On May 7th, Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley step in the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here’s what you should expect from both fighters as they try to win the welterweight title.
Expect Mosley to win the earlier rounds. Mosley is the bigger man, and although Pacquiao is an extremely accurate puncher, it will take him some time to get his range. This will be Mosley’s best chance to hurt Pacquiao, much like he hurt Floyd Mayweather in the second round of their bout last year.
He’ll likely come out the aggressor too, but don’t mistake aggression for stupidity. Mosley understands that even with his speed and his power (both of which are formidable), his best weapon against Pacquiao is his size and his reach. So early on in the fight, expect Mosley to use a lot of jabs to fluster the shorter Pacquiao.
Mosley also knows that to rush too aggressively against Pacquiao is to get hurt by Pacquiao. His best shot is to lay back, stay behind his jab and look for opportunities to counter and slow Pac’s relentless barrages. If he’s able to properly use his size, he should be able to use his jab to set Pacquiao up to land a few straight rights and left hooks that, despite his age, can still ring a few bells. The more he packs into every punch, the better chance he’ll have of scoring a knockdown, and he’ll likely need a knockdown or two to win the fight.
Expect Pac to come out cautious early. He knows he’s the younger fighter and will be fresher as the later rounds come. He can take his time getting to Mosley and it will likely take him a round or two to find his range and get past Mosley’s jab.
After round 2, Pac will pick up the pace. As he does in most of his fights, Pacquiao scorches his opponents with relentless barrages of punches. He’s a volume puncher with plenty of power, and he’ll look to smother Mosley with punches. The more time Pac spends throwing punches, the more time Mosley will be in a defensive shell, which is not Mosley’s strong suit.
Pacquiao will need to be pretty slick in his aggression, though, so as not to be countered by his bigger, stronger opponent, and to avoid clinches and tie-ups. He knows that Mosley can still pack a wallop, so look for him to send punches in bunches, then duck out of range and then come back for more. He’ll try to wear Mosley down and look for a knockout in the later rounds.
I highly doubt there will be a knockout in this fight. Both of these guys are champions multiple times over, and have the will to match or exceed their successes in the ring.
I expect that unless Mosley does considerable damage in the early rounds, Pacquiao will wear him down with his relentless attack and will likely take a unanimous decision.
Pacquiao wins, 9 rounds to 3.