood up from that knockdown.
However, that epiphany of Mosley made the remainder of the fight a boring one. Shane Mosley used all his skills and experience (and toughness???) to survive the fight. Mosley was never in the fight yet he was on his bike, circling left, away from Pacman’s power punch. He was even protecting the right side of his face like his life depended on it.
It was a good defensive plan but a losing one nonetheless as he was never willing to engage. Mosley very rarely attacked; his sledgehammer right hand never manifested. It was then clear that Mosley was in survival mode similar to Joshua Clottey when he was fighting the same opponent.
The only difference with Mosley’s defensive style compared to Clottey’s is that Shane is more mobile and cunning with disrupting Pacman’s combination rhythm whereas Clottey is more of shell-hiding turtle which Manny abused as a punching bag. Shane would often clinch if he had nowhere to go. They break-up and repeat the whole dance all night.
Mosley bored the crap out of me. Yes, more than Clottey. At least against Clottey, Manny could be seen teeing away with his combinations as the Ghanaian tried to endure the body shots.
In the 10th, referee Kenny Bayless mistakenly ruled a knockdown against Pacquiao but it was in fact a shove from Mosley as he was allegedly stepping on Pacquiao’s foot. Part of me was glad that it happened because after that, Manny felt the sudden surge of urgency that he had to knock his opponent out to save the fight from boredom.
But to no avail, Shane’s survival skills and instincts were just too much as he danced and clinched his way to hear the final bell. I think that’s the only thing commendable for Mosley in that fight—his skills to survive.
Mosley did not show toughness in that bout. Sure, he still holds the distinction that he has never been taken out in a fight but I was not convinced that he was as tough as everyone say he is, at least not now. He was smart not get knocked out but it was not toughness that made him a survivor.
Margarito, on the other hand, is one tough mofo. He stood his ground, he tried to bang, he got hit with murderous shots and got his orbital bone shattered by Pacman. He’s life was hanging by the thread but he survived. Manny might have taken it easy on Margarito in the final round but people are still shocked to see him standing. Now that’s tough what I call tough. And for Mosley? Not so much.
Contrary to some might say, Pacquiao tried to end the fight. He’s a friendly and merciful guy but I am pretty sure that he wanted to close that fight. For Manny, satisfaction of the fans is paramount and taking Mosley out was the menu of the night. However thanks to Mosley’s hyper-defensive skills and maybe also to Manny’s leg cramps in the middle rounds, the KO did not happen.
Nazeem Richardson: “I am training Shane to fight a defensive Pacquiao. When Shane cracks you, you become a defensive fighter.”
I wish Pacquiao was extensively trained to fight a defensive fighter because Mosley definitely became one after he got cracked. Hah! The irony of it all.
“Manny Pacquiao has the type of power I had to watch out for. Usually, I can go in there and punch with guys, but it seemed like he had something a little different. I had to watch out.”
--- Shane Mosley when interviewed after the fight
“Wala na sya, out na sya! Ikaw, warrior pa kaayo!”
(Translation: “He’s[Mosley’s] gone and out! But you are still a warrior!")
--- Buboy to Pacquiao during a round break