The Modern Myth of Mosley


By P.H. Burbridge: In May of 2010 when Shane Mosley entered the ring against the finest defensive fighter of our time, Floyd Mayweather Jr it was widely believed that he would need to find ways to corner Floyd or cut off the ring in order to have any chance at success. Conventional wisdom told us that if he couldn’t stay close or get Mayweather to exchange with him that he would have little to no shot at winning.

By almost all pre-fight theories Mosley’s role clearly would be that of the aggressor and Mayweather’s of the methodical somewhat offensively passive boxer. That was the conventional wisdom going in to the fight. But, what was so surprising about what actually occurred in the ring was that Mayweather stood his ground and not only out punched Shane but he out fought him too. Mayweather did his own version of walking his man down and towards the end of that fight it almost appeared as if it would lead to a TKO. Mosley’s trainer, Nazim Richardson made it quite clear in no uncertain terms that if Shane didn’t find a way to limit the incoming shots or have some offensive success of his own that he would have to “do something he didn’t want to do”! He was right for warning Mosley and many who witnessed the fight agreed with that message. But, to listen to Shane now as he prepares for a May 2011 bout against the finest offensive fighter of our time, Manny Pacquiao there’s a kind of passive manipulation going on which borders on out right deception. Their logic is simple. Manny is more aggressive than Floyd and if you buy into what they’re suggesting apparently that will translate into more opportunities for Mosley. But, what they leave out is that Floyd pretty much took on the role of the aggressor which nearly all believed would play right into Shane’s hands yet it resulted (except for round 2) in a one way thrashing. The reality is that Mosley was out fought by a man who is defensive in nature and who fought in a style that was supposed to benefit him yet HE still could not capitalize.

The fact that his trainer was actually thinking about intervening against a man whose power has been questioned at welterweight and although an accurate puncher by no means a volume puncher tells us something very important about Shane and if you’re paying attention that message should not be overlooked. Now, Shane is heading into a match against a man who IS known for his offensive attack and who IS a volume puncher and whose power has not been questioned at welterweight yet many continue to hype this fight in an overtly optimistic fashion. But, for those of you who enjoy big time boxing but also hope for a little integrity you probably accept this match up for what it is. In other words, the 2011 version of Shane Mosley IS the perfect opponent at this stage for the 2011 version of Manny Pacquiao!

There is nothing but upside from Manny’s perspective. He stays active while not truly being threatened and he’s paid handsomely for it.

In 2009, Sugar Shane Mosley was deemed too dangerous for Pacquiao but in 2011 his trainer, Freddie Roach has given the proverbial “thumbs up!” There’s a reason for that and it doesn’t solely lie in the fact that Mosley’s promotional allegiance permits this fight now when in 2009 it would have been a little bit trickier. There’s no question that Shane’s recent break up with Golden Boy Promotions was another check mark on the “good side” but the driving factor is certainly Mosley’s clear and undeniable physical decline. They could sell this fight with the highlight footage of Mosley crushing Antonio Margarito and the suggestion that he does much better against fighters than he does against boxers. In this case, they leave out that Manny Pacquiao can do both pretty darn well so he doesn’t necessarily need to knock Shane out because he can out land, out speed and out maneuver him. That’s why he’s a safe opponent and Roach knows it. What Roach really see’s now that he didn’t see back in 2009 is that Mosley much like De La Hoya before him can no longer pull the trigger and for that reason doesn’t have the ability to capitalize against his man who does have defensive deficiencies but also has shown tremendous speed and maneuverability to overcome those technical flaws.

The “possibility” that Shane could once again turn back the hands of time and snatch victory from a certain demise is the theme Top Rank wants the consumer base to embrace. Those poor performances against Mayweather and Mora are being dismissed as just stylistic nightmares for Mosley but the reality is that Shane Mosley no longer has the reflexes or the ability to compete at this elite level. The fight against Mayweather may be forgivable considering the level of opposition but the draw against Mora is not.

This fight for many is more about simply watching arguably the best fighter in the world perform and not necessarily about seeing him be tested so its important to maintain that perspective if you’re a serious boxing observer. As a group we should scrutinize the matches of our best fighters agree to and expect that they will test themselves against the best opposition available while not falling into the trap that just about every major boxing superstar of the last 35 years has fallen into and that’s allowing the business side of boxing solely dictate the match ups.

Long term those fights don’t improve the star themselves and not only cheat us but tarnishes that fighter’s legacy.

From a fighter’s perspective, if the ultimate goal is fighting and beating Floyd Mayweather Jr these bouts against Clottey, Margarito and now Mosley do nothing to prepare him for the kind of technical challenges he’ll face against Mayweather.