“I thought I did a pretty good job.” — Shane Mosley, post-Pacquiao fight.
At some point, Shane Mosley’s trainer, Naazim Richardson had to sit down with Mosley, likely over some video footage, and lay down the strategy for the upcoming bout with Manny Pacquiao.
I doubt it sounded anything like this:
“OK, Shane…The world’s watching…We gotta get this right. Twenty Punches a round, constant back-peddling, and, whatever you do, don’t forget to high five Pacquiao as much as humanly possible. Got it?”
Shane Mosley threw more “high-fives” than meaningful punches during his twelve round non-effort against Manny Pacquiao Saturday night (35 “high-fives” compared to 22 power punches landed—Yeah, I counted), but let’s not put all the blame on Mosley for this $60 pay per view game of patty-cake.
There’s plenty of blame to go around.
First, there’s Bob Arum who, once again, chose roadkill as an opponent for his superstar thoroughbred cash cow. A younger, hungrier opponent would’ve at least given a more spirited effort than a 39-year old fighter who obviously saw this fight more as a pension fund raiser than an actual contest.
Then, there’s Pacquiao, himself, who insists that his promoter is the ultimate boss when it comes to who to fight, yet has overruled his promoter’s decision in the past when it’s been to his own benefit. If Manny is serious about only wanting to put on a good show, as he says repeatedly, then he should stop agreeing to fight human heavy bags and damaged goods.
But, ultimately, the lion’s share of the blame goes to Mosley, who could’ve put forth an effort, especially knowing that he was being disrespected, only brought in as an empty name for Pacquiao’s resume.
Yet, Mosley went down like a jovial buffoon, “high-fiving” Manny every chance he got and seemingly apologetic for anything that might’ve actually caused his opponent harm.
You’ll never find me calling a fighter a coward– writers who do that obviously have no respect for the sport and deserve a twelve round beat-down from those they brand as “yellow.” However, Mosley’s performance certainly can be labeled as disrespectful to the sport and to those fans who paid their hard-earned money to attend the event or watch it at home via pay per view. On the grandest stage of all and with the world watching, Mosley took the money and ran.
And it really was a shame that Mosley didn’t come to put forth an effort on Saturday night because the world-rattling upset was certainly within reach.
Pacquiao was tentative and uncomfortable, even with a shot fighter in front of him and absolutely nothing being thrown in return. The slightest movement and defense on Mosley’s part had thrown Pacquiao off and almost completely handcuffed his usual frenetic style.
But no punches were forthcoming. Mosley was unable to pull the trigger or just unwilling to deviate from the script that was written from the very moment Pacquiao chose yet another tired, damaged victim on which to affirm his “greatness.”
In last Monday’s Rant, I made the bold prediction of Mosley via tenth round TKO and I will gladly eat crow. It isn’t the first time that I’ve been wrong and it won’t be the last, but I want to go on record as saying that my prediction was contingent upon a Shane Mosley who still had an ounce of professional pride and actually cared about his legacy.
It would be best for “Sugar” Shane to take his last big pay day and walk away from the sport because I doubt he’ll ever be able to fool the fans into believing in him again.
All great fighters eventually reach the end of the road, but few have done it quite as cynically and as passively as “Sugar” Shane did last Saturday.
You can email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/boxing BTBC or check out his push to become the most bad-assed Buddhist ever. Paul is a full member of the Burger King Kid’s Club.