Sunday, April 4, 2010
Mayweather vs Mosley
Tungod, Inabanga, Bohol – Barely a month to go before the welterweight clash between compatriots Sugar Shane Mosley (46-5-0, 39 KOs) and Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (40-0-0, 25 KOs), boxing pundits still don’t have a clear consensus about who has the upper hand in this very intriguing bout. Here, we are going to examine closely the possibilities, as well as the positives and negatives of either fighter. Hopefully after reading this piece, you, my beloved readers could come up with an educated guess as to who will come out victorious.
Let’s start our discussion with the tale of the tape. The undefeated Mayweather is listed at 5’8” with a 72-inch reach. Throughout his entire professional boxing career, the man they call “Pretty Boy”, “Money”, and at times “Chickenjoy” or “Gayweather” has enjoyed the effective reach advantage in all but one of his bouts. Six-division champ “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya was his only opponent who had an effective reach advantage over him. (This topic is comprehensively discussed in one of my previous articles. If you want to dig deeper, you may want to go to this article Mayweather: Untried, Unproven, and Untested at Welterweight! before you continue reading.) “Sugar” Shane Mosley, on the other hand, stands 5’9”, with a 2-inch reach advantage over Mayweather. Judging from the tale of the tape alone, not to mention the fact that Mosley is a relatively far more established welterweight than Mayweather is, then common sense dictates that the 38-year-old fighter out of California should have his hands raised at the end of the bout. But before all you anti-Mayweather fans start rejoicing, take note that the key word there is “alone”. There are still several factors to consider, which we will tackle later on in this piece.
Speed is another important parameter to reflect on. Mosley is known for his incredible hand speed, but his opponent is not bad in this area, either. Conversely, Mayweather is known for his vast foot speed, which is however not among Mosley’s strong points, especially at this point of his boxing career. Both pugs are accurate punchers, but Mayweather’s uncanny ability to elude his opponent, together with a knack for creating angles for his counterpunches, the flamboyant Grand Rapids, Michigan native should have an advantage in this department.
Now, let’s move on to what could very well be the determining factors in this bout – power and durability. Mayweather was a beast at lightweight, knocking opponents out and imposing his will over them. The same, though, cannot be said of him north of the 135-lb weight limit. He has employed more caution rather than taking risks for an explosive finish. We can perhaps blame it on his fragile hand, which explains why he prefers to use gloves with more padding. His chin is rather untested, too. Zab Judah stopped him on his tracks when the former welterweight champ connected with clean shots to the jaw, which apparently hurt him. On the flipside, Mosley has carried his power and durability all the way to the heavier weight divisions. He has faced some of the hardest punching individuals in the sport and has taken a few solid punches as well. He toyed and beat Antonio “Loaded Hands” Margarito from pillar to post. Of course, there’s a very huge difference between fighting someone who is tad slow and constantly charging forward (Margarito) and someone who has cat-quick reflexes and likes to run (Mayweather).
The line separating victory and defeat generally depends on Mosley’s ability to cut the ring and impose his will on his very elusive opponent. Mosley’s jab will also prove to be a crucial factor to keep Mayweather at bay and give him problems unloading his own offensive. Mosley has two choices. He can basically rely on his effective reach advantage and wait for Mayweather to come in, hoping that the judges will grant him the benefit of the doubt if exchanges should ensue… or he can bring the fight to Mayweather and perhaps go for a knockout, not leaving any chances for the judges to take the fight away from him, knowing fully well that these people would certainly want the much anticipated Pacquiao-Mayweather encounter to push through.
The notion of a fixed fight still floats around boxing circles. Reasons cited include the fact that Mosley also has a stake with Golden Boy Promotions, and that a Mayweather victory could salvage the much anticipated battle for the sport’s top dog featuring the current and former pound for pound kings. Nevertheless, there is so much reason not to believe these rumors. If you were in Mosley’s shoes, would you rather lose and let someone else gather the moolah for you, believing that you have a more than decent chance at becoming the first person to get a 1 on Mayweather’s clean slate on May 1? Your guess is as good as mine.
Now that practically all the essential factors have been laid out, who do you think will earn the chance at challenging the sport’s best fighter pound for pound?