BIG BEAR, Calif. – Shane Mosley says you’re making at least two mistakes if you give him little chance of beating Manny Pacquiao on May 7 in Las Vegas.
One, you’re probably basing your opinion in part on his last two performances, a one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May of last year and a draw with Sergio Mora in September. And, two, you’re most likely failing to take into the account the physical advantages Mosley has over his naturally smaller opponent.
In other words, he advises you not to count him out.
“Do people have blinders on?” he asked with smile, surrounded by reporters during his media day Tuesday at his high-altitude training base.
Mosley didn’t talk much about his loss to Mayweather, a near-shutout decision, other than to say that Pacquiao will engage him a lot more than the defense-first boxing wizard.
And Mora, he said, not only is defense-first but also had a distinct size advantage over him in their junior middleweight fight in September. Mora is 6-feet (183cm), Mosley 5-9 (175cm). Plus, Mora came in three pounds overweight, at 157.
“Mora was really a middleweight,” said Mosley, who will fight Pacquiao at welterweight. “He was a middleweight but not a hard-punching middleweight, so I thought I could take the risk. His height and size gave me problems. And he moved around a lot. I still think I won the fight but I did have more problems than if he were my height.”
That dynamic will be reversed when he fights Pacquiao, who is 5-6½ (169cm) and a natural junior welterweight.
“I believe that’s going to be the difference between me and Pacquiao,” he said. “… I have all the (physical) advantages. I’m the bigger man, I’m the fastest guy he’s fought, I have a longer reach. Everything is working in my favor.
“I just have to make sure I’m 100 percent. I can’t sit back and say I have all these advantages and not work on them. That’s what I’m doing; working on them.”
Mosley also said something else could work to his advantage: Pacquiao’s fighting spirit.
And, he added, Pacquiao is more vulnerable than some might believe. He said that was evident in Pacquiao’s one-sided decision over Antonio Margarito, who was able to hit – and hurt – the winner even though he is relatively slow.
“Pacquiao’s nature is to fight,” Mosley said. “Pacquiao isn’t a boxer like Mayweather, who slides away from you. He can do it … but it’s not what’s in here [pointing to the questioner’s heart]. Like me … I can box, I can move. I did all that in my amateur career. I’m not in there to do that, though. I want to knock you out. That’s what people pay do see.
“They pay to see Manny knock somebody out. That’s why it’s going to be a great fight.”
Mosley is a big underdog against Pacquiao.
The 39-year-old from Pomona, Calif., remains a good fighter 18 years after he became a professional boxer but, most believe, he no longer has the tools to compete with the No. 1 fighter in the world.
Mosley’s response to that? A lot of people will be surprised.
“If they think, ‘Oh, he’s 39, that's going to be his problem,’” he said, “they’re going to have a problem on May 7.”