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Monday, April 5, 2010

Boxing insiders speak from ringside at the Mandalay Bay on Mayweather-Mosley

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Las Vegas Boxing Examiner | Chris Robinson

Last night’s rematch between bitter rivals Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones failed to deliver on the definitive conclusion that both men had promised heading into the contest. After some notable fouls, a small riot, and many ho-hum rounds, Hopkins would walk away with a decision win by scores of 118-109 and 117-110 twice.

While the action wasn’t the kind that elicited much response from those watching at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, people in attendance still had another Las Vegas showdown heavily on their minds with the May 1st clash between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley. When talking to boxing insiders in particular it became increasingly evident that this is the fight everybody has their eye on.

Once-beaten Super Middleweight Dyah Davis was in town as a part of Hopkins’ team, as the New York native had served as a key sparring partner for Bernard at the Normady gym during their preparation in Miami, Florida. Davis is coming off of an impressive 5th round stoppage over Jose Medina this past January and shared his thoughts on the bout.

“That’s a pick em’ fight man," Davis said. "I think that fight probably should have been made a few years ago. I like Shane but I think Floyd is going to take a decision. Floyd is good for the game but I think a lot more people want to see him get defeated and are more interesting in tuning in to see that happen more than anything else.”

Moments later former champion and top-level trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad was spotted in the stands. Muhammad is known best for this work with light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson and has been a fixture on the Vegas scene for many years. The affable Muhammad seems to be on the fence regarding the contest.

“First of all I commend both of them for giving the fans what they really want to see,” Muhammad claimed. “Two of the best fighters in the world in an era where they both were good. As far as picking a winner I don’t want to pick a winner because I am good friends with both of them and I want it to remain like. I can tell you it is going to be a very competitive fight.”

If there was ever a journalist who has gotten to know both Mayweather and Mosley well on a first hand basis it very well could be Riverside’s David Avila, who serves as the West Coast Bureau Chief for The Sweet Science. Avila has covered both men extensively in camp and often runs across the two fighters while covering bouts in the Vegas and Southern California areas.

It had been rumored that while Mayweather seems to be crushing his sparring partners in camp, that Mosley himself hasn’t been looking as sharp. Avila insists that he can’t base his judgment on hearsay and also revealed that he will likely be heading to Big Bear sometime this week to again report on Shane, who he claims has tenacity in training unlike anyone he has ever witnessed.

“Basically he has a certain intensity that he always brings to all of his fights,” Avila stated. “When I see him in the gym I can usually tell if he is on it or not. I haven’t seen Mayweather as much because he kind of closes things down but I do want to see him to see how sharp he is.”

As the evening marched forward Welterweight hopeful Rashad Holloway dropped in to give his two cents on the matchup. Holloway recently relocated to Nevada permanently after spending much time in Los Angeles at the Wild Card Gym and thinks that Mayweather could be in trouble if he applies the wrong strategy.

“I think Shane has a shot,” Holloway admitted. “He has always had trouble with speed and movement and if Floyd sticks to his game plan, from what I have heard, I don’t know which way it is going. I have heard that Floyd wants to go in there and be aggressive and go after him. Floyd can fight on the inside. Shane is very strong, maybe not the greatest fighter on the inside, but I think that is a mistake to stand in front of Shane Mosley. He should try to box and move. I think he wants to prove how tough he is. Floyd can do it all and I think he is the better fighter on the outside in this fight.”

As he was on his way to the media room, The Ring’s Doug Fischer stopped to share his thoughts. Fisher was serving as a ringside analyst for the Hopkins-Jones II card and has been familiar with the West Coast fight scene for several years. In closing Fisher seems to be the only one to really come forward and favor Mosley.

“I think it’s a really good matchup. It’s the fight that I am most looking forward to this year. I think they matchup up very well style wise and they mesh. You have a boxer against an aggressive boxer-puncher. I favor the older man, Shane Mosley. I just think he is going to be the aggressor throughout the bout. He’s going to be throwing hard punches from the first round until the 12th round. I just don’t see Mayweather doing anything to really get Mosley’s respect of keep him off of him. I do think he will box well in many rounds but I don’t know if that will be enough for him to win the majority of rounds on all three judges’ cards.”

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