By Lem Satterfield
LAS VEGAS -- During the press conference following eight-division titlist, Manny Pacquiao's, unanimous decision over Shane Mosley on Saturday night in defense of his WBO welterweight belt at the MGM Grand, Top Rank Promotions CEO, Bob Arum, tried to put a positive spin on what was a fight largely of excitement.
Although the 32-year-old Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 knockout) managed to floor the 39-year-old Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) with a left hand behind the ear in the third round, the Filipino super star never followed up his advantage, causing some observers pleading some observers to draw the conclusion that he had taken it easy on the aging five-time champion.
"Manny wasn't exactly playing tiddly winks with some of those shots that he hit Shane Mosley with," said Arum. "But this is a sport. Manny never was angry at Shane, and Shane was never angry with him. Anger should never be a part of an athletic contest."
But there was some anger, according to Pacquiao, who, for a brief instant, spurned Mosley's move to give a congratulatory glove-tap after the final bell.
Instead, Pacquiao abruptly turned and walked toward his own corner.
"I'll tell you the truth, I was expecting that he would fight with me at least five rounds of the 12 rounds, to fight toe-to-toe with me so that we could test our power and our stamina, you know. But what am I going to do if my opponent does not want to fight toe-to-toe?" said Pacquiao, who had applauded Mosley during what had been a promotion that was free of trash talk.
"It's not my fault, that's part of the game," said Pacquiao. "Of course I was happy that I won the fight, but like I said, my first concern is that I want the people to be satisfied. I want to make the fans happy. That's my first concern."
Unlike the aftermath of his November, 2009, 12th-round knockout of Miguel Cotto, his March, 2010 unanimous decision over Joshua Clottey, and his November, 2010 unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito, there was little damage to either Pacquiao's face or his body in general.
Yet again, however, that was not something Pacquiao was proud of.
"I don't care if I hurt my face in the fight, or if I get a bruise or two on my face," said Pacquiao. "I want the fans to be happy in my performance."
Pacquiao said the boos from the fans, as a result of the lull in the fight's action, indeed bothered him.
"I think that they wanted to see us fight more. They wanted a good fight and to see us trading a lot of punches, and that's what I wanted," said Pacquiao. "But, you know, Mosley doesn't want to fight toe-to-toe, and he started running every time I went to throw more punches."
Pacquiao said that he wanted to stop Mosley -- a feat that would have made him the first man to do so -- but that a problem with the muscles in his left foot limited his mobility and leverage over the rest of the fight.
"After the first knockdown, I felt that I got him and I felt that I was stronger than him and I thought that I could finish him," said Pacquiao. "But after the fourth round I had a problem with my left foot. It was tight and I couldn't press my advantage because it was too tight."
The victory was Pacquiao's 14th straight during a run that has included eight knockouts, including those in the thrd, and, 10th rounds over Erik Morales, the man who last defeated him by unanimous decision in March of 2005.
"My opponent [Mosley] had a lot of respect for me and he felt the power, and that's why he didn't want to fight toe-to-toe with me and he wanted just to finish the 12 rounds. But, you know, I did my best," said Pacquiao.
"I tried to fight toe-to-toe with him, but I was surprised," said Mosley. "I thought that he had studied during his training and that he was ready to fight inside and toe-to-toe with me, but I was surprised that he just ran and ran."