There have been huge paydays and much adulation on Manny Pacquiao's resume but the only thing that has eluded the holder of a record eight weight-class boxing titles is that fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr..
If Mayweather continues avoiding getting into the ring with Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO's), the next best thing for Pac-Man would be knocking out "Sugar" Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KO's)--a fighter who almost knocked Mayweather out and went the distance with the Pacquiao-ducking fighter.
Like they say; if you can't meet 'em, knock out some one they couldn't.
First, Pac-Man can dispose of a common opponent, Mosley, who had the undefeated Mayweather beaten in the second round of their May 1, 2010 bout and, even though Mosley faded and was thoroughly dominated after that round, hung on for the final bell and lost in a 12-round unanimous decision.
Nothing would be a better measuring stick--maybe the only gauge for Pacquiao against Mayweather--than to brag that he did what Mayweather couldn't--put away the same fighter who almost knocked "Money" out.
Secondly, Pacquiao can lay to rest Hopkins' absurd rantings that the Filipino had never beaten a "black boxer from the streets," even if it might be considered that the 39 year-old Mosley was past his prime.
The only black fighter Pacquiao has defeated was Joshua Clottey last March, but in November, Hopkins railed that the Ghanaian didn't count because he wasn't "from the states with a slick style."
The only thing that makes this fight relevant is Pacquiao. The song-recording, fragrance-making brand-name is like Beyonce and Old Spice rolled together in the world of boxing. Even so, the champ better not take Mosley too lightly.
Mosley is a title holder in three divisions and has a wicked right hook. His last victory was a ninth-round TKO against Antonio Margarito on January 24, 2009. The same fighter Pacquiao beat to a bloody stump last November, but couldn't put away in the final rounds.
Mosley has warned Pacquiao that he "hits three times faster than Margarito" too.
If Pacquiao is going to knockout Mosley, it would have to be in the later rounds after the older fighter is sucking wind and tired. Mosley has the hand speed to keep up with Pacquiao for the first five or six rounds, so the Filipino will have to play it safe for the first half of the fight by keeping Mosley at bay.
Pacquiao/Mosley is a better match-up than Pacquiao/Margarito, so Pac-Man must play it safe and can't get sloppy. Pacquiao has the stamina and hand speed to go 12 rounds, Mosley doesn't--he showed that after he went all out in the second-round then tired against Mayweather.
Pacquiao is now an international star and bigger than boxing itself. He has won 13 straight fights and has endorsements from auto parts stores to computers. A lot is riding on the welterweight--including future fights in Las Vegas, boxing returning to network television and the fight game in general. After Pacquiao, who is there?
Bob Arum of Top Rank said Pacquiao is the driving force of boxing right now. "More people will know about this fight than any other fight in history," he claims. Could a Pacquiao loss could be the final bell for the sport. Maybe not, a Mosley/Pacquiao rematch might have some appeal--if only to see how Pacquiao would rebound.
If Pacquiao listens to his trainer Freddie Roach--which he is prone not to do--and paces himself until the late rounds, he might be glaring down at Mosley on the canvas and looking up to that one big match-up with Mayweather.
Alright, looking down at Mosley is probably the only reality.