by James Slater – It looks almost certain that we will never get to see welterweight marvels Floyd Mayweather Junior and “Sugar” Shane Mosley square off in what would be a genuine super-fight. Mayweather has again said he offered Mosley a chance to face him before – in fact he claims two chances, one in 1999, another in 2006 – but that “Sugar” turned him down back then and only wants to fight him now to garner himself one last monster pay day. Whatever. We fight fans are sick of the who’s-avoiding-who argument; we would just love to see the match-up take place..
As it looks as close to 100-perecnt as is possible that it won’t, however, we can only treat the fight as a “dream fight.” It’s debate time: who would win, at a full 147-pounds, if the two greats met some time early next year?
Mosley may be 38, but he remains one of the few fighters in the sport who is capable of matching “Money” for speed of hand. Factor in the seemingly renewed vigour he displayed whilst taking the teak-tough Antonio Margarito to pieces in his last fight, and you can see how Mosley is also hard enough – of both punch and of resolve – to give the man six years his junior a real battle.
Mayweather is a defensive genius. That much is accepted. But would Mosley force him into fighting his fight? More so than against any other fighter he has ever met at welterweight – with the possible exception of Zab Judah, who did well against him for a few rounds before going into apparent meltdown – Mayweather would be in some danger of being out-thought, out-punched and out-slicked Vs. Mosley. One thing’s for sure, Floyd’s habit of pot-shotting with single blows would not be enough against the very fast and very aggressive WBA champion.
Forced to be more aggressive himself or risk being out-worked and out-scored by the clever, educated pressure of the hard-chinned champion, Mayweather would throw more punches and have to run the risk of being caught in return. Nobody has ever really tested Mayweather’s chin; is it possible Mosley would do so? Of course, it could play out whereby Mosley’s attacks and his matching him for speed brings out the very best in Mayweather. Having to dig deeper than ever before, Mayweather would perhaps tap into hidden reserves of greatness and put on a display to top even his previous performances.
Seeing Mayweather forced to bite down hard and fight even harder would be some spectacle, and maybe “Money” would rise to the occasion and blast Mosley as a result. It’s been correctly said that Mayweather doesn’t look hard enough for the KO – but in a fight with Mosley he would perhaps have no choice but to do so. Pushed and pushed hard, Mayweather would either fold, fight negatively so as to survive, or fire back.
I think he would do the latter, and, in a truly great and special fight that would elevate both men the way their 1981 showdown elevated both “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, Mayweather would fight the fight of his life and win a classic on points. They say great fighters have to fight great fighters for their full greatness to emerge. I believe Shane Mosley is the only man at welterweight today (with the possible exception, if he can still make 147, of Paul Williams) who is capable of bringing out Floyd Mayweather Junior’s full greatness.
What a crying shame we will never get to see it!