Steve Janoski: I’ve been calling for it for the last two years, and finally the day has arrived where Sugar Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather are going to square off and rumble. This is a fight between two fighters that are so good, so talented, and so experienced that it makes it hard to pick a winner. The general boxing public knows who they’re picking- Mayweather is nearly a 4 to 1 favorite, and I suppose his 40-0 record speaks for itself— and if it doesn’t, Mayweather will speak for it, as he will about most things..
Mosley (46-5, 39 KO’s) has a few things going against him Saturday. Throughout his career, he’s had terrific hand speed; however, it’s impossible to know how much lightening is still left in those fists when he’s only had one fight in the last fifteen months, and that was against the very slow and stationary Antonio Margarito. How much rust is on those old joints of his could very well determine this fight, and, at age 38, who knows what’s still there.
Another negative for Mosley is that defensive-minded boxers like Winky Wright have given him fits, and with Mosley’s bang-out style, there’s certainly counterpunching opportunities for those fighters adept enough to capitalize on them. Unfortunately for Shane, on Saturday night he will be fighting one the best counterpunchers that the boxing world has seen yet.
Those things being said, I can’t help but think that people are selling Sugar Shane short with 4-1 odds. This guy is a Hall of Famer, and when he’s on, he’s a brutal killing machine. His demolition of Margarito was so convincing and awe-inspiring that every time I think to doubt him, I think about those murderous left hooks that shattered one of boxing’s toughest chins. His hand speed was excellent, and his punches were accurate and savagely powerful.
Mosley himself has a granite chin, and there’s more of a chance of Floyd breaking his hands on Shane’s head than of Shane breaking down because of them. He’s got solid head movement, and though it’s safe to say he’s going to get hit, he’s fast enough that he’ll be able to counter with some heavy-handed hooks of his own, and make Mayweather pay for coming in on him.
Mosley also has one intangible in Nazim Richardson, who is in himself an ace in the hole by virtue of his boxing knowledge and the nearly religious intensity with which he studies opponents. Richardson’s Sugar Shane seems to be about ten years younger than Jack Mosley‘s Sugar Shane, as he exhibited in the Margarito fight.
Mayweather…there isn’t much to say about Mayweather anymore. Boxing fans know his style, and they know that for all his barking, he’s going to try to avoid really mixing it up with Shane. He may be many things, but stupid is not one of them, and he will give Shane the same respect that he gave Oscar De La Hoya when they fought in 2007, pot-shotting and moving laterally while trying to avoid being caught in the corners or against the ropes. It’s far from an exciting way of fighting, but it’s worked 40 times and I don’t blame him for sticking with it.
the only thing that I wonder about is the noise that Money’s making. Mayweather has been more brash, more arrogant, and more irritating before this fight than any other. He’s gone so far as to call himself the greatest of all time, which is in itself a laughable idea, and has done everything possible to get Shane off of his game. He’s brought up steroids at every opportunity, all the while telling fans that Shane’s had a nose job. He’s even poking fun at Shane’s Jheri curls- have you no mercy, Floyd?
In reality. all that woofing tells me only one thing: this dog is scared. That doesn’t mean that he’ll lose the fight, of course, but that does mean that he thinks he might, and he has laid awake at night wondering if he’ll be 40-1 by Sunday morning.
What Floyd is frightened of is harder to figure out.. He might realize that Shane is bigger, stronger, and faster than nearly any fighter he’s faced, and he might realize that the chances of knocking him out are slim to none. But it also might be that at 33, Floyd is no spring chicken himself. Most people’s boxing careers are done by 33, and even the best of champs find it impossible to defeat that ticking clock.
During HBO’s 24/7 series, he showed us a rare moment of humanity when he spoke about his worries over the health of his father and his uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather. Win or lose this week, I think he may be looking into the face of Father Time, and realizing that no matter how brash or bombastic you are, time robs you of your talent and all of your skills. He might realize that when he faces off with Shane Mosley, he’s going to be looking at himself in five years.
Whatever the reason, Mayweather is a little older, and nearing the end of his own run. This fight will define his legacy as a fighter, and how he fights it could impact that even more.
And when it comes down to it, both these boys respect each other, and both these boys can bang— who can do it harder and longer is going to win. And that’s why, as hard as it is to pick against Mayweather, I’m going to take the underdog and say that Shane Mosley is going to hand Floyd his first loss on May 1.