by Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - A sold-out crowd of 16,410 saw WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 39KOs) win a twelve round unanimous decision over former three division champion Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39KOs). The scores were 119-108, 120-108 and 120-107.
Both fighters had explosive entrances. Mosley was led out by LL Cool J singing "Momma Said Knock You Out," while Pacquiao had Survivor lead the way while singing "Eye of The Tiger."
Pacquiao took the lead in the first round. Both fighters were picking their spots and landing decent shots to end a close, tactical three minutes. The second round was more tactical action with Pacquiao landing a good combination in the final ten seconds. Pacquiao had a huge third round when he dropped Mosley with a hard left hand. It was the first time Mosley was down since the first bout with Vernon Forrest. Mosley beat the count, but Pacquaio continued to land punishing punches for the remainder of the round.
Mosley was in survival mode in the fourth. Pacquiao stalked and connected with solid punches. The left hand was working for Pacquiao throughout the three minutes. Mosley had a better fifth, but Pacquiao turned up the pace in the sixth with combination punching to knock Mosley back with every connect. The crowd was getting restless in the seventh. Pacquiao appeared to be taking it easy on Mosley. There was very little coming from Mosley, but Pacquiao only attacked in minor spurts.
The eight was a near duplicate of the seventh. Pacquiao picked it up in the ninth by landing right hands to set up his left. There was a push by Molsey that sent Pacquiao down and the arena went crazy when referee Kenny Bayless ruled it as a knockdown. The knockdown call may have woken up a sleeping giant as an angry Pacquiao began to go after Mosley with both hands and shook him up number of times.
In the eleventh, Pacquiao was all business. He was going after Mosley like a fighter looking to do damage. The crowd began to chant "knock him out." Pacquiao tried to land the knockout punch. Mosley became very defensive every time Pacquiao stung him with punches.
The tweflth and final round was a little more calm. Pacquiao continued to land big punches; Mosley stayed defensive to run out the clock.