Oh, boy. We're still one Super Bowl, a Daytona 500, an entire March Madness and one Kentucky Derby away from Pacquiao vs. Mosley -- and the weak, tepid, unintentionally hilarious trash talk has begun.
Before we get to the laughable barbs, let's take a step back.
One of the problems with Manny Pacquiao is that he's nicer than San Diego weather. When he had Antonio Margarito looking like a pummeled corpse in the 12th round of his demolition in Dallas, the Filipino Cyclone glanced at the referee as if to say: C'mon, man, I don't want to hurt him anymore. End this ridiculous thing. He's finished.
It was the right thing to do for the People's Champion. But it doesn't get people talking on Facebook the next morning. You know what gets people talking? Mike Tyson during his prime. Do you know what Tyson would have done if he ever faced a wobbling fighter desperately trying to see out from behind his bruised and battered eyes?
Hide the women and kids because he would have attacked like a Great White shark does chum. That thirst for blood -- no, annihilation -- isn't gentlemanly, but it's what gets the fans to believe there are true bad intentions circulating inside the ring. If we think a bout is just a paycheck between temporary sparring partners, a boxing match loses much of its appeal.
And that gets us to the latest Manny Pacquaio fight, which is a bigger disappointment than a second viewing of Avatar without the 3D glasses. We've waited months and months to see Pacquiao fight somebody on his same level -- which is an incredilbly high level, granted -- and now we're given Snoozer Shane Mosley, who looked three exits past his prime during his last few fights. Somebody give him a nickel back, because he's a recycled challenger and the fans know it.
So when Shane stands before a reporter and actually says, "I can knock out Manny Pacquiao," you can't help but laugh. That's what is going to earn my PPV dollars? I can? Where's Tyson saying he wants to eat somebody's children? Now that was some quality trash talk.
Mosley's attempt to amp up excitement is just pathetic. We know he doesn't hate Pacquiao or even dislike him. We know he just wants a payday. And we know Team Top Rank wants to keep the money train running before its derailed.
Mosley, who was once excellent, no longer possesses the boxing skills to knock out the Filipino champ -- and Bob Arum knows it. Top Rank understands it has a dog of a match-up here and it needs to generate interest the Malcolm X way: By Any Means Necessary.
So, first week of the New Year, out comes Mosley with a brash, bold prediction.
Instead of sizzle, we got fizzle.
"Pacquiao's defense is not as good as Floyd Mayweather's defense," Mosley told Boxingscene.com. "I think I can probably win a decision, but I'm pretty much looking to try and go in there knock Pacquiao out."
I think I can probably win a decision? Somebody call in extra cops and tell them to bring the riot gear. This thing is gonna get out of hand.
Take 2, Shane.
"I'm pretty sure that Manny's going to get in there and try to knock me out..."
Whatever gave you that idea?
"...and I'm going to get in there and try to knock him out..."
That generally is the concept of the sport.
Then it was Arum's turn. The promoter says -- get this -- Mosley hasn't performed well during his last two fights because he was "matched with the wrong opponents."
I hate when that happens. And why were they the wrong opponents?
Because "Mosley is vulnerable to defensive fighters," said Arum. "So maybe if you put Mosley in there with a defensive fighter at his age, you know, Mosley runs out of gas because he can no longer handle it if you run from him. But if he's in there with someone who comes forward like Pacquiao does, then Mosley still has the bullets and the counter-punching ability and he's a strong guy who can give anybody like that trouble."
Five more months of this.
Next scheduled topics on the pre-fight hype parade include: PacMan has gained too much weight thanks to his mother's cooking so he's vulnerable, Freddie Roach says the janitor at Wild Card gym in Hollywood is destroying Pacquaio in warm-ups and we should all be worried, and Shane Mosley says something racist on YouTube.
Iron Mike, we need you now more than ever.