MIAMI- Saturday night fight fans will be treated to the highly anticipated showdown between “Sugar” Shane Mosley (43W-4L, 37KO’s), and Luis Collazo (26W-2L, 12KO’s), for the interim Welterweight strap as the light’s of Las Vegas illuminate over a boxings most competitive division. Coming into this fight most boxing insiders are somewhat split on who will emerge as the winner but when you look at the two fighters involved and the roads they took to get where they currently are, if the past is any indication one would have to question that split. Shane Mosley has been in the ring with a number of highly notable boxing figures and held his own with each of them. His four losses came at the hands of two boxers, (Winky Wright twice and Vernon Forrest twice), and it was clear that their advantage of height and reach along with their skills made for bad matchups for the smaller Mosley. Even so, his heart and determination gave him the strength to step up and request rematches regardless. Luis Collazo on the other hand has a very marginal resume’ and although he has excellent skills, questions still loom about his worth in comparison to the division’s elite. His last contest was a matchup against popular brit Ricky Hatton, in which he lost the controversial decision but won the public respect with a gritty performance. Prior to that loss, he had been on a roll since an early career defeat in the form of a 3rd round TKO at the hands of Edwin Cassiani in a contest that his camp felt was stopped prematurely. He was clearly rocked by the opponent but later said that he “was not really fazed” by the shots and wanted to continue. Despite his camps protest about the early stoppage, the questions about his heart began to surface when team Collazo didn’t demand a rematch to avenge the lost. With the matchup between Shane Mosley and Luis Collazo less than 36 hours away, I’m gonna analyze the two fighters and let the readers decide for themselves. Shane Mosley Strengths: Compared to most fighters out there it’s safe to say Shane is ‘aging but still amazing’. Hand speed is still second to only a few in the sport. Has a great ability to use combinations and has perfected a sound body-head attack. Chin is very strong. Footwork and defense are still classified above average. Experience makes him a great ring general and is often the main component to victory as he out thinks most of his opponents…in the championship rounds in particular. Weaknesses: Increasing age. Depends on chin too much, as he’ll tend to take a few shots to land a good one. (Proved costly in each of his 4 losses). Coming down in weight could make strength an issue. Has never looked too impressive against southpaw’s and typically struggles to catch them early which could be an issue against a slickster like Collazo. Luis Collazo Strengths: Very slick and crafty. Stays busy with good stamina. Knows how to slip jabs effectively, nullifying total use of it. Possess quick hands with decent but not crippling power. Quick feet makes for good footwork which makes him at times a hard target to hit because of his southpaw stance. Weaknesses: Inexperienced. Tends to slow output when oppenent begins to connectat a high rate. Sometimes too analytical and calculating. Tends to be prone to the right cross that follows a left jab. Decent chin but can be hurt by a fighter with the ability to land grouping shots with snap over the longhaul. Power has to be questioned considering only 12KO’s in 28 professional fights. Prediction: I see this being a very intriguing matchup for two reasons. 1.) Mosley’s issues with normal southpaws are well documented, so what will he look like against a defensively slick and offensively skilled one? 2.) Collazo has shown true grit and earned the respect of fans based on his performance against a smaller Hatton, but does that effort ALONE put him on the level of a future hall of famer like Mosley? The way I see the fight playing out is very methodical at first with both fighters landing very few quality shots in the first two rounds. As the first quarter of the fight ends, I expect Shane to open up his attack and start to land a few shots as Collazo’s quick feet and southpaw stance continue to slightly puzzle Shane. In the mid-fight rounds I expect the slick Collazo to surprisingly connect with head shots while Shane in contrast starts to break the code of the southpaw. After a few even exchanges, I expect the power of Shane to start to take a toll on the southpaw, slowing him down with combinations and snapping body shots. By the 9th round, I expect Shane to be in total control of the fight, up by atleast 2 points on the judges cards. I also predict that this will be the round that the culmination of body shots and combinations will drastically slow down and eventually shut down the crafty southpaw. Mosley (TKO Rd 10) As the fight unfolds, remember where you heard it first. The untested slick southpaw won’t be polished enough to stop a tested, seasoned vet.