Saturday night in the latest show on the Manny Pacquiao World Domination Tour will commence at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Don’t expect a different result than the last few dates. You can follow along Saturday night as we live blog the event, giving a blow-by-blow account of the night’s festivities.
Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter and maybe the best southpaw of all-time, enters Saturday night’s duel with Shane Mosley on a 13-fight win streak, and he has been increasingly impressive in each win along the way.
Since losing a decision to Erik Morales on March 19, 2005 Pacquiao has been on what could be the most impressive run in boxing history, besting legends like Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Morales (twice), Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and destroying top-tier guys like Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito. In the process he has become boxing’s first eight-division world champion and is the only boxer in history to win 10 world titles. Oh and in that time he also won a seat as a member of the House of Representatives in his native Philippines? So yeah, quite a recent streak.
But don’t count Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) out. The 39-year-old veteran is a smart, savvy fighter who has always thrived as a massive underdog. That said, Mosley has looked awful in his past two fights, a unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather and a split draw against Sergio Mora. He’ll need to step up big time Saturday night if he hopes to even stay in the fight with Pacquiao.
Mosley has two things going for him in this fight that could keep him in it: He’s three inches taller than Pacquiao and he’s one of the best counter-punchers in all of boxing. Pacquiao has been susceptible to counter-punchers in the past and his defense has shown some holes in recent fights. Mosley is at his best when he can sit back and pick off opponents as they come in. While Pacquiao has never been bothered by bigger opponents (De La Hoya, Cotto, Margarito) height is still an advantage Mosley could exploit.
With all that said here is the most important aspect coming into this fight: Pacquiao is as focused as ever. According to virtually all sources (most importantly trainer Freddie Roach), Pacquiao has had his best training camp in years and is laser-focused on being the first man to knock Mosley out. Mosley has never been stopped as all six of his losses have come via decision. The fact that Pacquiao has come into this fight with a determination we haven’t seen in a few fights means something. He’s getting himself ready for it and possibly for his next fight, an ever elusive showdown with Mayweather. Mosley is good preparation of Mayweather, who lives as a counter-puncher. So Pacquiao could be using this weekend’s fight to send a message to Money May’s camp.
Yes, Mosley has a chance in this fight. And yes it’s a very small one. Mosley has done incredible things and shocked the world before, but we just don’t see it coming this weekend. Pacquiao is too fast, too strong and too good.
Our pick: Pacquiao continues to cement himself as one of the top three fighters all-time. Pacquiao by TKO in the ninth round.