Michael Rosenthal

Weekend Review: Pacquiao tried, Mosley didn’t

 

BIGGEST WINNER

Manny Pacquiao: The king of boxing wasn’t able to give the fans what he genuinely is committed to giving them, an entertaining fight against Shane Mosley on Saturday in Las Vegas. Mosley made certain of that by refusing to do his part. Pacquaio once again demonstrated his fighting spirit, though, relentlessly pursuing his reluctant foe even with what was described as a cramp in his left leg that hindered his movement. “I thought it was gutsy performance,” trainer Freddie Roach said. Indeed, Pacquiao earned the $25 million-plus he will have made after pay-per-view profits are divvied up. And he did nothing to sully his reputation. His only mistake? Fighting Mosley in the first place.

 

BIGGEST LOSER

Shane Mosley: It’s easy to take shots at Mosley for his performance on Saturday night. We weren’t face to face with the most-dangerous fighting machine on the planet; he was. The bottom line is this, though: We have the right to expect an honest effort. Mosley didn’t provide one. He acknowledged that he refused to take risks because he was leery of Pacquiao’s power, which he tasted when he hit the canvas in the third round. He also made no effort to outbox Pacquiao, so few were the punches he threw. The only thing he can claim is that he was looking for one big shot that would turn the fight, although he certainly didn’t look very hard. The reality? Mosley didn’t try to win. And for that he should be ashamed.

 

MOST-PATHETIC OUTPUT

Mosley: The punch statistics from the Pacquiao-Mosley fight tell a sad story even if we take them with a grain of salt. Mosley threw a total of 330 punches, or 27.5 per round. That seems generous. To me, it seemed as if he threw more glove-to-glove love taps with Pacquiao than punches. And get this: He landed only 66 punches, or 5.5 per round. That’s not even one punch landed every 30 seconds. By comparison, Mosley landed 92 punches (7.7 per rounds) in his horrible performance against Floyd Mayweather Jr. And amazingly Mosley landed single-digit punches in each of the 12 rounds, peaking at nine in the fourth and fifth. That’s what I would call not showing up for work. Pacquiao? He landed 224 (18.7 per round) of 727 punches (60.1).

 

MOST PASSIVE

Pacquiao: In one sense, Pacquiao had no right to complain about Mosley’s reluctance to do battle. Promoter Bob Arum chose Mosley as the B side of this promotion because of his name recognition but Pacquiao had to have approved it in the end. He ultimately chose to face an old, used-up fighter who looked terrible in his previous two fights. The result was a disaster, Pacquiao’s third consecutive dud in terms of competitiveness. The Filipino warrior says all the time that he wants to make the fans happy. And I have no doubt he’s telling the truth. He must take more initiative to avoid these weak matches. He must say no to slow, marginally talented opponents (Antonio Margarito) and old, faded ones (Mosley) and demand that he fight a young lion or a veteran in his prime who is effective at 147 pounds.

 

MOST DAMAGED

Boxing: The experts predicted that the Pacquiao-Mosley card will have generated 1.5 million pay-per-buys in the United States, which would make it one of the most-watched cards in history.  Of course, the bulk of those fans are boxing devotees. They’ll continue to buy fights in spite of the debacle on Saturday night because they love the sport. However, a portion of those who watched will have been casual fans caught up in the hoopla that preceded the fight. This was a test for boxing. If it passed, if Pacquiao and Mosley would’ve provided a decent fight, these fans might’ve come back for more. It failed, though. Why would anyone plunk down $50 again after witnessing that car wreck. Thanks Shane. You did the sport you supposedly love a real service.

 

FEWEST OPTIONS

Possible Pacquiao opponents: Team Pacquiao’s first choice for his next opponent is Juan Manuel Marquez at 147 pounds, at division in which Marquez was so slow against Mayweather that it looked as if his feet took root into the canvas. If that fight doesn’t happen, then Arum reportedly said he will turn to one of two 140-pounders, Timothy Bradley (whose negotiations to fight Amir Khan appear all but dead) and Zab Judah. Another option would be Kermit Cintron if he can get down to 147 comfortably. And new welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz is an intriguing possibility but his allegiance with Golden Boy would seem to preclude him from consideration. I would pick Pacquiao to beat any of the above but I have no doubt they would give more of themselves than Mosley did.

 

MOST-PATHETIC OUTPUT

Mosley: The punch statistics from the Pacquiao-Mosley fight tell a sad story even if we take them with a grain of salt. Mosley threw a total of 330 punches, or 27.5 per round. That seems generous. To me, it seemed as if he threw more glove-to-glove love taps with Pacquiao than punches. And get this: He landed only 66 punches, or 5.5 per round. That’s not even one punch landed every 30 seconds. By comparison, Mosley landed 92 punches (7.7 per rounds) in his horrible performance against Floyd Mayweather Jr. And amazingly Mosley landed single-digit punches in each of the 12 rounds, peaking at nine in the fourth and fifth. That’s what I would call not showing up for work. Pacquiao? He landed 224 (18.7 per round) of 727 punches (60.1).

 

MOST PASSIVE

Pacquiao: In one sense, Pacquiao had no right to complain about Mosley’s reluctance to do battle. Promoter Bob Arum chose Mosley as the B side of this promotion because of his name recognition but Pacquiao had to have approved it in the end. He ultimately chose to face an old, used-up fighter who looked terrible in his previous two fights. The result was a disaster, Pacquiao’s third consecutive dud in terms of competitiveness. The Filipino warrior says all the time that he wants to make the fans happy. And I have no doubt he’s telling the truth. He must take more initiative to avoid these weak matches. He must say no to slow, marginally talented opponents (Antonio Margarito) and old, faded ones (Mosley) and demand that he fight a young lion or a veteran in his prime who is effective at 147 pounds.

 

MOST DAMAGED

Boxing: The experts predicted that the Pacquiao-Mosley card will have generated 1.5 million pay-per-buys in the United States, which would make it one of the most-watched cards in history.  Of course, the bulk of those fans are boxing devotees. They’ll continue to buy fights in spite of the debacle on Saturday night because they love the sport. However, a portion of those who watched will have been casual fans caught up in the hoopla that preceded the fight. This was a test for boxing. If it passed, if Pacquiao and Mosley would’ve provided a decent fight, these fans might’ve come back for more. It failed, though. Why would anyone plunk down $50 again after witnessing that car wreck. Thanks Shane. You did the sport you supposedly love a real service.

 

FEWEST OPTIONS

Possible Pacquiao opponents: Team Pacquiao’s first choice for his next opponent is Juan Manuel Marquez at 147 pounds, at division in which Marquez was so slow against Mayweather that it looked as if his feet took root into the canvas. If that fight doesn’t happen, then Arum reportedly said he will turn to one of two 140-pounders, Timothy Bradley (whose negotiations to fight Amir Khan appear all but dead) and Zab Judah. Another option would be Kermit Cintron if he can get down to 147 comfortably. And new welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz is an intriguing possibility but his allegiance with Golden Boy would seem to preclude him from consideration. I would pick Pacquiao to beat any of the above but I have no doubt they would give more of themselves than Mosley did.

 

MOST DISAPPOINTING

Kelly Pavlik: The former middleweight champion seemed to enter his fight against untested Alfonso Lopez in excellent shape both physically and mentally. He didn’t look it in the fight, his first foray as a full-time 168-pounder. He struggled to find a rhythm, his timing seemed to be off and his punches didn’t have the snap they did when he was at his best. Some of that can be attributed to his 13-month layoff, during which a staph infection in his hand healed and he attended rehab for alcoholism. And Lopez deserves credit; he’s a pretty good boxer. Pavlik, who reportedly was upset with his performance, probably deserves a pass under the circumstances. He did outwork Lopez to win a decision. However, he’ll have to fight a lot better than that to compete in a deep super middleweight division.

 

MOST INCREDIBLE

Jorge Arce: Some observers feared for the safety of Arce, the fearless little warrior from Mexico. They believed he had taken too many punches in too many wars, the kind of wars that typically wear even the bravest fighters down and then out. Arce is anything but typical, though. He fought with the ferocity against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. on Saturday that has earned him so many fans, attacking his younger, presumably stronger foe from the beginning. At first, we were impressed that he was even in the fight. Then, as it became apparent he had a chance to win, it was almost impossible not to root for him. And, finally, when he stopped Vazquez with an overwhelming barrage of punches in the 12th round, we were both stunned and in awe. Arce demonstrated again why he is one of the most-popular fighters in the world. He might’ve secured a place in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the process.

 

BIGGEST LOSER II

Wilfredo Vazquez Jr: The 26-year-old son of the three-division titleholder of the same name has nothing to be ashamed of. Vazquez fought a good fight against a driven, more-experienced opponent and went down swinging, a disappointment for him but a brave effort for those who watched the fight. The judges had him winning on the cards after 10 rounds, albeit barely. That’s an indication he was doing something right. The Puerto Rican is a good boxer with quick hands and feet who punches hard. He just got caught up in a firestorm on this night, one from which he will grow as a fighter. Vazquez, only 26, will be back.

 

MOST TOUCHING

Sergio Martinez’s acceptance speech: The middleweight champion gave a tearful acceptance speech when he received his Fighter of the Year award for 2010 at the Boxing Writers Association of America banquet Friday in Las Vegas. “I realized one of my dreams. It was emotional,” he said the following day. Martinez has come a long way since starting his boxing career 16 years ago at the advanced age of 22. He learned on the job fighting in his native Argentina, in Europe and finally in the United States, where he realized true stardom last year. He was easy choice for the award after outpointing Pavlik to win the championship and then stopping Paul Williams with one punch. He followed that with an impressive eighth-round KO of Sergei Dzinziruk in March.

 

BEST QUOTE

Freddie Roach, about Mosley’s performance: “I don’t think he tried to win the fight. And when you get to that point in boxing, it’s time to call it a day.”

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