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Saul Alvarez vs. Shane Mosley Pick

Saul Alvarez vs. Shane Mosley Fight Preview and Pick to Win

When: May 5, 2012

Where: MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada

TV: PPV at 9:00 p.m. EST

Weight Class: WBC Junior Middleweight Title: 12 Rounds

By Scotty L, Boxing Handicapper,

Saul Alvarez, 39-0-1 (29 KOs), Jalisco, Mexico, WBC Junior Middleweight Champion VS. Shane Mosley, 46-7-1 (39 KOs), Pomona, California

Betting Odds: Saul Alvarez (-700), Shane Mosley (+500)

Over/Under: Over 11.5 (-240), Under 11.5 (+200)

Fight Analysis: On Cinco de Mayo, young Mexican boxing hero Saul “Canelo” Alvarez looks to take the next big step in his career facing future Hall of Famer--”Sugar” Shane Mosley. While Alvarez, 21, has been moved very quickly for a fighter his age, the prevailing feeling is that clever matchmaking has also played a role in his rise. Now after 40 fights, it looks like his management team is interested in testing the deep waters of this sport. Mosley seems like a reasonable entrance test.

But let’s address the 500-pound elephant in the room: Shane Mosley is now a fighter whose name value outweighs his actual merit as a world-class force. At age 40, he simply is not what he the force of old. That’s not a dig against him, as a lot of all-time greats faded out long before 40. But Shane is getting into bad territory here--where more thoughtful fans are collectively gasping at his demise, hoping he can leave the sport relatively intact. Hearing him speak suggests an ominous future. Frankly, there are many who would like to see “Sugar” Shane call it a day.

Mosley made a bundle in fights against Mayweather and Pacquiao. But the fact that he won merely 1 or 2 out of 24 rounds against the pair says a lot about where he is at this point of his career. While looking bad against the two best fighters in the world is not necessarily a sign of total decay, we’re talking about a fighter who was once one of the best. No longer able to remain competitive against even the best fighters is not typical Shane Mosley.

Mosley is winless in his last 3 fights. His last moment of triumph was nearly 3.5 years ago--when he battered Antonio Margarito into submission in 2009. The fact that Margarito was busted in the dressing room prior to the fight with loaded gloves suggests he entered the ring in less than pristine mental condition, which might have contributed to his awful showing on that night. In other words, it’s difficult to emerge from any analysis of Shane Mosley with a positive feeling about his future standing in the sport.

With Alvarez, he’s facing a fighter almost half his age, with everything ahead of him. The contrast doesn’t get more stark than that. Alvarez has been upgrading his competition of late, though comes nowhere close to comparing with Mosley in this category. While there are those who are still holding out on heaping praise on Alvarez, even they would surely admit that it will take a helluva fighter to beat him. Is Mosley still up for it?

Boxing bettors will attest to the pitfalls of analyzing a fight based on perceived notions of where fighters are in relation to their primes. The key piece of analysis in picking a winning fighter inevitably comes down to the style match-up. From that standpoint, you can make a better case for Mosley. He won’t be facing the technical acumen of Mayweather or the Pacquiao whirlwind on May 5. Alvarez is a more available target and will conceivably give Mosley some opportunities that he didn’t really regularly get against Mayweather and Pacquiao. Alvarez is not near as sharp as the top two guys in the sport. Just because Mosley failed the Bar Exam twice doesn’t mean he can’t still register a good score on his SAT.

Scotty L’s Pick to Win the Fight: At the end of the day, all other factors are a bit drowned out by the feeling that Mosley is in the midst of the age-old final lap of a great champion. He just doesn’t have it anymore. His success was largely based on great athleticism. Sure he had power, but speed and athletic ability were his two main assets--and those things don’t get better with age. While no dummy in the ring, he never had that Hopkins-like ring IQ that allows for the type of longevity Mosley is trying to achieve.

Mosley can still slug, even at 154, but his threadbare legs won’t cooperate or allow him to maintain a solid foothold for long. And this Alvarez kid is a smart cookie. I don’t picture him laying in there, allowing Mosley to have easy pickings. I picture a slightly more mobile and measured Alvarez picking his spots early. As Mosley gets nudged downhill, look for Canelo to open up his repertoire to establish a clear margin of superiority. Here’s where it gets tricky. Mosley has never been stopped--astonishing considering his level of opposition. But I suspect if a battering ensues, a squeamish referee, cornerman, or doctor will give Mosley the hook. Lay -700 on Saul Alvarez to win and take +200 on the “under.”

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Each week, Big Scotty L makes picks on upcoming boxing matches in an attempt to make a punching bag out of his bookie. Scotty is a GREAT boxing handicapper who offers tremendous insight on the fights and his knowledge isn't just limited to boxing matches in the USA. He has a broad knowledge of international fights as well.

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