Advertisement
Advertisement

Pacquiao-Mosley Revisionist History: Signs Were There

By Lyle Fitzsimmons, photo by Chris Cozzone

Around midnight on Saturday, the moods palpably changed.

Both mine and those of the brave souls still claiming to be Shane Mosley fans.

Still intoxicated by seeing our man in the ring two years since his last win – and happily downing the promotional Kool-Aid that made us dream of what the unlikely folly could accomplish – we sat in our seats and waited for the magic.

For the former triple-crown champion to emerge from the dressing room, break loose from the shackles of his 39-year-old reality and triumphantly lead us back to the days when he strode among the pound-for-pound elite.

It was all perfectly reasonable, we suggested.

After all, he was ripped as always at 147 pounds – seven down from the ugly draw with Sergio Mora.

After all, reviews from his gym work were noticeably, albeit predictably, smashing.

After all, he was still our “Sugar Shane.”

And because the night’s foe was programmed to do many of the things that had spelled peril for several of 43 previous victims – that alone would be enough.

The euphoria lingered and intensified as the Showtime PPV card evolved.

As two of Mosley’s fellow ex-elites – super middleweight Kelly Pavlik and junior featherweight Jorge Arce – climbed back from career setbacks, took their seats in the corner and burst from the stools to handle their business in punishing, dramatic and championship fashion.

A 10-round test of skills here. A 12-round measure of guts there.

Two wins. Both decisive. Each according to sentimental script.

And when a 43-year-old LL Cool J – who’s performed no small reinvention of his own – flanked Shane on the ring walk with a timelessly ominous “Mama Said Knock You Out” message, the promotional fires so painstakingly stoked by Top Rank reached an orchestrated white-hot crescendo.

As ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. excitedly exclaimed… it was “show time.”

Turns out, the show lasted barely more than six minutes.

About the time it took Mosley to shed his tough-guy entourage, acknowledge the breathless cheers and flick a few impotent jabs before tasting the onset of his 2011 reality – in the form of a lunging straight left hand that he’d have eluded and answered with a go-home punch only a few years ago.

Instead, this year’s portside volley caught him squarely on the chin, sapped the steel from his suddenly balky legs and sent him tumbling awkwardly to the floor on his side, where he instantly seemed to comprehend – much to his near-40 chagrin – that he was in a fight.

It was a fight he was no longer capable of winning, assuming it really ever had been, given the unmistakable pose of surrender he struck while taking Kenny Bayless’s mandatory count and frequently reverted to during subsequent between-rounds psych classes with trainer Naazim Richardson.  

The flaccid to and fro continued for nine rounds after the already decisive moment, with Mosley gradually becoming less combative and more elusive outside of the unquestioned ability to match his opponent high-five for high-five after fouls, rounds and corner counsels.

Even a usually even-handed broadcast team acknowledged the lack of actual competition in the event’s aftermath, counseling the former lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight kingpin to end the charade that they’d all zealously bought into just a couple hours earlier.

“I’ve got to pinch myself to realize that I’m working this fight,” studio host James Brown said before the fight. Twelve rounds later, his mood had changed to “(Mosley) showed all the classic signs of an aging champion” and claimed he and the rest of the team “should have known better.”

For exactly how long Shane continues and for exactly what reasons, who knows?

In spite of his insistence that he can “still get in there with guys and do what I do,” it’d be hard to imagine even Mosley stubbornly believes he has enough left to push his luck against whatever good young fighters or active older ones hold other title belts he claims to covet.

In fact, as he strode more tiredly toward his corner and slumped more heavily onto his stool as the rounds dragged on, it appeared anything but the beginning of a long road back to the top.

Rather, the whole thing had the makings of a convenient golden parachute – allowing the elder fighter to return to the ring for one last go-round and cash a nice check with a minimum of violence.

He’d purge whatever poisons remained from the career-smudging match with Mora. And he’d put a few extra bucks in the account for Arum and Co. at Top Rank while providing name cache for Pacquiao as the Filipino continues his well-protected climb to the pound-for-pound wing at Canastota.

In spite of a dreadful end product Saturday, it seems both camps got what they wanted.

But when they go ahead and assemble next time around, I’ll make sure and skip the Kool-Aid.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This week’s title-fight schedule:

SATURDAY
IBF junior bantamweight title – Durango, Mexico
Cristian Mijares (champion) vs. Carlos Rueda (No. 11 contender)
      
Mijares (41-6-2, 18 KO): First title defense; Former WBC (2007-08) and WBA champion (2008)     
Rueda (16-4-1, 13 KO): First title fight; Fifth fight in Mexico (2-2, 2 KO)
Fitzbitz says: “Multiple champ Mijares simply too good for double-digit challenger.” Mijares by decision

WBA super middleweight title – Carson, Calif.
Andre Ward (champion) vs. Arthur Abraham (No. 3 contender)
      
Ward (23-0, 13 KO): Third title defense; Eighteenth fight in California (17-0, 8 KO)      
Abraham (32-2, 26 KO): Thirteenth title fight (11-1, 7 KO); Former IBF champion at 160 (2005-09)
Fitzbitz says: “Ward proves once again to be the class of Showtime TV tournament.” Ward by decision

Last week’s picks: 2-1
Overall picks record: 205-71 (74.2 percent)

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at [email protected] or follow him at www.twitter.com/fitzbitz .

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by CachasDeOro on 05-11-2011

just because he beat berto? the same berto that you cant even name any of his prior opponents. ortiz has no heart. he proved it against maidana. once you lose it, you cant get it back. no exceptions.....and since he…

Comment by CachasDeOro on 05-11-2011

did anyone else notice mosely's speech?

Comment by mathed on 05-10-2011

[QUOTE=BoZz;10514233]arum is doing the match making..pacquiao is just the puppet..he told pac if they question you and ask you about fighting good fighters just say TALK TO MY PROMOTER. mosley used only 1 hand..and had a bit of head movement…

Comment by mrjoeblive on 05-10-2011

[QUOTE=Rolaz;10514428]Pacman has beaten Shane Mosley an African-American Boxer, I hope Bernard Hopkins has seen the fight. He should go public and speak about his past comments criticizing Pacman of not fighting slick African-American Boxer. Bernard Hopkins should encourage Floyd jr…

Comment by mrjoeblive on 05-10-2011

[QUOTE=Rolaz;10514428]Pacman has beaten Shane Mosley an African-American Boxer, I hope Bernard Hopkins has seen the fight. He should go public and speak about his past comments criticizing Pacman of not fighting slick African-American Boxer. Bernard Hopkins should encourage Floyd jr…

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (30)
Top Headlines Salud Will Talk To Pacquiao About World Title Double in Manila Jean Pascal Cautioned To Take Signficant Time Off By Promoter Qiu Xiao Jun's Big Win Draws 200 Million TV Viewers in China Liam Williams-Nav Mansouri Set For April 2 on BoxNation Sanchez: Canelo Couldn't Hurt Cotto, What Happens With GGG? Barrera Advised By Manager To Go All Out With Andre Ward Chavez, Barrera, Morales View Canelo-GGG as The Next 'Big One' Alex Saucedo Decisions Clarence Booth: Vences Wins Khan: Being Underdog To Canelo Has Given Me an Extra Push! Fernando Carcamo Stops Daniel Echeverria In Three Lomachenko: I'm Ready To Fight Rigondeaux at Any Time Glowacki's Coach Says Steve Cunningham Still in Play For April Cortez Expects Canelo To Slaughter Amir Khan in Rapid Fashion Jorge Linares Hopes To Return in May or June From Injury Artur Szpilka Has Surgery on Left Hand, Wants Charles Martin Arum Wonders if Amir Khan Can Pull Off a Super Bowl Upset Tyson Fury Going in New Direction? Says 'Massive Fight' Coming Dmitry Chudinov Blows Through Marat Huzeeva in Moscow Mariusz Wach's Ring Return Being Positioned For May 14 Adrian Granat Has Two Fights Set; Sprott Faces Hammer on 3/18 Joseph Diaz-Jayson Velez Set For Ward-Barrera HBO Card Lanell Bellows: Nobody Can Match My Work Ethic Hearn, Mayweather To Join Forces For UK Boxing Events Gutierrez Set For Hometown Appearance, Wants Santa Cruz Next Frank Warren Takes Aim at Boxers Having Overgrown Beards Marquez Wants 147 For Cotto, 152/153 Rehydration Clause Campillo: Kovalev Can Beat Ward, Beterbiev a Bigger Puncher Roach: Not Scared of Atlas, Don't Give a Sh*t About His Stories! McGuigan Warns Joshua To Avoid Charles Martin, For Now Frank Warren: British Boxing Showing Strength With Title Fights Promoter: Bradley Should Not Target Pacquiao's Shoulder Deontay Wilder is on a Mission To 'Beat Povetkin, Unify All Titles' Golovkin's Coach: No Catch-Weight For Amir Khan Cano: I Have The Experience To Beat Lucas Matthysse Barrera: With a Good Strategy, Canelo Can Beat Golovkin Arum: Gilberto Ramirez is The Complete Opposite of Chavez Jr. Daniel Roman Continues To Roll Forward, Beats Robles Thurman: Brook Went 12, Do I Stop Porter? I Plan To Hurt Him! Marquez, Sulaiman Disagree on Canelo-Khan Being Mismatch Photos/Weights: Alex Saucedo vs. Clarence Booth, More
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement