On the pre-fight promos for the Manny Pacquiao versus “Sugar” Shane Mosley fight Saturday night, an immense laughter echoed in the living room as my brother and I saw the Mortal Kombat logo appear between the images of the two fighters. Practically not expecting heart-ripping fatalities or ice-freezing, one comparison of the game did occur at the MGM in Las Vegas – flawless victory.
The boos of the pro-Pacman crowd would lead you to believe otherwise. The fight was far from exciting, with flurries by the record eight-division champ not occurring as frequently as expected. Pacquiao (54-3-2) later revealed his leg cramped up in the latter part of the bout but that didn’t take away from his effectiveness in delivering the victory, winning by decision: 120-108, 120-107 and 119-108.
Take away Shane Mosley’s September fight (a draw I didn’t even bother to watch), I deferred to his last notable fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. a year ago. With Mosley’s ability to sting Mayweather in the early rounds I expected Sugar to again start off strong against Manny. But Shane a year older proved to show his depleted skill set. Mosley’s knockdown or better yet push in the 10th round was enough motivation for Pacquiao to ensure his win, retaliating with lefts that Shane could barely counter. Mosley should have retired after the Mayweather fight since his desire to compete does not match the 39-year old frame he maybe now realizes can’t keep up. Dated like the “Momma Said Knock You Out” introduction accompanied by the rapper now actor LL Cool J, Shane (46-7-1) should take a page from James Todd Smith and move on to the next phase in his career.
Speaking about the next phase, we all know Floyd’s name must be mentioned when we speak of Pacquiao’s possible matchups. With legal problems dominating discussion of Mayweather’s name, he might not have a choice in agreeing to terms with Bob Arum and Manny’s people, just to pay all his lawyers. Floyd threw a minor jab via Twitter supporting Lady Gaga’s concert airing on HBO, rival to the fight’s PPV telecast on Showtime but no direct tweets were made the rest of the night.
Nevertheless Pacquiao moves on whether or not the respective camps can finally settle on booking a match. Speculations on future bouts with Zab Judah or former opponent Juan Manuel Marquez are in the air but no one cares. Numerous columns, commentary and arguments have been exhausted and until that day arrives, every match Manny fights in between will just be a minor footnote in his record-setting career.
Fortunately for the past-his-prime Mosley, his hall of fame career will not be defined by the match with Manny. However, Floyd Mayweather’s will be.