The promoter of the big Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight, says Mosley was selected to fight the sport’s pound-for-pound king because his aggressive style guarantees excitement for the fans who order the Showtime Pay-Per-View event on May 7.
“We chose Shane because he’s an all-action fighter,” Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank, said during a recent conference call. “He’s always delivered excitement for the fans and on May 7 he’s in with an all-action fighter. They’re going to give fans a hellacious entertaining fight.”
There wasn’t much action or entertainment during Mosley’s fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Sergio Mora last year. The 39-year-old veteran looked like an over-the-hill fighter losing a lopsided decision to Mayweather and struggling to a draw with Mora.
Those two bouts are the reason most fans and media give Mosley little-to-no shot of beating Pacquiao. However, even skeptical observers agree with Arum’s take that Mosley’s aggressive style will mesh with Pacquiao’s usual high-octane offense to make for a fun fight.
Don’t be so sure of that, Naazim Richardson said on a recent conference call.
Mosley’s trainer told members of the media not to be surprised if Pacquiao becomes as defensive minded as Mora and Mayweather once the Filipino hero gets hit by his fighter.
Richardson, who also trains Bernard Hopkins, admits that the notion of Pacquiao staying behind the jab like Mayweather or moving about the ring as Mora does is almost surreal, one that even his fighter doubts.
“I seem to be in the minority, even within my own camp,” Richardson said. “Everyone is saying Mora and Mayweather are defensive fighters and that Manny is an aggressive fighter. Shane is quick to claim that [Pacquiao] is a gladiator, but I tell him ‘Shane, you’ve never been hit by Shane Mosley.
“I’ve been hit by Shane Mosley (at times when holding the mitts). I know how hard he hits, so I have to prepare Shane for a defensive fighter no matter who he’s fighting, because when Shane cracks you, you become a defensive fighter.”
Richardson says Mayweather and the undefeated star’s team had promised to fight more than box against Mosley during their showdown last May, which Mayweather won by near shutout. The only round Mayweather lost on all three official scorecards was the second, a round in which he was visibly rocked by a right hand from Mosley.
“Mayweather had a game plan to come out more aggressive and to fight in a more crowd-pleasing style until he got hit with that ‘hooey’ in second round and he reverted back to his old style,” Richardson said.
The respected trainer from Philadelphia believes the same thing could occur with Pacquiao and he says his fighter will be prepared for that outcome should it happen.
“Pacquiao can easily become a defensive fighter once he gets cracked by Shane,” Richardson said. “So I have to prepare Shane for a guy who runs around the ring to avoid him.”
Manny Pacquiao running around the ring? Avoiding confrontation? Really?
“Fighters at this level have had to do everything it takes to get this far,” Richardson said. “They’ve had to walk through punches, go to war at times, and fight defensively when need be. Pacquiao can become a jabber and mover if he has to.”
Richardson says Mosley will be prepared to hunt Pacquiao down in the event the super star elects to stick and move.
“Manny Pacquiao is a special fighter but so is Shane Mosley,” he said. “Shane’s still got knockout power at his age and he’s one of the few athletes in boxing who can score a knockout late in a fight. If that’s what he has to do to beat Pacquiao that’s what he will do.”