Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Mayweather vs Mosley
By David Mayo | The Grand Rapids Press
In 19 days, Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley will share the same boxing ring, and the important subjects at hand will be substance rather than substances, skills rather than shills, the fight at hand rather than the fight in demand.
Roger Mayweather has done his share of yakking about it all, from his belief that Manny Pacquiao should have fought his nephew if there was nothing to hide in the blood-testing proposal to how he believes Mosley, an admitted past steroid user who did agree to the enhanced drug-testing method, makes for a tougher fight than Pacquiao whether using juice or merely guzzling it.
Roger Mayweather’s job is to devise the game plan for his nephew to defeat Mosley in a May 1 welterweight blockbuster.
Insiders say Floyd Mayweather has signed up for his toughest fight. His trainer-uncle doesn’t dispute it, calling Mosley “dangerous” and credits the Californian for his “endurance, willingness to fight and speed.”
What Roger Mayweather said he can’t necessarily envision is how Mosley employs those attributes victoriously.
Mosley has some of the same natural gifts as Mayweather -- most notably, hand speed, in what figures to be a dazzling matchup of Quick vs. Quicker, once we ascertain which fighter fills which role -- and possesses a size advantage and perceived edge in punching power.
Roger Mayweather said Mosley’s challenge is what to do after his nephew counteracts all of that, because while acknowledging Mosley’s positive attributes, the trainer said he “really can’t come with anything else, because that’s the only way he knows how to fight.”
In an interview during which he detailed the essential fight strategy, Roger Mayweather acknowledged Mosley must attempt to use strength and aggression to derail the Mayweather box-pop-and-frustrate strategy, which has led the Grand Rapids native to a 40-0 record and the pinnacle of boxing.
“Shane don’t want it to be no boxing match,” he said. “If he wants a boxing match, that’s an easier fight for Floyd. Shane has to keep the fight physical. His job is to keep on top of Floyd and keep that pressure on him, and hopefully, Floyd will wilt. That’s what he has to do.”
What Roger Mayweather said he doesn’t know is how that occurs, given Mosley’s penchant for wide punches, against one of few fighters capable of matching his speed.
Essentially, the trainer claims the fight comes down to how Mosley decides to use his jab: If Mosley pressures from behind the jab, Mayweather slides laterally and counters; if he bullrushes without the jab, he gets picked apart on his way inside.
“How does he cut Floyd off?” Roger Mayweather said. “He’s got to find some kind of tactic to stop Floyd from moving, stop Floyd from jabbing. I don’t know what his plan is.
“Trapping the guy, keeping the guy in the corner, keeping him where you want to keep him at -- it’s a hard thing to do, especially if you’re going to have to use the jab to do it. That’s why I say it’s a very difficult fight for Shane.”
Roger Mayweather, for one of the few times in his nephew’s career, does not completely discount the opponent. He said Mayweather-Mosley “will be a hell of a fight.”
But the aspects of Mosley’s skill set that people consider most daunting -- speed and power -- aren’t necessarily what Roger Mayweather said he has focused upon most.
“My thing is what he’s going to use to attack Floyd with,” he said. “What’s he going to use? If he’s going to use his jab, he’s got to trap Floyd some way. And if he traps Floyd, how’s he going to use his jab?
“Floyd’s got better boxing skills than anyone he’s been in with. So when people say, ‘Shane’s going to do this, Shane’s going to do that,’ it’s not about what Shane does. Floyd didn’t start boxing yesterday. He knows what he has to do. This is what boxing’s about.”