Mosley-Mayweather Preview & Prediction

May 1, 2010

The bout that has been years in the making is finally upon us, as tonight Sugar Shane Mosley will do battle with Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the mythical the pound-for-pound title, among other things.

In a curious twist of fate, the fight that never was suddenly has happened, thanks to a cancelled Mosley-Berto bout and the Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiation fallout.

For years, both men threw out accusations of being ducked by the other man. In fact, both were correct.

When Mosley was already a headlining star and Floyd Mayweather a talented up-and-comer, Mayweather naturally sought a potential career-changing fight with the established Mosley. Mosley declined the bout, as there were other quality names and far bigger paydays awaiting him.

At the time, Floyd was unknown outside of boxing circles, and thus, Mosley would have been the sole box office draw.

To Mosley, it was a simple, common sense business decision, one that is repeated continuously by other star fighters today - seek an opponent of equal stature capable of bringing his own fanbase to the bout. At that point in his career, Mayweather had no such drawing power.

Ironically, Mayweather himself now uses that same approach when potential opponents are proposed. Paul Williams? Not enough money for Mayweather.

The tables later turned when Mayweather defeated Oscar De La Hoya and finally became a household name. Mosley then sought a fight with Mayweather, but a bitter Floyd ceremoniously dismissed such a notion, claiming he would not fight Oscar's "sparring partners."

Undoubtedly, there is some animosity between these two men.

But bad blood alone cannot carry a fight. In the end, what makes this bout interesting is that both men are elite, top 5 pound-for-pound fighters. Each guy has grown into a natural welterweight with great speed and skill.

Although Mayweather is the favorite, he has not faced a comparable combination of power of speed like Mosley at this weight class.

Here is our prediction and keys to the fight:

What Mayweather Must Do To Win

Whether you love or hate him, some things in a Mayweather fight are a given - Floyd will enter the ring in tremendous shape and will be the slightly quicker man.

With Mayweather, his defense is his bread-and-butter, and he must employ those defensive skills to frustrate Mosley during the first half of the fight.

Emphasizing a defensive approach will have an additional collateral effect as well, since Mosley will begin to lower his work rate and play a tactical chess match game in the hope of landing a big shot. The result will be a slower-paced, low punch volume fight, more in line with Mayweather's style.

As Shane begins to take more chances, Floyd can then do what he loves: exploit openings, potshot, and outpoint his opponent for a decision victory.

Mayweather's defense is often labelled as "running," and while he does have good foot movement, his defensive skills are much more vast. No other fighter in the game can block or deflect blows like Mayweather. Simply put, left hooks to the head - a big Mosley weapon - never land cleanly on Floyd because he always has his right hand up in proper defensive position.

Furthermore, Mayweather often nullifies right hand shots to the head with his patented shoulder-roll. Throw in his footspeed, quick reactions, and elusiveness, and it adds up to one tough guy to hit.

One area where Mayweather has been tagged is right down the middle with a stiff jab. Fortunately for Mayweather, Mosley's jab is not nearly as consistent as that of Oscar De La Hoya, and thus, it would be in Floyd's best interests to dare Mosley to win the fight with his jab, while protecting against the right hand and left hook.

Offensively, Mayweather must get off first in the exchanges. Mosley has a great chin and Mayweather has yet to show any knockout power against a true welterweight, so he must make Shane think twice with his hand speed alone.

Mayweather should circle to his right, away from Mosley's powerful right hand, and throw his beautiful right hand leads in Shane's face. Although Mosley likely will walk through those shots, should enough land, Shane could get a little gun shy in the later rounds and become more defense-oriented.

Still, all of these above-mentioned tactics are what Floyd does in each of his fights anyways. So, other than fighting his usual fight, will Floyd be required to do anything different in this bout to secure a victory? The answer is yes.

Mosley will bring the fight to Floyd, and at some point Mosley will let his hands go and land shots. As such, rounds will be up for grabs, and Floyd will not be able to simply accumulate points with a one-punch-at-a-time potshot strategy. Hence, Mayweather will need to break from his typical approach, and from time-to-time throw combinations and flurry with Mosley.

What Mosley Must Do To Win

For Mosley to win several things must go right. First, the Mosley entering the ring must be the offensive typhoon on display in the Antonio Margarito fight, rather than the more deliberate fighter seen in the Miguel Cotto bout. Second, he cannot age overnight.

Most likely, the Mosley we see on Saturday will be the Shane from the Margarito fight, as he once again is using the same trainer from that bout, Naazim Richardson. As for the age issue, only Father Time knows the answer.

Offensively, Shane must put a stiff jab in Mayweather's face.

Although Mosley has had a more of a pawing jab throughout his career, against Margarito, Richardson got him to throw it with snap. Landing a fast, hard jab, will set up Mosley's combinations. More importantly, it could force Floyd into guarding against the jab, creating openings for Shane's left hooks and right hands.

In addition, Mosley needs to answer Floyd's defense with punch volume. Should his shots be blocked by arms and shoulders, Mosley must chop through them. If Mosley puts forth an active offensive pace, then Mayweather will not be able to bag rounds simply by throwing a mere 20 punches every three minutes.

To carry out such a strategy Mosley must let his hands go. This was often a problem when his father was his trainer, as Mosley often would rely exclusively at times on his right hand. In this bout, diverse combinations will be vital, not only for piling up points, but also for keeping Mayweather off balance.

If Mosley can get off first and land cleanly, he will be in a position of strength. Unfortunately, as fast as he is, Shane will have the slower hands in the bout. Therefore, he must be prepared to eat a shot or two in order to then answer with a punch of his own.

Mosley knocked out Margarito and Ricardo Mayorga with Frazier-like left hooks, but he can throw that out the window with Mayweather. Mayweather will be protecting against such a punch with his right hand, so Shane would be wise to patiently employ the left hook later in the bout when perhaps Floyd is not expecting that punch.

Finally, Mosley needs to bring something different to the table in order to beat a fighter as talented as Mayweather. Pressure, hand speed, and a jab alone cannot do it, as Oscar De La Hoya demonstrated. For Mosley, he must switch things up by employing lateral movement, boxing skills, and occasional roughhouse tactics.

If Mosley darts in and out, moves laterally, and "swims without getting wet," then Mayweather cannot just look to counter everything. In other words, Floyd might have to come out of his shell and comfort zone, and do some chasing himself. And changing Floyd's gameplan is half the battle.

In line with that approach, Mosley needs to rough up his foe during any clinches or infighting. If he allows Floyd to simply circle, block, and potshot, it will be an easy night for "Money May." Instead, Mosley must take Mayweather to the dark places he does not want to go by launching uppercuts and body shots on the inside, and delivering well placed shoulders to his opponent's chest when necessary.


Sugar Shane Mosley by decision. Nobody is getting knocked out in this one because the chins and the defense are too good. Nevertheless, Mosley is motivated and hungry as ever for this bout, and it will be reflected in his voluminous combinations, speed, and the sheer ferocity of his punches. Shane's higher work rate will put Floyd in an unusual position in the later rounds - behind on the scorecards and forced into becoming the aggressor.

In a Mosley fight, an inadvertent clash of heads is always looming, so look for a potential cut to change the dynamics of the fight.

Expect the championships rounds to be filled with fire and brimstone, as both men will exchange vicious shots and put their full boxing skills on display. However, tonight Mosley is on his game, proving that he is far from done, even at 38. Ultimately, Shane will produce enough speed and offensive activity to overcome Mayweather's brilliant defense and ring generalship.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for


  1. I agree. Shane's pop in both hands makes the difference in this bout.

  2. PBF will get that old fool. He will avoid/block everything Shane throws, and will be in command by the 8th round


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