BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Let the spin begin.
Manny Pacquiao and his handlers, who only a few months ago dismissed Shane Mosley as a viable opponent, did their best at a news conference Thursday to make the 6-1 underdog look like a legitimate threat for their fight on May 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The one-sided Mosley-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight last May? Wrong style for Mosley. The Mosley-Sergio Mora draw in September? Mora could make anyone look bad.
At the same time, Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer, said he has a bold goal.
“He’s still strong, still fast,” said Pacquiao, the star attraction in a packed ballroom at The Beverly Hills Hotel. “I didn’t think he looked 39 (against Mayweather and Mora). I thought he looked 33 or so. He’s still a good fighter.
“I’m going to have to train hard for this fight.”
Roach said he understands the public perception, that Mosley’s shaky performances against Mayweather and Mora make him a questionable opponent.
At the same time, he pointed to styles. Mosley, particularly at this point of his career, needs his opponent to come to him. Mayweather certainly doesn’t do that. And Mora, a very good boxer, is loathe to engage his opponents.
Roach said Pacquiao is different, which could open the door to a competitive fight.
“You’re always judged by your last fight in boxing,” Roach said. “I understand that he didn’t look good. It’s hard to get up for a fight with Sergio Mora, though. That’s a hard style to fight.
“Manny is one of those aggressive fighters who comes to you. Shane likes that. And Shane will come to Manny. Manny likes that. It’s going to be an all-action fight.”
An all-action fight that could end early, giving Pacquiao one up on his arch rival — Mayweather.
“I want Manny to win every round one at a time,” Roach said. “And then I’d like to see him be the first to knock Shane out. That would be icing on the cake. It would show the world how much better we are than the other guy out there.”
Pacquiao knocking out Mosley? Now that’s believable.