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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Long-awaited showdown Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley tonight

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Mayweather vs Mosley
By Matthew Aguilar

LAS VEGAS -- For the first time in his career, Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be going into a fight where he does not have supreme physical advantages.

Mayweather, who will meet WBA welterweight champion Shane Mosley tonight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, is smaller, shorter, and probably not as physically strong as his opponent. And some think the psychological implications of that quandary could result in the first loss of Mayweather's unblemished pro log.

As the two stood eyeball-to-eyeball after Friday's tension-filled weigh-in, there is little doubt that Mosley plans to utilize every asset available -- physical, psychological or otherwise.

In a fight dubbed, "Who R U Picking?" Mosley is forcing the boxing world to think before answering "Mayweather" automatically.

Sugar Shane came in at a ready 147 pounds, a pound heavier than Mayweather's 146 -- pounding home the point that he is the natural welterweight in this fight.

"The key to the fight is my speed and power," said Mosley, a native of Pomona, Calif., who has a won world titles in three weight divisions in a 46-5 (39 knockouts) career. "I've always had power, even when I was a lightweight. But I can also knock people out in this weight class."

Not that Mayweather, 40-0 (25 KOs), appeared anything less than his ultra-confident, brash, cocky self. He got in Mosley's face after stepping off the scale, staring directly into Mosley's eyes as if to say, "don't think this undefeated record is a fluke."


-- abs glistening -- looked ripped, exciting the 6,000 fans on hand at a raucous weigh-in. "Money" has won world titles in four weight divisions and is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.

Boxing insiders who think this will be one great fight found that the weigh-in only reinforced that belief.

"I had a great camp and I put in a lot of hard work," Mayweather said. "My (trainer) uncle Roger (Mayweather) and my dad (Floyd Mayweather Sr.) did a great job. The key to this fight is the jab. I've got to do what I've always done -- establish the jab and fight a smart fight."

When asked whether there is a chance he could reverse roles and turn aggressor, Mayweather said, "this fight could end in a KO if he comes in."

Adding to the weigh-in tension, Mayweather manager Leonard Ellerbe and Mosley began to shove each other while the fighters were staring each other down.

It's proof that -- after a whirlwind media tour and 11 years of familiarity -- these guys really don't like each other.

Although "Who R U Picking?" is one of the best fights in the game, boxing fans still have an eye on Manny Pacquiao, the man who many consider the best fighter in boxing. Mayweather-Mosley became a reality only after Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations broke down in January.

If Mosley wins, he will almost certainly fight Pacquiao this fall. If Mayweather wins, boxing fans hope the two camps reopen negotiations for what likely would be one of the biggest fights in boxing history.

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