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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WHO R U PICKING?

 
Fight Preview

On Saturday May 1st, Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (40-0, 25 KO’s) faces "Sugar" Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KO's) in a welterweight showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will be televised LIVE on HBO PPV at 9pm EST/6pm PST.

Aside from losing a close 12 round unanimous decision to Miguel Cotto in 2007, Shane Mosley has not lost a fight since 2004. On the other hand, Mosley's record in his last ten bouts is (7-3, 4 KO's). Joe Walcott, Archie Moore, Bernard Hopkins and Lennox Lewis all had a great deal of success late in their careers. At 38 years old, can Mosley sustain his impact on the welterweight division? Or will he finally show his age against Mayweather?

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is undefeated, and regarded by some as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Mayweather’s pound-for-pound status can be heavily debated, however, he is without question one of the most naturally gifted fighters the sport has ever seen. While Mosley could be Mayweather's toughest test to date, Mayweather is definitely Mosley’s greatest challenge.

At 33 years old, Mayweather’s dedication to training supersedes every fighter in boxing. He has never taken an opponent lightly in his entire career. Mayweather is a defensive specialist, who stands right in front of opponents and makes them miss with their shots. Then, Mayweather counters with swift, accurate punches and rarely takes any blows in return. Will Mayweather, a defensive genius, use the same strategies of the past to triumph over Mosley? Or can Mosley force Mayweather out of his comfort zone by pressuring him to trade in heated exchanges?

Mosley possesses sound power and remarkable hand speed, but neither asset will be a factor if he cannot hit Mayweather. Boxing is not about power, hand speed or defense; Boxing is about landing precise punches and finding one’s range, so one will not be countered. Thus far, Mayweather has demonstrated the utmost understanding of the sweet science, using more cerebral expertise and proficiency than any fighter nowadays.

Shane Mosley has never been hesitant to mix it up with any fighter. When he gets hit, he fires right back at his opponents. Mosley throws high-speed, blistering punches, but tends to stand in front of his foes too long. He favors the use of his jab as a range finder to set up power shots. Throughout his professional career, Mosley has been tremendously effective when he attacks his challenger's body. It is well-known that Mosley can take powerful punches from larger boxers, in addition to outfighting younger pugilists in close range.

Unlike Mosley, Mayweather never stands in front of his opponents after delivering his punches. He likes to time the opposition with devastating lead right hands. At the moment, no fighter has been able to stop Mayweather from consistently landing lead right hands. Mayweather is the most technically sound fighter in the sport at this point in time. He dictates the pace by throwing combinations behind his left jab, and when he lands his punches, they are enormously effective.

Many boxing fans and media believe Mosley will be the fastest opponent Mayweather has ever faced in the professional ranks. Does anyone remember Zab Judah, who is younger than Mosley and throws better combinations? Also, Judah’s lightning quick punches came from a southpaw stance, which is more difficult for conventional fighters to defend. On that night, Mayweather made adjustments against Judah and broke him down in the later rounds.

Mosley must put combinations together better than he has shown in his previous bouts. He must utilize his jab to control the pace of the fight. Then, after releasing his punches, Mosley needs to place himself at angles where Floyd cannot answer. Mosley should keep his punches short and not square up. In the past, Mosley has not changed from offense to defense well, which is something that Mayweather is exceptional at doing.

Against Mosley, Mayweather should stick and move, so he will not be a stationary target. Alternatively, if Mosley wants to get the best use of his slight edge in power, he ought to force Mayweather to fight toe-to-toe. Mayweather’s power is vastly underrated because he primarily is a defensive fighter. Still, Mayweather is outstanding at landing his punches with pinpoint precision.

Mosley needs to connect with short shots in a nearby range. He will not have to worry about Mayweather’s perfect placement of punches, if he lands clean shots and moves laterally around the ring. Every so often, Mosley may elect to trade with Mayweather. Mosley must find his range, so he will not be countered.

Prediction: Although Mosley has defeated several younger fighters as he has grown older, he is now 38, and will have been idle for 15 months when he steps into the ring against Mayweather on Saturday night. Boxers cannot afford to suffer long layoffs to their careers, especially older ones. With long periods of inactivity, fighters lose timing, speed, agility, power and can witness an overall decrease in skills. Mosley has not shown his age yet, but eventually all fighters do. A fighter can get old in one fight, and I think Mayweather will shine again. Mosley has never been knocked out, but Mayweather has the offensive arsenal to accomplish the task. Conversely, everyone knows Mayweather is a defensive first fighter, while Mosley owns a durable chin. However, I am going to defy logic and pick Floyd Mayweather Jr. to win via technical knockout in round eleven.

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