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May 5, 2011
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Nobody wanted Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) to face Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs); not now, and definitely not in this stage of their careers. [firstpara]

Well, nobody except Bob Arum and maybe Mosley himself.

The ageless Top Rank Promotions head honcho knew that Mosley was easy to sell to the public because of name recall.

The other candidates to the Pacquiao lottery, Andre Berto and Juan Manuel Marquez, are both largely unknown outside of the boxing world.

Arum knew that Mosley will bring in the most money in terms of pay-per-view buys. He also moved Pacquiao from HBO to Showtime in the hopes of generating more interest for the fight with the help of Showtime’s sister company, the terrestrial CBS channel.

Will it be a walk in the par for Pacquiao as everyone claims or will all of this backfire on Arum? Let’s take a quick look at the strengths of both fighters to help us break this fight down.

Pacquiao’s Strengths
Stamina. You have to see Pacquiao train to see just how tireless the man is. He wakes up early in the morning for his uphill jog, rest for a few hours, then trains for a couple of hours in the afternoon. He runs uphill like he’s running on flat land and while everyone who tries to jog with him has to catch their breaths after the climb, Pacquiao keeps himself busy with shadow boxing and other exercises.

Speed. Pacquiao is a speed demon. You will not see a faster set of hands in the welterweight division. Mosley is a sound defensive fighter but his reflexes may not be as sharp as before. Pacquiao has decent power as a welterweight but it is the speed that makes him so successful.

Angles. This is a staple for any Freddie Roach fighter. Roach tells his fighters to step to the side after throwing combinations to avoid their opponent’s counters and to be get a point where they could launch another attack.

Punch output. It is not possible to throw more punches that Pacquiao. He is an ultra-busy fighter and his stamina allows him to work at a feverish rate for 12 full rounds. If you do not hurt Pacquiao, you will find it very hard to beat him by decision because he works so damn hard, round by round.

Movement. He is regarded as the best offensive fighter in the sport today but his defense is not as bad as people might think. He moves his head a lot which makes it harder for his opponents to hit him and he also moves well around the ring. Pacquiao is not the fighter of old who knew only one way to fight. He is a well-rounded fighter with other-worldly physical gifts.

Mosley’s Strengths
Speed. Mosley is not as fast as Pacquiao. His 27-year-old version may match Pacquiao in terms of speed but he is the slower fighter in this matchup. However, Mosley still has the speed to connect punches. Antonio Margarito looked like a fool against Pacquiao because he was too slow. He did have pop on his punches but power does not count for anything if you can’t connect.

Power. Mosley possesses the most dangerous combination of speed and power that Pacquiao has ever seen. For older fighters, the last attribute to go is their power. Mosley can hurt Pacquiao. He did knock out Margarito at welterweight so his power is legitimate.

Smoking hot girlfriend. Okay. Okay. This has nothing to do with boxing but it never hurts having a hot girlfriend beside you right? Nothing against Jinkee but Mosley new girl, Bella Gonzales, is one sexy lady. Mosley’s urge to be with his beloved girlfriend after weeks of not, well, let’s just say being together, might inspire him to finish the job quickly so he can attend to other important matters.

Experience. Even Pacquiao knows Mosley is the more experienced fighter. He has been in boxing’s spotlight when Pacquiao was still busy terrorizing the fighters of Asia. Pacquiao has more fights but Mosley has more experience than Pacquiao when it comes to big-time matches. Naazim Richardson, Mosley’s trainer, is also an experienced corner man. Expect him to make the necessary adjustments when push comes to shove
Underdog tag – Mosley has nothing to lose. Everyone expects him to lose so he has no pressure on his side. If he loses, people will just say that it was inevitable because of his age. Pacquiao on the other had has everything to lose.

FHM’s Fearless Forecast
Mosley may be old and past his prime but he remains a very dangerous opponent for Pacquiao. Against Floyd Mayweather, Mosley looked bad. But that's what Mayweather does. He makes you miss and before you know it, you’re already out of breath. Mosley also looked bad against Sergio Mora because it was a mistake to fight someone like that. Mosley took Mora for granted. They fought at a heavier super welterweight division and Mora even came in overweight.

Expect a chess match between Roach and Richardson. These two are among the very best trainers in boxing today and it will be interesting to see them adjust their strategies to counter each other.

Mosley trained his heart out for Pacquiao. In boxing, they say that styles make fights and Pacquiao’s style is something that a fighter like Mosley can exploit. However, Pacquiao just went through the best training camp of his career. While Pacquiao made countless trips to Manila while training in Baguio for his fight against Margarito, he only made that trip once. Roach and conditioning coach Alex Ariza both have marveled at how peaceful this training camp was.

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While everyone was busy writing Mosley off, Pacquiao buckled down to business and prepared for what could be the most difficult fight of his life.

When Pacquiao is in this kind of condition, it will take a herculean effort to defeat him. Mosley will be dangerous early on but as the fight goes on, Pacquiao will shift to another gear while Mosley will run out of gas.

Our pick is for Pacquiao to defeat Mosley by knockout in the eighth round.

WORDS BY: CARLO PAMINTUAN
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