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Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley Betting Odds and Pick

Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley Fight Preview and Prediction
When: Saturday, May 7, 2011
Where: MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: PPV at 11:00 pm EST
Weight Class: WBO Welterweight Championship: 12 Rounds

By Scotty L of

Manny Pacquiao, 52-3-2 (38 KOs), General Santos City, Philippines, WBO Welterweight Champion Vs. Shane Mosley, 46-6-1 (39 KOs), Pomona, California

Fight Odds: Manny Pacquiao (-625), Shane Mosley (+425)
Over/Under: Over 11.5 Rounds (-105), Under 11.5 Rounds (-135)

Analysis: On May 7, Manny Pacquiao takes on Shane Mosley in Las Vegas for the WBO Welterweight Title. These are two of the biggest names in boxing over the past dozen or so years. Finally, their two paths intersect and fans should expect an interesting and action-packed fight.

Their careers have taken different routes in the past several years. Pacquiao, defying everything we knew about fighters, has somehow gotten better. One would expect the opposite to be the case in light of the ringwear and jumps in weight. Normally after a decade of championship fights, a fighter starts to wane. It is very unusual for a fighter to improve during this period. Pacquiao is still at his peak.

Mosley is not at his peak. Why would he be? He’s pushing 40 and has the mileage of a long amateur and pro career behind him. Most of his contemporaries are retired. The fact that he is even in position to get a fight as big as this speaks volumes about his resilience. Mosley’s stubbornness to fade away notwithstanding, his best days are behind him.

There are two ways to look at Mosley’s recent work. The optimistic view is that he was good enough to destroy the highly feared Antonio Margarito only a few fights ago. In addition, he came closer to stopping Floyd Mayweather than anyone ever did in their 2010 bout. His last fight, a disputed draw against Sergio Mora, should have been scored a victory. He didn’t look good, but still managed to get the better of a big, world-class junior middleweight on an off night.

A more pessimistic appraisal is that Mosley has slipped considerably. Before fighting Margarito, he was pushed to the limit by Ricardo Mayorga—a raw and aging fighter. Against Mayweather, he had only a small window of success. Besides hitting Mayweather with a few good rights in the second round, he was hardly competitive. The Mora fight seemed to signal an irreversible erosion on Mosley’s part, as he lacked almost all the fire that made him one of the hallmark talents of his generation.

Even the Margarito win, while highly celebrated, was against a fighter who had just been busted in the dressing room with loaded gloves. Margarito’s focus and concentration were surely compromised. This was not Mosley’s fault. He deserves credit for a great win. But if you throw out that one victory, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen the vintage “Sugar” Shane.

Pacquiao has been feasting on his competition, easily beating top welterweights who might even be better than Mosley is at this point. Against Mosley, he will be facing different challenges. Mosley is far more shifty and clever than Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito. Pacquiao will need to be more alert and diversify his game a bit. Mosley has never had too many problems with fighters shorter than he is. His hand speed and boxing skills could potentially trouble Pacquiao.

It is amazing that Mosley has never been knocked out, considering the opponents he has faced. Against Mayorga, one could subtly detect a slight ebbing in his powers of punch resistance. There is just a shaky look to him in recent outings. He has held firm, but just doesn’t absorb the shots as well as in his prime. Pacquiao has gone the distance in his last two fights, but that’s only because his opponents were defensive and had iron-cast chins. It seems doubtful that Mosley is capable of this type of durability at nearly 40 years of age.

Scotty's Prediction to Win the Fight: Mosley should produce a prideful performance. His back is against the wall and he needs to at least fight well to avoid being considered an afterthought. A disaster here could spell the end for him. His problem is that he’s facing the best fighter in the world without the same set of skills that marked his glorious prime. Following the brutal battering Antonio Margarito suffered against Pacquiao, look for the Mosley camp to be more quick to give their man the night off when the cause seems lost.

Look for Pacquiao to get hit a little more than in his last few fights. This will only make him fight harder. After about 8 rounds, Mosley will be way behind and taking a beating. Look for his corner or the doctor to call it off after 8 or 9 rounds. Lay –135 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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