On Saturday night in front of a packed house at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao breezed through another opponent. For the 14th consecutive fight, the boxing’s pound-for-pound king came away with a victory. And for the 13th time in those 14 fights, it wasn’t even close.
Pacquiao scored a unanimous decision victory over respected former champion Shane Mosley, and according to virtually all accounts, the Pac-man pitched a shutout. On the unofficial Rumors and Rants scorecard, I had it 120-106 for Pacquiao. In his last three fights – unanimous decision wins against Mosley, Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito – the fighting congressman hasn’t lost a round.
Pacquiao was cautious throughout the night, wary of Mosley’s incredible defense and counter-punching ability, but by the 8th round he had finally had enough. After knocking Mosley down with a vicious straight left to the jaw in the third round, Pacquiao was cruising to an easy win early. He unleashed vicious combinations at times, but spent most of the night chasing down a retreating Mosley.
Despite a “knockdown” in the 10th round, where Mosley essentially threw him to the ground (replays show it was clearly not a knockdown), the Filipino dominated the night. Over the final three rounds Mosley ran for cover under a withering barrage of punches. The fight could have justifiably been stopped at any point over the final three frames, as Mosley was clearly just trying to survive.
For the 39-year-old Mosley it was a sad night. After talking a good game coming in, you got the feeling watching that he was there for the $6 million paycheck and really never thought he had a shot to win the fight. In his post-fight comments, Mosley said he had never been hit as hard as Pacquiao hit him. That showed on his incredibly swollen face. Mosley also said the speed and power was just too much for him, and agreed that Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Pacquiao will now return to the Philippines and go back to work in Congress. He is scheduled to fight again in the fall and, despite public outcry, his opponent will likely not be Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather is tentatively scheduled to fight either Miguel Cotto or Victor Ortiz in what he claims could be a tune-up fight for an eventual Pacquiao matchup.
That means Pacquiao has to find an opponent for the fall, and there aren’t any really attractive options out there. Names that will likely come up over the next few weeks are Timothy Bradley, Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Marcos Maidana and rematches with Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez. None of those fights really excites anyone, least of all boxing fans.
I have a feeling we’ll hear something in the next two weeks or so from Bob Arum about potential future opponents. Some fans have discussed a meeting between Pacquiao and middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, but the weight difference between the two fighters would be too great for Pacquiao. That fight will never happen.
Rumors of a third fight with Marquez are the loudest right now, but we’ll see what happens.