By James Slater – Though most fans, if you asked them, would almost certainly tell you they’d prefer pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao to face either Ander Berto or Juan Manuel Marquez instead, it looks more and more as though Pac-Man’s next encounter (seemingly all but a done deal for April in Las Vegas) will be against “Sugar” Shane Mosley.
A couple of years ago this match-up would have been massive, but Mosley is 39-years-old now and he looked faded in his last two outings. As such, most fans, when they read about Pacquiao’s shortlist for next opponent, put Mosley’s name at the bottom.. However, the former three-weight king is continuing to talk a great fight ahead of his expected date with Pacquiao, and “Sugar” insists that not only is he a better choice of foe for Pac-Man than is Marquez, but that he will shock the world and win the fight with the superstar via KO.
“Pacquiao’s a fighter like me. He comes forward. I promise you, I’ll hit him on the chin,” Mosley said to the L.A Times. “His defence is not that good. I knock out all those guys who come at me.”
Mosley also feels Team-Pac-Man (Bob Arum, Manny himself and a few others) have pretty much made up their mind and that it will be he who lands the big opportunity.
“I think they’ve made their decision already and that I’ll be hearing from them around December 18th,” he said. “I’m a better fighter, and I say that starting with the question people ask: if [Juan Manuel] Marquez and Shane fight, who would win? Me! I’m the better puncher and the stronger guy.”
While it’s probable (but by no means definite) that Mosley would indeed defeat the too-small Marquez if the two men fought, that is not the point. And using this as a reason why he should get the fight with Pacquiao over the Mexican is pretty weak in all honesty. Styles make fights, and Mosley (if he gets the fight he thinks he will) will be facing an extremely hard-hitting and immensely fast operator who is in his prime. Some experts even fear for Mosley’s wellbeing with regards to if this fight does come off.
Again, a couple of years ago, Mosley against Pacquiao would have been a potentially great fight, and Shane’s assertion that he “KO’s all those guys who come at me” would have been listened to and paid attention to ahead of the fight. But now, with faded reflexes affecting his ability to pull the trigger, Mosley would enter a fight with Pac-Man as a considerable underdog.
It’s hard not to continue to admire the fighting spirit of the former lightweight, welterweight and light-middleweight king, but the same bravery and ability to take a punch that he showed when he was in his prime could see him take a huge beating from Pacquiao. Has Mosley got a puncher’s chance? Maybe. A small one perhaps. But even if Mosley is correct when he asserts how Pacquiao’s defence is not all that tight; Pac-Man’s chin is good enough to take what does get through.
And would a 39-year-old old Mosley get through with more than the odd shot against a rampaging Pacquiao? Unfortunately, we will probably get an answer in April of next year.
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