Three notable trainers pick the winner of the big fight (or fights) of the weekend in this RingTV.com feature. This week: Abel Sanchez, Rudy Hernandez and Joe Goossen break down the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I think it’s going to be difficult for Shane. His best chance, for me, is in the first four rounds. After that, Manny will cruise, just box him, actually hit him at will, I think. I think this fight is too late for Shane. Unfortunately father time takes its toll on everybody. I’m not going by past performances. I just think it’s getting to the point now where he doesn’t pull the trigger like he used to. Manny is, I would say, toward the end of his prime. I think he’ll start to decline in two, three years but now he’s still in his prime. From what I hear, camp is going well. He won’t have problems with weight. So he’ll be strong. He throws a lot of punches and it’s difficult to get away from that. Why is Shane’s best chance early? Because that’s when Manny is cold. Once he gets on a roll, once he gets his combinations going, his timing down, his distance right, once he figures Shane out, that’ll be it.
"Manny is a smart fighter; he’ll figure out what to do. And I don’t think Shane is that big of a puncher. He throws sharp, quick combinations but not big, big punches. He needs eight, nine punches to land before he has you down or hurt. He has a chance. If he gets the opportunity, if Manny gives him the opportunity, anything can happen. Manny would have to stand still like Margarito, though. And I don’t think he’ll do that. I think Shane’s only chance is if Manny falls asleep, if he loses focus. That doesn’t seem likely. I think it’ll be a four- or five-point edge for Manny. I don’t think Shane will embarrass himself like Margarito (did against Pacquiao). I don’t think Manny will stop him. Shane is too smart of a fighter. I don’t think he’ll expose himself enough to get knocked out. I think the volume of punches will take a toll, though."
Prediction: Pacquiao by decision
"A couple of years ago, before Shane fought (Antonio) Margarito, I think Shane probably would’ve been at his most-dangerous for Manny Pacquiao. A couple of years have gone by, though. Shane is no longer the fighter he used to be. His reflexes have slowed down a little bit. That’s a killer for him. It’s customary for Manny Pacquaio to be moving in and out, side to side … that footwork is what is going to determine the outcome of the fight. I just see him being too quick for Shane to handle now. When he fought Floyd (Mayweather Jr.), it was like he was a second too slow. That just comes with age. It’s not something you can work on. Yeah, he’s a hell of an athlete. This is a whole different ballgame, though. I think the fight is going to be one sided. I don’t know if he can stop him. Mosley has the heart of a lion and he’s far from being a quitter. He’ll be there for the whole fight. He’ll just be hoping that he lands a lucky punch and is able to drop him. I just don’t see that happening. I don’t think it’s a close fight. Like I said, a few years ago, it might’ve been a different story. Time waits for no one, though. It happens to all the greats at one time or another."
Prediction: Pacquiao by decision
"To bet against Pacquiao would be the worst idea in the world if you look at the general consensus out there. Pacquiao is anywhere from a 6-1 to a 9-1 favorite. To me, the question isn’t who’s going to win; it’s more how well can Mosley do? Is there a chance he can upset Pacquiao? Mosley is the type of guy who is always in great shape. He has a young mind in his approach to the sport. He’s pushing 40 but has a youthful vibe about him. That can fall apart at any moment when you’re his age, when you’re in there with a guy as confusing as Pacquiao can be. I think there are a lot of intangibles. If Mosley is spirited, if he has a youthful bounce, he can make it very interesting, very competitive. Pacquiao throws punches from the southpaw position, rapid fire, the punches keep coming and they come quickly and very hard. To deal with that, you have to have head movement.
"Shane can move his head well, which will give him a chance to nullify some of the rapid-fire combinations. And he’s good at knocking punches down. Again, though, how fast is he going to be? Because Pacquiao is very quick. He might be slowing down a hair but he’s still on top of his game. I agree that Pacquiao should be favored but I think the spread (6-1 to 9-1) is a little off. I believe it’ll be much more competitive than the experts are expecting. I’m not disagreeing with the opinion of the experts if a certain scenario plays out. Again, if Shane’s legs have a bounce to them, if he’s able to step forward and backward quickly, if he has good head movement, he’s in the fight all the way. If he’s flatfooted, following Pacquiao trying to catch him and not being able to put on hard pressure, it could be a long night for him."
Prediction: No formal prediction