Manny Pacquiao dominated Shane Mosley in their welterweight championship fight Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, as was widely expected. That he did so in relatively unspectacular fashion for large stretches of the fight may be the bigger story.
More than anything, the fight confirmed that Shane Mosley is officially finished as an elite fighter.
Pacquiao earned a unanimous decision in a fight in which he threw far fewer punches than he usually does, yet still easily outworked Mosley, who threw a mere 260 punches over the course of the fight. Pacquiao scored a legitimate knockdown of Mosley in the 3rd round, while Mosley scored a highly debatable knockdown in the 10th round on a push.
The fight opened with a tactical 1st round, as Pacquiao appeared to take some time to adapt to Mosley’s speed and quickness. In the final minute of the 2nd round, he began to unleash some of his trademark combinations, which were largely absent in the opening stanza.
Early in the 3rd round, Mosley landed a strong right hand that seemed to awaken Pacquiao. A minute later, Pacquiao unleashed a strong jab and hellacious left hand that dropped Mosley and left his legs wobbling. Mosley used his ring savvy to survive the round but was clearly hurt. For Mosley, it was only the third knockdown he suffered in his career.
Mosley recovered well in the 4th, looking shaky early but rebounding to land several solid right hands in a good action round that Pacquiao nonetheless controlled. The fifth round also belonged to Pacquiao as he outworked Mosley. The low punch output from Mosley prompted boos from the crowd in the 6th and 7th rounds as Pacquiao widened the gap even more.
Pacquiao stepped on the gas in the 8th round, as Mosley looked to have nothing left in the tank, surviving on experience and instinct. The one-sided nature of the fight continued in the 9th, punctuated by a strong straight left from Pacquiao before the bell.
In the 10th round, Mosley scored an unexpected knockdown of his own on what replays revealed to be a push. Pacquiao demonstrably protested the knockdown ruling by Kenny Bayless during the count and responded by unleashing flurries that electrified the crowd for the first time in several rounds.
Pacquiao continued to fight with more spirit in the championship rounds, chasing Mosley around the ring and strafing him with combinations. Mosley fought an extremely negative fight throughout much of the second half of the fight, darting away from Pacquiao and rarely throwing punches.
The fighters’ heads clashed often throughout the fight, perhaps due to Mosley’s relative inexperience against southpaws.
The official scorecards read 120-107, 120-108, and 119-108.
Pacquiao claimed that his legs were tight, tired, and hurt in the post-fight interview with Jim Gray, and said at times that he could not move well.
Mosley acknowledged that he did not take enough risks in fight and praised Pacquiao’s power. He did not assertively answer Gray’s question of whether or not he would retire.
Despite badly losing the fight, Mosley dominated the ring walk with LL Cool J by2nd round knockout over Jimi Jamison (the guy from Survivor [the band, not the show], apparently).
Veteran junior featherweight Jorge Arce (57-6-2, 43 KO) overwhelmed young Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (20-1-1, 17) KO in dramatic fashion with a 12th round TKO, forcing Vazquez’s corner to throw in the towel with a relentless onslaught against the helpless Vazquez in the final round. Vazquez dropped Arce with a big left hook at the bell in the 4th round but Arce rallied to score the victory in another classic installment in the Mexican-Puerto Rican boxing rivalry.
Kelly Pavlik (37-2, 32 KO) defeated Alfonso Lopez (21-1, 16 KO) by majority decision in a good super middleweight fight. Pavlik looked rusty early in his comeback but flashed an impressive left hook and showed his trademark resilience, and Lopez looked capable in defeat and deserves another televised opportunity on either Friday Night Fights or ShoBox for his solid effort.
Junior welterweight Mike Alvarado (30-0, 22 KO) beat Ray Nahr (25-2, 21 KO) by TKO when Nahr quit on his stool after the 3rd round. Nahr handled the big stage about as well as Brooks from The Shawshank Redemption handled the outside.