On the undercard of the big Cinco de Mayo pay per view fight between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto, a legend in the deep twilight of his career will look to defy father time and defeat a young, rising star. At 40, “Sugar” Shane Mosley (46-7-1 with 39 KOs) will take on 21 year old Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (39-0-1 with 29 KOs) for Alvarez’s WBC Junior Middleweight title.
What Mosley has done recently to deserve this title shot is beyond this author’s comprehension. Shane is coming off one of his worst career performances against all-time great Manny Pacquiao, a fight which Mosley lost via wide unanimous decision and would have almost certainly lost by knockout if he had elected to win as opposed to merely survive. After being knocked down in the third round, Mosley mounted little to no offense and it was glaringly obvious that he had kicked into survival mode. Nothing sickens me more than watching a boxer fight to go the distance, and not to actually be victorious and to entertain the fans in the process. Why continue with your career if that is your mentality?
Prior to the Pacquiao fight, Mosley was seen being dominated over 12 rounds by all-time great Floyd Mayweather subsequent to looking like crap against Contender winner Sergio Mora in a fight that ended in a draw. Mosley has not won a fight since he looked fantastic stopping a prime Antonio Margarito three years ago at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, regaining the welterweight title in the process.
It will take that Mosley in order to be victorious over the young, strong Alvarez who despite his tender age has already fought 40 times as a professional. Canelo is coming off a 5th round TKO victory over former IBF Welterweight Champion Kermit Cintron last November and appears to be improving with each and every fight. He is a thudding puncher who is very durable and physically strong. Mosley and Alvarez are around the same height (5’9), with Mosley having the edge in reach which he often gives up due to fighting square.
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For anyone looking to lay money on Mosley, the problem is that from a physical standpoint not only does he appear to only be about 60% of the fighter he was in his prime 10 years ago, but mentally he does not appear to be the warrior he was even 4 ½ years ago against Cotto. Boxing is about 75% mental, and if a fighter has lost his appetite for battle in conjunction with the diminishment of his skills that is a recipe for disaster.
There is a possibility that the old boxing adage “styles make fights” could be apropos vis-à-vis Mosley’s last few shoddy ring performances, but how many excuses can be made for a fighter who hasn’t looked good in ages? It’s hard to root against a classy guy like Mosley. He has given us so many great fights and with the exception of his most recent ones, he has come to win and come to go to war.
As stated earlier, in order for him to win this war, Mosley will have to turn the clock back to 2009 when he put on arguably his best career performance against another Mexican Antonio Margarito, stopping him in the 9th round in a huge upset. In that fight, Mosley intelligently went to the body early and hurt Margarito with a body shot in the first round. In addition, he intelligently smothered Antonio on the inside the way that Cotto did in his rematch with the Tijuana Tornado.
Alvarez is more skilled than Margarito and although he far from lightning fast, has faster hands as well. Mosley in his prime had blazingly fast hands, but is probably only about 70% as fast as he was back then. The good news for Shane is that...
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