Though I've been busy with the anime Black History Month special, I haven't forgotten about boxing and nor have I not watched anything (and trust me, I'll have a lot to say about in the near future...). I have been waiting for Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Shane Mosley to duke it out in the ring for a long time, so I'll finally be getting my wish come May 8.
Wait...it's tonight and not next Saturday? Hopkins vs Jones II all over again...
Once again, I thought a major fight was happening the following week, only to discover that it will that very weekend (it also doesn't help that it's been a busy couple of days for me, also hence the lateness and brevity), which is pretty bad considering it's Mayweather vs Mosley, the fight everyone shouldn't be getting down on because it's not "Mayweather vs Pacquiao" . Yes, it's not that, but it is pretty darn close--and it could damper any chance of that fight happening.
I have always thought that Mayweather, while undoubtedly skilled and physically talented, was overrated (specifically in the recent years) and fought selective competition for too long. Many wonder if anyone could crack Mayweather's code and give him his first defeat. I have long felt that Mosley had all the right tools to do so, with his experience, skills, his own formidable hand speed, and importantly, his punching power and dogged pressuring. If there is one thing that Mayweather has been uncomfortable with, it is effective pressuring, and with all of those attributes, I have thought that Mosley had what it took to hang with him--if not knock him out.
However, if this was May of last year, I would have guaranteed a KO, given Mosley's performance against Antonio Margarito a few months earlier (though not because of that knockout). Right now, as of May 1, 2010, Mosley hasn't fought since that January night (one possible incentive for Mayweather to take the fight, outside of him being the only other major fight--and money-maker--out there and trying to build his legacy). Nearly a year-and-a-half away and facing Mayweather right off the bat is a bad time to start shaking off any ring rust, even against a relative slow starter like him. There is also the issue of Mosley's own problem with quick-fisted, skillful fighters, something that fits "Money" to the "T". Additionally, there is his age of 38, which I have taken less stock in given other like-aged fighters success recently, but I wouldn't discount it altogether. Let's just say that it would be a worse time to start aging in the ring...
In short, the positives weigh more in Mayweather's favor and I'm a little inclined to sway in that direction. But I still, maybe erroneously, feel that Mosley still has the right equation and the right stuff to pull it out. I'll refrain from calling that KO (still a very real possibility), but I'll go with a close unanimous decision for Mosley (two round advantage, max.). I expect a quick pace to be established early by him and soon after by Mayweather, with some blistering combo work from both, but better counterpunching and slickness from the latter. The fight will most likely be decided in the middle to late rounds, with Mosley steadily wearing Mayweather down and getting a little lethargic himself. This might appear more apparent towards the end, allowing PBF to make a stronger case in the final rounds, but losing out in the thinnest of margins.
Prediction: Mosley, UD (if too rusty or unable to produce an answer for his prowess or speed, Mayweather, UD (don't count out a TKO if it's lopsided...))
Outcome: Mayweather, UD. In all of the predictions that I have done, that was probably was the worst choice that I've made, especially in light of the points I made contray to that and my own leaning in that direction beforehand. Mosley may have had Mayweather in bad straits in the 2nd round, but Mayweather appeared to have adapted (overrelying on the right hand probably didn't help) and picked him apart from Rd. 3 on. If Mosley was clinching as much as he was and looked flustered, that certainly points to his issue with quick and skilled fighters and perhaps the inactivity. However, give it up to Mayweather for keeping his head pass that round and marching right through Mosley. The result now puts a whole new spin on what may lie in Mayweather-Pacquiao, not to mention that it cranks the heat and anticipation to another level. Now there basically is no other excusable option for either man to fight and they'll need to settle the blood testing nonsense (and both sides are at fault) before the true #1 showdown can begin. As for Mosley, he still has a future in the sport, but probably no more than three years.
There's always question marks to be had with his opponents in his last two victory, but by the accounts, at least Mayweather is making the case for his vaunted status by dominating two top fighters. Now why wasn't he doing more of this more often?