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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Psychological warfare between Mayweather and Mosley

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Pittsburgh Fight Sports Examiner | Scott Heritage

In many fights, the mental battle can be more important than the physical one takes place in the ring. If a fighter is either intimidated or irritated by the actions of his opponent, he will fight differently than he would otherwise.

Over the years Floyd Mayweather has become the master of gaining a mental edge against his opponents when needed.

Although he isn't likely to admit it though, 'Money' might just be feeling a little more nervous than usual in facing Shane Mosley.

On the surface he has exactly the right style to beat Mosley, but for the first time he is going up against someone who is undoubtedly bigger and perhaps faster than he is.

Not being a huge welterweight himself, Mayweather has been accused in the past of ducking all of the larger fighters in the division. Certainly his recent record suggests that he prefers not to fight at a size disadvantage, his last two opponents having both been smaller than him.

While he has fought higher than welterweight in the past, he had a scare against an over the hill Oscar De La Hoya and came the closest he has come so far to losing.

On the latest 24/7 episode Shane Mosley commented that he thought Floyd might be intimidated because he was trash talking more than usual. His theory being that Floyd trash talks more when he is nervous or feels threatened by an opponent.

Certainly against both Ricky Hatton and Juan Manuel Marquez, Mayweather was more cordial than he has been this time around. It could be that he felt this fight needed more hyping up, or as Mosley thinks, that he is more nervous than normal.

As usual it is difficult to tell with Mayweather where the trash talking ends and the real person begins. Either he is an excellent showman who knows how to sell a fight better than anyone else in the game today, or his own character has become so close to his trash talking 'money' character that its just difficult to tell them apart.

An alternative theory though is that Mayweather becomes increasingly frustrated when he cant get a rise out of an opponent he has insulted.

When he insulted Hatton, there was either return fire or at least a comical retort from the Mancunian. At one presser Hatton wore oversized ear muffs to drown out Mayweather's always active mouth. Against Marquez there was a language barrier to take the fire out of the back and forth between the pair. Finally Mayweather gets an opponent he can really throw some verbal bombs at and Mosley isn't interested.

Mayweather has so far made fun of Mosley's divorce, finances, dress sense, resemblance to a character from Avatar, alleged nose job, age, hair cut and boxing record. There are probably a couple more I missed, but you get the idea.

The most frustrating thing for Mayweather in this situation is that the softly spoken Mosley doesn't seem to want to bite back. Whether it is simply maturity or a studied tactic to get under Mayweather's skin, Mosley's peaceful resistance of Floyd seems to be working.

How well it is working we will have to see come fight time.

Saul, Pittsburgh: "Floyd is defintely getting p*ssed at Mosley ignoring him. It won't make him train any less or disrupt him when the fight happens though"

Jim, Philly: "Mosley seems scared of Floyd, he doesn't even want to say anything back to him. I think he's the one who's intimidated. His whole game plan is just be bigger"

Francis, Pittsburgh: "Even Mosley's own team aren't predicting he will win. The best they can hope for is that he lasts the distance and collects his pay check"

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