Saturday, May 1, 2010

Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley: The Verdict

LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweatherwas asked during Wednesday's press conference if he recalled the last time that he was shaken by "a really good shot" in a fight.

"I don't know," said the 33-year-old Mayweather, before being reminded of his lopsided, May, 2004 unanimous decision over
DeMarcus Corley during which he was caught by two, double-lead right hands high on his left temple before a follow up left hand to the nose by the southpaw sent him wobbling to the ropes.

"Corley, You know, he's always been known as a good puncher. He caught my attention. But then, I shook it off and dropped his ass," said Mayweather, who dropped Corley in the eighth, and, 10th rounds.

If it is debatable the amount of times Mayweather has been touched, let alone, hurt while amassing a record of 40-0, with 25 knockouts and earning six titles along the way, then it is debatable to all but Mayweather, a defensive specialist whose motto is, "Ain't nothing cool about taking punishment."

"The proof is in the pudding. I'm the fighter who takes the least amount of punishment, I land at the highest percentage," said Mayweather, who is coming off of September's unanimous, 12-round decision over
Juan Manuel Marquez, which ended a 21-month ring absence.

"Everybody says that they have the game plan to beat me, but it's just that defense. You just can't break through that defense can not break through the defense no matter what you do," said Mayweather. "I don't take no punishment, and that's not my fault. Once again, it's not cool to take punishment. Ain't nothing cool about taking punishment."

On Saturday night, yet another opponent will step up to take his best shots at Mayweather, as 38-year-old, WBA welterweight (147 pounds) champion, Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) tries to hand the Las Vegas resident his first loss.

Mosley will be defending his crown, although Mayweather can not win it in victory since he refused to pay the WBA's sanctioning fee.

Mayweather will earn a guaranteed $22.5 million for his efforts, which is three times Mosley's $7 million. Both fighters will receive an upside to the HBO pay per view.

Although Mayweather is facing the largest, and, most athletic opponent of his career, he maintains that, just like his past rivals, Mosley will become befuddled by his defense, and that the Pamona, Calif., native will be surprised by his under rated punching power.

"Mosley keeps talking about his punching power, but most fighters that get in there with me, do you know what they try to do? They get in there and they end up fightin for their own survival. They all say that they're good fighters, they all say that they're fast, they all say that they're strong," said Mayweather, a fierce, slicing counter-puncher.

"But afterward, they come back and they say, 'You know what? Floyd Mayweather was a lot stronger than I thought he was,' and, 'Floyd punches a lot harder than I thought that he would be,'" said Mayweather, who also appears to have what his adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, calls, "sixth sense," that allows him to almost see his rival's punches coming.

"I just know it. I just know it. I can feel it," Mayweather said of the ability. "I can just see it, brother. I just know what you're going to do."

But Mosley named the Corley fight among those he has studied with trainer, Naazim Richardson, with whom he noted that Mayweather "has had trouble with the left hand."

"The jab is very important against Floyd Mayweather, according to
Oscar de la Hoya. Oscar was successful with the jab against him, and his arms are almost as long as mine. So I think the jab will be important," said Mosley, who is taller and will enjoy a reach advantage against Mayweather.

Ricky Hatton had a couple of good left hands in there. Jose Luis Castillo did as well," said Mosley. "So the left hand shots seem to give Mayweather a little bit of a problem, but that's not the only thing. It's not just the jab."

Once a vicious power-, and, body-punching lightweight (135 pounds) titlist, Mosley said that he will vary his attack to include boxing, and, even out-thinking Mayweather.

Mosley is coming off of two, straight knockout victories over former world champions,
Ricardo Mayorga, as a junior middleweight (154 pounds), and, Antonio Margarito, in the 12th, and, ninth rounds, respectively.

The victory over Margarito, who never had been stopped, earned Mosley the WBA welterweight crown.

But Mosley, himself, was 38-0, with 35 knockouts in January of 2002 when he was dropped, and, nearly stopped in the first round of his first of two, straight losses to the late
Vernon Forrest.

Mosley's other losses were against Winky Wright (twice), and, Miguel Cotto, leading Mayweather to say that Mosley "has trouble with boxers."

"This is going to be an outstanding performance," said Richardson. "As I have said before, you have good fighters, you have champions, you have elite fighters and you have guys that are special. In this fight, you have a rare occasion where you see two special guys going against each other."

Being that the clash features not only two, American fighters, but two, African Americans, Mayweather-Mosley, for some, conjures memories of the bout between
Sugar Ray Leonard, of Palmer Park, MD., and, Thomas Hearns, of Detroit, which created a buzz after Leonard's September of 1981, come-from-behind, 14th-round knockout in The Fight Of The Year.

"No doubt this is a great fight, I think that this fight is going to be a real, good fight, but as far as being a comparison with me and Ray Leonard, the fight with me and Ray was just so huge. No one knew what the outcome was going to be," said Hearns, who was in town, with Leonard, to assist with the promotion.

"But this fight with Mosley and Mayweather, it's going to be a good fight, but I don't see it being as massive as Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns. The fight on Saturday night will be a very interesting fight, and I may be a little partial, because it was our fight. But I just don't see them doing the same types of things," said Hearns, who was 22 at a time when Leonard was 25.

"Don't look for the same thing on Saturday night," said Hearns. "Our fight has been talked about for decades, and a few decades now. It's still on people's minds. We set the standard. It's kind of hard to top what we did. It's not going to happen again."

Hearns said, "I believe in giving the fans what they want to see," adding, "The people made us perform. That was a moment, and we felt like we had to give them our best."

Leonard called their bout, "A fight for survival," adding, "To win the fight against Tommy, I really had to fight my best. Like Tommy said, he brought the best out of me, and I brought the best out of him. It was a fight with ebb-and-flow, one that took me to the limit and required every ounce of me -- physically, mentally and spiritually -- to beat Tommy Hearns."

Mayweather is not likely to change his style against Mosley, but, rather, look to impose his style, which could completely neutralize Mosley's.

"Most of the time, fights don't live up to their expectations. But fights like this, between Mosley and Mayweather, I truly believe that this fight will live up to the expectations because it's all about bragging rights -- whether they admit it or not," said Leonard. "They may not admit it, and I know that they want the money just like I want the money, but for the guys, individually, it's bragging rights."

So which of the two fighters will have those bragging rights after Saturday night?

"If Shane comes out, uses his ability to box, and uses his left hand, that's the key for Mosley," said Hearns. "If Mayweather uses his quickness and his slickness, he'll win the fight easily, with no problem."

FanHouse will go with the latter, picking Mayweather to weather Mosley's early aggression and build momentum over the second half of the fight on the way to a close, split-decision.

Author: Lem Satterfield


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