By Michael Marley
Question before the jury is what aging underdog, 34 year old Mexcian icon Erik Morales or 39 year old perennial American star Sugar Shane Mosley, has a better chance to beat his heavily favored foe in their upcoming bouts?
Few give Morales a real shot to stop bomb tossing Marcos Rene Maidana this Saturday night on HBO Pay-Per-View TV. Maybe less give well-liked Shane a genuine chance to dethrone ring king of kings, Manny Pacquiao on May 7.
Enter stage left, Holly "Little Bear" Lawson, a comely Canadian and former manager of aspiring rap stars in Hollyweird. Lawson, who fights for promoter Roy Engelbrecht on an April 21 card in Costa Mesa (www.fightcluboc.com), is a 145-pounder who has trained for six years at Coach Freddie Roach's celebrated Wild Card Gym.
Lawson even has had Pacman's original trainer, incredible "chick magnet" Buboy Fernandez, work the mitts with her when her regular trainer is absent.
Lawson is betwixt and between, being a pal of Pacquiao's and an admirer of Mosley.
Despite her nickname, I could not get her to pick the Pacman foe who trains up in the rarefied air of Big Bear.
She trains at the Wild Card but would not pick either wild card, Morales or Mosley, to shock the world.
"Even with all the Mannymania around him now, Manny acts the same, he still jokes around," Lawson said by phone from LA Monday night. "After the Hatton fight, he asked me if I was going to hear him sing. I said, 'Do I have to? I've heard you sing.' I didn't tell him he sucks but..."
Lawson believes Morales' chances are slim while Mosley is a more viable underdog.
"Technically, Maidana is not good but he's heavy-handed as he showed in hurting (Amir) Khan a few times in their fight. I don't know that Morales can withstand Maidana's power."
She sees Mosley as having more juice left than Morales does.
"If they instill one thing at the Wild Card, it's to never undestimate any opponent. Shane Mosley is no walkover, not even for Manny. He can punch, he can box and he's got a ton of experience."
Combined with my earlier polled experts, both guys, the final score is:
Underdogs 0, Favorites 2.
Not even a Mexican trainer/manager like the savvy guru from Coachella (Palm Springs) such as Lee Espinoza is in Morales' corner for this fight.
"No chance for Erik to beat the Argentinian. No chance," Espinoza said.
"He will be slow and he will play into Maidana's strength by standing right there to be hit. Only way to beat Maidana is to run and box like (Amir) Khan did. Khan got hit once and almost got knocked out.
"Look, Erik is pretty shot, really," Espinoza said. "Shane Mosley has a better chance against Pacquiao than Morales has again Maidana. Sure, Pacquiao is fast but he'll be there for Mosley to hit sometimes. I think Morales will get knocked out.
"Morales might make a better fight than Mosley will. Erik can get banged out in two, three, four or five rounds and it can be exciting. It will be exciting while it lasts but Maidana gets the KO."
I'd better plug two of Espinoza's rising stars, a 16 year old amateur at 106 pounds named Abraham Zamora and more advanced Randy Caballero, a 9-0, 122-pounder under the Golden Boy promotional wing.
Espinoza reports Caballero sparring with Filipino Flash Nonito Donaire Jr. "and doing very well."
Nice touch by Don Jose Sulaiman and the World Boxing Council in memorializing the late Gil Clancy, who died at age 88 last week.
The WBC is naming a Manager of the Year Award after the highly accomplished Malverne, Long Island, resident.
Clancy managed the awesome welterweight and middleweight champion Emile Griffith along with hail fellow well met, Howie Albert.