By Chris Robinson
This is the same old song and dance for Shane Mosley.
In his eighteenth year as a professional and heading into his twenty-first world title fight, the atmosphere surrounding his bout this weekend with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao is something he is all too accustomed to. Maybe that's why, in going up against the man considered the world's best fighter and being looked at as an underdog yet again, that the Pomona, California star shows no signs of intimidation or fear.
In giving his assessment of the 5'6 Pacquiao, Mosley noted that his stature is the last thing he would ever be concerned with as he spoke during today's press conference for his May 7th bout.
"Pacquiao is a short welterweight, but he's not a small welterweight," Mosley told the assembled press inside of the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand. "He's very powerful. This is like a Mike Tyson fight - we're heavyweights out there. I'm looking to go out there, take charge and beat Manny Pacquiao."
A bold proclamation indeed but it's just the kind of fight Mosley has always welcomed.
"We're going to go out there and not take our foot off the gas pedal," he continued.
Shane was in a similar situation in January of 2009 when he went up against Tijuana's Antonio Margarito, who was then fresh off of an 11th round battering of Miguel Cotto himself. It was looked at as Mosley's swan song but he turned into in a celebration, thrashing Margarito with bombs all night on his way towards registering a ninth round stoppage at the Staples Center.
When assessing his chances against Pacquiao he is reminded of that fight as well as his days as a terror at 135 pounds, a time when he put together eight defenses of his IBF lightweight crown.
"I can muster all that energy that I had against Margarito," Mosley said. "This type of fight reminds me of when I was able to do a lot of damage in the lightweight division. It's kind of like going back in time. I think I can do all the things I could do in the ring five years ago."
The fight is a sellout and easily looked at as the biggest event of 2011 so far, but Pacquiao is the reason for that. For as great of a fighter as Mosley has shown himself to be, it is Pacquiao who has seen his star skyrocket after putting an improbable string of performances together against solid opposition after moving up in weight.
Pacquiao is the man right now, as evidenced by the 6-1 odds in his favor, but Mosley seems to take comfort in playing the role of the spoiler yet again.
"I don't know, that's what the odds makers are saying," Mosley coined. "That's fine with me. The main goal is to get the win and then we can talk about being an underdog. I don't pay attention to that - I've been an underdog in a lot of my fights."
On May 1st of last year we saw Mosley suffer a horribly one-sided loss to undefeated superstar Floyd Mayweather inside of the MGM Grand. Mayweather's victory only heightened the intrigue in a clash between him at the time but a year later and it is Mosley who is the one getting the shot so many wanted Floyd to have.
When informed that Mayweather will be pulling for him against Pacquiao, Mosley showed little surprise.
"That's great. Floyd does what he does and he says what he says. But, for the most part, we're all friendly with the Mayweather family and I think that's why he's pulling for me."