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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quickness at center of bout

LAS VEGAS - "Sugar" Shane Mosley will have a lot more to worry about than just the hand speed of Floyd Mayweather Jr. when the two square off tonight in the welterweight main event at MGM Grand.
Mayweather's uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, appropriately pointed that out the other day when a reporter asked him if Mosley might be the fastest fighter his nephew has ever faced.

"People don't even understand about boxing," Roger Mayweather said. "One of the fastest guys in the history of the sport of boxing was a 1976 Olympic gold medalist. It was Howard Davis Jr. He had tremendous speed, but he never won a championship, and he fought guys that were much slower than him.

"It's not about speed that wins fights. Skill wins fights. And he (Floyd Jr.) is the most skilled fighter in the sport of boxing, period, hands down."

Not an easy point to argue. Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) is probably the most difficult fighter on which to land a clean punch and the way he avoids punches even when he's not moving is simply amazing.

Mosley might be the fastest Mayweather has seen. But he is not as clever and if Mosley gets frustrated by not being able to land his array of power shots, it could be a long night for the Pomona native.

Even assuming the speed is the same, Mayweather said they are nevertheless completely different.

"I think he's a fighter who always worries about landing one big shot," Mayweather said. "He's worried about

who is extremely strong and I worry about being smart and winning, so we approach fighting in two totally different ways."
Class was in.

"I mean, Shane may be loading up with wide shots and kind of using not really a fuller jab and I use a fuller jab," said Mayweather, 33. "You know when I shoot my shots, I look at my opponents and I look where I'm punching.

"When Shane punches, a lot of times he closes his eyes, if you go back and look at some of Shane's fights."

The way Mayweather fights, the general thinking is that Mosley will have to cut off the ring. That makes sense, especially if Mosley can get Mayweather in a corner and hit him in the body.

But Naazim Richardson, Mosley's trainer, scoffed when it was suggested Mosley will need to deploy that strategy.

"I haven't read the passage that it's necessary for us to have to cut the ring off," Richardson said. "Nobody's gotten that documentation to me yet, so the game plan I have is that I'm bringing `Sugar' Shane Mosley to the table.

"I'm not bringing those other 40 guys that he (Mayweather) fought. I'm bringing another decorated, documented legend to the table."

Perhaps therein lies the key to victory for Mosley. Yes, Mayweather is undefeated, but Mosley has had a rather terrific career as well. He has won world titles in three weight classes while compiling a record of 46-5 with 39 knockouts.

There are plenty of experts out there who think Mosley has a solid chance to win, that Mosley's combination of talent and mettle makes the perfect recipe for victory.

Mosley certainly thinks so.

"Floyd is a great fighter and there are a lot of different things he can bring to the ring," Mosley said. "But there are a lot of things I bring as well."

Like quickness.

"I think he has good hand speed, but I think my hand speed is good, too," Mosley said. "I don't know if I'm going to be faster or slower, I have to get in the ring and see. I believe I'm faster."

And more vicious, said Mosley, whose title will not be on the line for Mayweather to win because Mayweather said titles don't mean anything to him these days (he probably didn't want to pay the sanctioning fees, either).

"People should be picking me because I have proven that I can knock people out in any round," said Mosley, 38. "I'm experienced and I have the speed, power and agility to win this fight."

He plans on letting it all hang out, too.

"I'm going to do everything," Mosley said. "I'm going to attack, I'm going to box a little. I'm going to do it all."

Apparently, the oddsmakers aren't convinced, Mayweather being a 4-to-1 favorite.

Part of that could be Mosley's age combined with Mayweather's uncanny defensive ability. Mosley also hasn't fought in 16 months.

But Mosley is not just any 38-year-old, and he cautions those who think he can't be the one to hand Mayweather his first loss.

"A victory over Floyd Mayweather would definitely rank in my top victories," said Mosley, like Mayweather, a certain Hall of Famer.

"It would let people know that once again they overlooked Sugar Shane Mosley and that was a mistake."

Here's something to consider. Sugar Ray Leonard, one of the all-time greats, is in town and he had this take on the fight:

"I have yet to see him (Mayweather) hurt, knocked down or whatever," Leonard said. "On the other hand, I see `Sugar' Shane Mosley as a guy who could penetrate his impeccable defense. I had a premonition the other night and I saw a knockout by someone. I am not a guru, I am not a psychic, but I did see a knockout."

Mosley tipped the scales at the 147-pound limit at Friday's weigh-in. Mayweather weighed 146. Not including pay-per-view upside, Mayweather has a guarantee of $22.5 million. Mosley's is $7 million.

Source: sbsun.com

Will Mayweather Ever Have To Pay The Price For Boxing Immortality?

Whether they like it or not (and who would?) greatness for a prize fighter comes only with the display of a high pain threshold. It is a sad requirement of the sport, a demand put on boxers to define themselves not simply by their most triumphant moments but by overcoming their most difficult ones.

Would the story be the same for Ali if there had never been a Joe Frazier to knock him to the floor and challenge him at every turn? Would Sugar Ray Robinson be so sweet without Jake LaMotta, Carmen Basilio, Max Schmeling and even Randy Turpin tormenting him?

Leonard and Hagler needed Thomas Hearns as much to test their mettle as to prove their greatness. It is a truism of boxing going back that goes back to the days of bare knuckle brawling. Even though these days one can gain world rankings and even world titles without facing so much as one true challenge, the price of boxing immortality is higher for it demands a hard night or two when all seems lost and still you triumph.

That is what is missing from Roy Jones’ resume (judging by the poor performance of his chin when finally tested one can understand why he avoided such challenges for so long) and from Mike Tyson’s. Neither got off the floor to win, at least not when deposited there in the kind of crushing way that leaves the sound of wind chimes in their head long after they are again upright.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. seems to have no interest in facing such a moment and one can understand why yet he needs such a night to validate not his boxing talent, which is obvious, but to test him in the hot cauldron of adversity.

Mayweather may finally face such a test Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena when he steps into the ring against four-time world champion Shane Mosley but he wants no part of such a test. In fact, he mocks the very idea of it and why wouldn’t he?

As Mayweather’s trainer and uncle, the former champion Roger Mayweather, said recently when asked about his nephew’s apparent distaste for being hit, “I don’t know anybody that likes to get hit.’’

It’s a good point but the difficult fact when it comes to assessing Mayweather is that we have yet to see him face the kind of adversity Leonard did in his first bout with Hearns or the type of hellish, soul-searching moments Ali encountered when in the ring with Joe Frazier.

In boxing, fair or unfair, that is when we decide who and what a fighter really is. This is not to promise Mosley will be able to take Mayweather to such a dark and difficult place but it is where he needs to go to win over the remaining doubters and skeptics who insist he is still untested even after winning 40 straight fights and world titles from 130 pounds to 154 pounds.

Yet in Mayweather’s opinion that whole concept is borderline insanity. Why must a fighter struggle to prove his greatness? Why isn’t dominance enough?

“I take less punishment, I land the highest percentage and I work the hardest,’’ he said of himself recently not long before insisting he not only compared favorably to Ali and Ray Robinson but was better than both, a position that has been hotly debated ever since.

“My father taught me defense and no one can break through it. I just know if a punch is coming. I can feel it. I know what my opponent is going to do.’’

Perhaps he does for those are the instincts that separate good boxers from great ones. But what happens to him on the night he doesn’t know? What happens on the night he takes more punishment, not less?

Can he still find a way to win then, when he is wounded and vulnerable in the way Leonard appeared to be in his first fight with Hearns or the way Ali was against Frazier? Frankly, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. would rather not find out.

“Shane is a solid welterweight with great accomplishments but I have been fighting these kinds of fighters my whole career without much appreciation,’’ Mayweather said. “Shane has talent. I have a God-given gift. No one gives me credit for who I’ve fought during my career because I can make anybody look like a nobody.

“Shane’s done some things in this sport but I’ve done a lot of things in this sport. I’ve done a lot of things that a lot of fighters weren’t able to do and didn’t do.

“I don’t rate myself. I’m a harsh critic of myself so no matter how I go I always say to myself I could have done better. When I fought (Diego) Corrales I said I could have done better. When I fought (Arturo) Gatti I said I could have done better. My main thing is I don’t worry about it.’’

He doesn’t worry about the need for a bloody night of triumph either. If Mayweather leaves the MGM early Sunday morning looking like he’s been there for a night of blackjack rather than as if he’d been hit by a blackjack it’s no bother to him because, the way he sees it, bruises are not the definition of greatness in boxing.

“I don’t get paid to get hit,’’ Mayweather insisted. “I wasn’t taught to get hit. I was taught how to hit and not get hit. That’s what I’m about. I don’t need my nose all over my face to prove I’m a great fighter. When I get in the ring I’m trying to get that boy off my ass.

“I love the fans but I fight for me first because the truth is you’re just an object. Once they’re done with you, it’s over so it doesn’t matter to me what other people say.

“There’s nothing cool about taking punishment. What’s cool is dishing it out so when your career is over you still have all your senses. When my career is over fans will appreciate my skills and my boxing ability. I know who Floyd Mayweather is. I’m a great fighter…a great fighter.’’

Maybe so great that he won’t ever need to overcome great difficulties and difficult nights to prove it but, boxing being boxing, I wouldn’t bet on it. 

Source: thesweetscience.com

Mayweather, Mosley weigh in

From the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for tomorrow night’s “Mayweather vs. Mosley: Who R U Picking?” megafight on PPV, promoted by Golden Boy Promotions:

Shane Mosley 147 vs Floyd Mayweather 146
Saul Alvarez 150 vs JM Cotto 149
Daniel Ponce de Leon 125 vs Cornelius Lock 125
Said Ouali 146 vs. Hector Saldivia 147.5
Arturo Morua 141 vs. Jessie Vargas 142
Gilberto Sanchez Leon 130 vs. Eloy Perez 129
Dion Savage 168 vs. Tommie Speller 166
Luis Ramos 136 vs. Allen Litzau 138*
* Contract was 135.
Daniel Reece 136 vs. Angel Soto 137

Source: fightnews.com