BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Shane Mosley has three words for the fans and media who are counting him out of his welterweight showdown with Manny Pacquiao on May 7:
Styles makes fights.
The 39-year-old veteran told boxing writers not to judge him by his last two fights, a one-sided decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and a 12-round draw with Sergio Mora, at the kick-off press conference for the Pacquiao fight held at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday.
Most members of the boxing media have soft spots for the former three-division champ, but it’s hard for anyone to give him the benefit of the doubt after his disappointing performances in 2010.
Mosley (46-6-1, 39 knockouts) looked every year of his advanced age against Mayweather Jr., who was wobbled by a right hand in the second round but survived to soundly outbox the Californian last May. Mosley looked even older as he struggled to land significant punches against the fleet-footed Mora last September.
However, Mosley proudly points out that he looked 10 years younger when he battered Antonio Margarito into submission in January of 2009. Why?
The Mexican mauler brought the fight to him, and Mosley expects Pacquiao to do the same thing when they face each other at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“My last two fights were more about style than anything else,” Mosley said. “Mayweather is a defensive fighter who overcame the big right hand and did what he does best. Mora is a mover. He never stood still.
“Fighting boxers is a little difficult for me. Manny boxes too, but he’s a fighter at heart.
Mosley believes if he catches Pacquiao with the same right hand that rocked Mayweather, he’ll have a much better opportunity to close the show.
“Manny’s style is that of an aggressive southpaw who throws a lot of powerful punches,” Mosley said. “Being that way leaves openings for me. When he gets hit with a good punch he wants to fight back. Once he makes it a battle it will become a dangerous fight for him, because of my punching power. My power is dangerous for anyone. It can end the fight at any moment.”
A reporter asked Mosley if he needed to be more active than he was against Mayweather and Mora in order to land his big punch.
Mosley agreed and assured him that he would be.
“I can still throw a lot of punches when I don’t have to chase a guy down,” he said. “A guy attacking me, coming to me, that’s the difference.”
There’s some truth to Mosley’s words. Pacquiao dose have a penchant for trading more punches than necessary against heavy handed fighters. It’s the reason he absorbed a degree of punishment against Miguel Cotto and Margarito despite dominating both fights.
Still, odds makers have opened Pacquiao as a 6-to-1 favorite to beat Mosley and retain the WBO welterweight title that is on the line.
Mosley doesn’t have much of an opinion on those odds.
“I’m not a betting man,” he said, “but I think it should be a somewhat even fight. We’re similar, we’re both aggressive, exciting fighters.
“He’s smaller than me but he throws more punches. I’m bigger, stronger and I probably have a little more power. I think it evens out. It’s a great matchup. It’s going to be an exciting fight.”
What about Floyd?:
A writer asked Mosley if he thought it was odd that he got the opportunity to fight Pacquiao despite losing to Mayweather.
Pacquiao-Mayweather was the fight everyone wanted to see, but Pacquiao-Mosley is what’s happening.
“It’s interesting how boxing works out,” Mosley said. “I knocked out Antonio Margarito but everyone wanted to put Mayweather ahead of me to fight Pacquiao. Mayweather beats me and I get the Pacquiao fight.
“I don’t know how it worked out that way, but Mayweather had his opportunity to fight Pacquiao and he didn’t take it for whatever reason. Maybe it was a money issue. Maybe it’s because his dad thought Pacquiao is on something. I don’t know. But if he wanted it he’d be fighting Pacquiao now and not me.
“He didn’t want it, so here I am.”