I was looking forward to writing about the Pacquiao-Mosley fight, but this is a hard one to analyze and didn’t produce and revelations in the same way that the Margarito fight did. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it on a first viewing, so I watched it a second time this morning, and read all the articles I could find, and there’s one comment I’d like to make.
All of the articles are saying that Mosley fought defensively, that Pacquiao won a lopsided but not-too-exciting decision, and that Mosley clearly is ready for retirement. These statements are not untrue — but they don’t actually convey what happened in the fight. They don’t acknowledge that it was what Pacquiao did in the ring in the course of the fight that changed Mosley from a toe-to-toe warrior into a defensive, backpedaling, defeated fighter.
As with Margarito, there was jeopardy for Pacquiao in the early rounds and no one is writing about that. Mosley considers himself to be a warrior and all of his quotes coming into the fight were about going toe to toe with Manny. It’s clear, particularly on a second viewing, that Mosley started the fight with full intention to fight to to toe.. He matched Pacquiao in terms of aggressiveness in the first round and the first half of the second round. The Showtime broadcast team were commenting throughout round 1 and the first half of round two about how Mosley was giving Pacquiao problems, that his jab was bothering Pacquiao, and that Pacquiao was having trouble finding openings. Then in the latter part of the second round, Manny unleashed several combinations and some of the punches landed cleanly, and you could sense that Mosley was surprised at the power of some of the punches. Still, he did not back off or become defensive. Then, at 1:45 of the third round, Pacquiao scored a sharp knockdown that clearly hurt Mosley. The blow that knocked Mosley down was a short, straight left that caught Mosley awkwardly on the side of neck, and was given additional impetus because Mosely was coming forward when it landed. It was a big blow in an unusual place and it clearly did more than just knock Mosley down — it rocked his world and caused him to lose his “warriorness” for the rest of the fight. After that, (and only after that) Mosley became defensive and stopped coming forward, stopped trying to throw anything other than an occasional jab, and reacted to each Pacquiao attack by blocking and backing up. Plenty of Pacquiao shots were getting through — but with Mosley already moving backwards when they landed, the force of the blows was diminished. It wasn’t the “turtle” defense displayed by Clottey — it was more artful than that, but make no mistake, Mosley was on the run and stayed that way from the third round on.
I also re-watchefd the Mosley-Mayweather fight to compare it to the Pacquiao-Mosley fight. I think any reasonable observer would have to say that Pacquiao dominated Mosley far better than Mayweather did– more importantly, he broke his will . There were no complaints that Mosley had gone “defensive” after the Mayweather fight.
Other tidbits and observations:
- “I don’t feel nervous because I know God is watching me and guiding me. I always pray that nobody is gonna get hurt.”
- “My concern is what fight we can give to the fans. I don’t want them to be disappointed like some other fights. Because they watch and they pay to see a good fight. I will do my best.”
- “We did our best. He did his best also. I did my best to give a good fight to make people happy. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
- ” I wanted to move, but in the middle rounds, my legs got tight. This is my problem before when I fougth Marquez. So we’re going to work on this.”
- “I think I got him a lucky shot. Mosley, he’s not slow, he’s fast, he’s waiting for my mistake and he wants to counter. You know, I’m careful on that.”
- “I think he felt my power. I want to fight toe to toe. This is boxing, you know, the difference is the style of the opponent.”
- I have to go back to the PHilippines and work, back to work in Congress. I want to thank everyone for supporting us, and the prayers and, you know, next time, I will do my best, Tonight, just my legs, cramped, that’s why I can’t move, but I do my best, you know.”
- (On fighting Mayweather): “The people recognize me as pound for pound, and I respect that. For me I don’t care if the fight is push through or not. I’ve done a lot in boxing. I want the fight because the people want it.”