On Saturday night, boxing fans were robbed of what could have been an entertaining fight.
Though he won a lopsided unanimous decision, Manny Pacquiao couldn’t deliver a knockout of Shane Mosley, who has never been knocked out in a fight. Mosley did virtually nothing but run backwards around the ring to try to stay away from the Filipino pound-for-pound champion. The result was one of the more boring title fights in recent history.
The only point that the fight came close to living up to all the hype that surrounded it was in the third round when Pacquiao was able to land a 1-2, jab – straight left combination that put Mosley down on the canvas for only the third time in his 18 year career. He beat the count however, and from then on, the fight was mostly a yawn fest which drew boos from the 16,000 plus in attendance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Most of the fault lies with Mosley who managed to land only 82 punches over 12 rounds. Constantly backing up, he never even seemed to look for counter opportunities when Pacquiao attacked. Mosley admitted to being afraid of his smaller opponent’s power, and admitted he had never been hit as hard as Pacquiao had hit him. Mosley’s face was puffy and his left eye was swollen nearly shut by the end of the fight. Though he wouldn’t answer interviewer Jim Gray’s questions about retirement, the once great Mosley proved that he is no longer a warrior, choosing instead to do only as much as he needed to not get knocked out, and should probably consider hanging up his gloves for good.
Pacquiao’s punch stats were lower than usual as well, although he landed 100 more punches than Mosley. Pacquiao was able to use his superior foot speed to get inside Mosley’s guard, and used some unorthodox but effective punching angles against his constantly retreating opponent. The three inch height and reach difference did little to slow Pacquiao down, although the fighting congressman from the Philippines was hampered by leg cramps which he said began to limit his movement in round 4. You couldn’t tell by looking at him that anything was wrong.
Mosley got some help from referee, Kenny Bayless, when he mistakenly awarded a knockdown to Mosley in the 11th round, after Mosley shoved Pacquiao to the canvass. Bayless later apologized to Pacquiao for his error.
The judges scored the bout 120-107, 120-108, and 119-108 all in favor of Pacquiao, whose record now stands at 53-3-2, 38 KO. Mosley falls to 46-7-1-1 with 39 KO.
In a televised undercard bout, Jorge Arce took the Super Bantamweight crown from formerly unbeaten Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. in an all-out war. Arce survived an early knockdown and an accidental headbutt which caused a huge gash to open on the side of his nose. Arce remained the aggressor the entire fight and stunned Vasquez with a hellacious barrage in the 11th round. Vasquez was unable to collect himself between rounds 11 and 12, and when the barrage continued, Vasquez’s corner threw in the towel.
Arce improved his record to 57-6-2, 44 KO’s, while Vasquez dropped to 20-1-1, 17 KO’s.