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As Mayweather Continues to Hide Underneath the Skirt of Excuse

Tungod, Inabanga, Bohol – The tumultuous months of waiting are almost over. Filipino boxing sensation Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao weighed in at 145 lbs, while grizzled veteran “Sugar” Shane Mosley of the United States came in at exactly 147 lbs during the official weigh-in for their showdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Moments away from the highly anticipated yet largely criticized faceoff between two of the sport’s most identifiable figures, the boxing world still can’t seem to give Mosley the credit or at least the benefit of the doubt that he so deserves. Here’s a guy who has not-so-long-ago traded mitts with the likes of De La Hoya, Vargas, Wright, Forrest, Collazo, Mayorga, Cotto, Mora and Mayweather. If the betting odds are an indication, it is as though fight fans don’t seem to have the slightest idea about Mosley’s amazing portfolio.

Perhaps, we can largely blame Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao of the Philippines for that. After blasting Hatton, De La Hoya, Cotto, and Margarito via very brutal fashion, the Pinoy fighting machine has literally put the old cliché “a good big guy beats the good little guy all the time” to rest or at least on hold while he’s still around. At a relatively advanced age of 39, Mosley will climb the ring as the oldest Pacquiao opponent to date. What comes along with it is also the fact that “Sugar” Shane is arguably the smartest, most experienced, most skillful, most patient, and most dangerous among the long list of Pacquiao’s foes. These traits could easily compensate for the diminishing stamina and waning reflexes brought about by father time. But then again, it becomes much more of a challenge, if not completely insurmountable, when he’s up against the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. What most people fail to realize, however, is the fact that apart from Mayweather, there is no other welterweight who poses more of a challenge for Pacquiao than Mosley does. Without a shadow of doubt, this 39-year-old Mosley can beat any other welterweight around.

Quite understandably, Mosley is years separated from his prime. Pacquiao, on the other hand, is still lingering at his own apex. While Mosley thrives on punching power, experience, durability, and grit, Pacquiao relies heavily on cunning speed, indecipherable stance, heavy hands, and teeming confidence. Size may be a factor, but time and time again, Pacquiao has shown the world that it is not much of a factor after all. Mosley hasn’t been knocked out yet. He has been dropped twice before, but he’s yet to be stopped. Pacquiao could go for it… yet another distinction to collect. Mosley may be as sturdy, as tough, and as durable as a rock… but like we said leading into the Pacquiao-Cotto matchup, incessant droplets of water can break a rock, and Pacquiao’s punches won’t be akin to mere droplets of water because most assuredly, they will definitely inflict pain.

All’s been said and done with leading to this moment of truth. Mosley has a decent shot… and with that being said, expect Pacquiao to finish the job inside 10 pulsating rounds!


It's showtime: Final prediction for Pacquiao-Mosley (Photos)

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. - That this WBO welterweight showdown will be full of fireworks is the biggest misconception of this fight. At least early in the bout. [ Article: Mosley to counter-punch Pacquiao ] We base this view after live observations from the boxers' fight camps.

Ladies and gentlemen; damas y caballeros. Between rounds one to four, it will be a cerebral, boring chess match with Shane Mosley (46-6-1) unwilling to engage in a firefight against the fightin' dervish.

Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2), as he has been training and sparring for the past eight weeks, will back up and draw Mosley in (towards him) - getting "Sugar" Shane to be more confident to throw punches. The boxer-politician wants his opponent to open up. (Make your enemy vulnerable, says the art of war.) [ Video: Weigh-in: Pacquiao-Mosley ]

Similar to what Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito did. Move forward, attack, and bully the little 5' 6" guy. But, the Pinoy phenom is only considered the greatest southpaw in boxing history, says ring historian ert Sugar. (That's a problem.)

As in previous clashes, trainer Freddie Roach and the PacMan will use the same formula. Open up their foes. Get them to exchange blows. To get caught up in the enormity of the moment. It may surprise the crowd, because a few times early on, Pacquiao will be against the ropes - ala 'rope-a-dope' Muhammad Ali-style. [ Video: Pacquiao meets rapper Rick Ross ]

However, Mosley will not engage in the early rounds, preferring to box at a distance. Like in a chess match, or even in a card game of poker, he will attempt a few different tricks to trap Manny. Mosley, at 39 years old, have few choices for winning: hard straight rights timed perfectly for a charging Pacquiao; deceptive left hook counters to the Filipino's body; and wide looping left hooks upstairs that wield a lot of power.

Remember, the 5' 9" Mosley has a 74" reach compared to Pacquiao's 67" reach.

And that is how Shane Mosley will lose this fight.

"Sugar" Shane's cautious, conservative approach will cost him points on all three judges. The PacMan will be way ahead on all three official scorecards by the fifth round. [ Photos: Pacquiao-Mosley final press conference ] The desperation will unleash bloody blows from Dante's Inferno.

The bout will become progressively violent in the middle rounds. Here, the pound-for-pound king will display his phenomenal pugilistic abilities and mark his stamp in boxing's all-time lore. [ Photos: Pacquiao trains at Griffith Park ]

The PacMan will stop (devour) Mosley, a future hall-of-famer who has never been KO's in his entire career. [ Photos: Pacquiao and Mosley arrive at MGM Grand ]

Manny Pacquiao is in the best shape of his life. After closely observing his mitt sessions with Roach and his sparring at the Wild Card Gym, the tandem are clearly going after a vicious stoppage of the Pomona-native. That is most evidently clear. [ Article: Pacquiao's strategy for Mosley ]

After witnessing the Filipino's left hand these past few days, often I surmise that it packs enough dynamite to kill a gorilla, kangaroo, buffalo, seal, walrus, or cow when these animals are hit squarely in the head by a prime Pacquiao. [ Photos: Mosley's fight camp at Big Bear ]

Manny Pacquiao will win by knockout in the seventh round, detonating an explosive left upstairs. Shane Mosley fails to stand up and is counted out by referee Kenny Bayless.


Friday, May 6, 2011


Manny Pacquiao weighs in lighter than Shane Mosley

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LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Manny Pacquiao weighed in just two pounds lighter than American Shane Mosley after the Filipino was welcomed by deafening cheers from his supporters on the eve of Saturday's WBO welterweight title fight.

Pacquiao, 52-3-2 (38 knockouts), tipped the scales at 145 pounds in front of a boisterous crowd of about 6,500 at the MGM Grand Hotel's Garden Arena.

Mosley, 46-6-1 (39 KOs), was weighed first and was right on the 147-pound limit for the scheduled 12-round bout.

The two fighters were all smiles as they posed for the photographers for their pre-fight pictures and they embraced one another once that task was done.

"I am just so excited to be in this fight," Mosley, a 39-year-old veteran who is a three-division world champion, said on the stage. "The whole world is watching. It should be great."

Pacquiao, a 10-times world champion in a record eight weight divisions, is a 6-1 favorite to win but he has taken great pains not to underestimate his American challenger.

"I believe that Shane Mosley is a strong fighter, a good fighter," the 32-year-old Filipino said. "He has trained hard for this fight so I have to train hard and focus on this fight."

Pacquiao and Mosley are renowned for being ideal boxing ambassadors and have refused to indulge in any of the pre-bout trash-talking so common in the sport.


The mad Manny Pacquiao circus will end soon, but sorry Mosley, it will not happen tonight

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YOU can’t beat fight night in Las Vegas when Manny Pacquiao is in town.

Floyd Mayweather might beg to differ, but no-one else would argue that the Pac Man is not boxing’s biggest star today.

Pacquiao is more distracted than ever. His political career back home in the Philippines and the millions that hang on his every word make ­preparation for fights ­increasingly awkward.
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So far he seems to be handling the fanfare well enough, but I do wonder if at some point it will all takes its toll.

But not yet, not in the early hours tomorrow.

His opponent Shane Mosley has been a great fighter, as brave as any and with more self-belief than most.

That can lead an older fighter into tricky waters, of course. Mosley is 39.

If you take away the Antonio Margarito fight he has not performed anywhere near championship class in his last five bouts.

Margarito had taken off an awful lot of weight and by all accounts had to crash the pounds.

He was coming into that fight as the scandal of his illegal hand-wraps was circling. He was nowhere near top shape and would be banned a month later.

In Mosley’s previous fight against Ricardo Mayorga he was behind on all cards until he pulled off that amazing punch to finish it in the 12th.

Apart from a point in the second round when he caught and hurt Floyd Mayweather he was utterly schooled.

If Mayweather had not taken his foot off the gas it could have been embarrassing.

And in his last fight against Sergio Mora he earned a draw. Not great, and certainly not the Mosley that we have been hearing about in the build-up to this fight.

And that might be because the Mosley being talked up has gone forever. That does not mean that Pacquiao does not have to be careful early on. That is when Mosley still carries a sting.

He had Mayweather in some trouble. If he were to convert that kind of chance and maybe drop Pacquiao then the whole dynamic of the fight changes.

No fighter is infallible. Juan Manuel Marquez hurt Pacquiao. He has been down in his career. So an early knockdown would not surprise.

If that were to happen it would also change opinions about how Pacquiao might deal with Mayweather were they ever to meet.

To claim the upper hand in the moral argument with Mayweather, Pacquiao will want to win this fight more convincingly, maybe stop Mosley for the first time.

Pacquiao wants to come out of this fight with his reputation as the greatest box-office fighter on the planet enhanced.

Pacquiao’s freshness, his speed and the volume of punches he throws will ­ultimately take Mosley down.

Under Freddie Roach Pacquiao isn’t the ­reckless puncher he was. He is a more strategic destroyer now.

And he has the best feet in boxing. He can shuttle across the ring quicker than any I have ever seen.

This allows him to bring power to the opponent and diffuse it when he is under attack. He is frighteningly fast getting in and out of position.

After four or five rounds Pacquiao will start to bite the canvas with his toes and let his shots go.

That is when life will start to get really tough for Mosley, the point at which he comes to understand what it is to be overwhelmed by the phenomenon that is Manny Pacquiao.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

In Pacquiao’s New Marketing Strategy, There Is an Element of Surprise

Fight Camp 360 Pacquiao vs Mosley, Pacquiao vs Mosley, Pacquiao vs Mosley News, Pacquiao vs Mosley Online Live Streaming, Pacquiao vs Mosley Updates
LAS VEGAS — At its disorganized, fragmented peak, Manny Pacquiao’s endorsement strategy was being handled by anywhere between 30 and 50 friends who claimed to represent him and made hundreds of cold calls, often to the same company. They brokered potential deals for everything, including sexual-enhancement drugs and poker chips, as if playing a giant game of marketing darts.

As Pacquiao ascended to boxing royalty, as his earning power ballooned beyond even his greatest expectations, this lack of a strategy came with real consequences. Pacquiao lost a potential Gatorade endorsement, lost an appearance on an EA Sports video game cover, lost, by conservative estimates, a few million dollars in recent years alone.

Now, Top Rank Boxing, the company that promotes Pacquiao, has taken the unusual step of hiring an expert to consolidate his marketing affairs. Top Rank has little experience in handling the endorsements of its boxers. Lucia McKelvey, its new executive vice president in charge of business development and marketing, had no experience in boxing. Yet both believe unchartered territory is better than the haphazard alternative.

“When you look at Manny’s world, there was no continuity,” McKelvey said. “You name it, they were coming to him and saying, ‘Sign this contract, sign this contract.’ That made no sense.”

McKelvey, 33, is perhaps the most unlikely executive in boxing. She resembles the actress Cameron Diaz (her nickname in the Pacquiao camp). As Pacquiao conducted final preparations for Saturday’s welterweight title fight against Shane Mosley, she prepared an antioxidant shake (gluten-free, soy-free, vegan) for lunch in the media center.

Previously, McKelvey worked at IMG Golf, with its hunter-green floors and country-club atmosphere, a far cry from the sweaty boxing gyms she now inhabits. She left in November 2010, and when she landed at Top Rank, friends, family and colleagues all had the same incredulous reaction: What?!

McKelvey said she saw boxing as “the jungle,” a challenge that matched her organized, obsessive personality, that renewed her energy and purpose. Her charge extends beyond Pacquiao, into the digital and marketing portions of Top Rank’s business, but his endorsements remain an important, if not primary, responsibility.

Pacquiao’s portfolio in North America has never matched his popularity. He ended 2010 as the most searched athlete on Yahoo, ahead of Tiger Woods. In the Philippines, he endorsed McDonald’s and San Miguel beer, among other major partners. Yet while his Davie-Brown Index rating, which measures a celebrity’s influence on consumers, ranks above all current boxers, McKelvey said the deals he had here and the way they were structured were comparable to a lesser-known L.P.G.A. golfer.

The first time McKelvey phoned Gatorade to explain her new position, she was told she was the eighth person who had called in the past year and claimed to represent Pacquiao. That was the problem’s crux. Pacquiao’s adviser, Mike Koncz, acknowledges Pacquiao’s reputation for following through on endorsement opportunities was hurt in recent years, even as his popularity soared.

“I didn’t feel positioned to say anything,” said Bob Arum, the chairman of Top Rank. “I saw what was happening, and I said to myself, ‘It’s bad.’ But I wasn’t going to tell him until I had a solution.”

In past years, McKelvey estimated Pacquiao’s potential earning power at more than $50 million. While the estimate may seem generous, he actually earned a fraction of that total.

Arum and his son-in-law, Todd DuBoef, the president of Top Rank, said they needed someone who spoke the language of potential sponsors. Someone with contacts at corporations. Someone who could leverage Pacquiao’s popularity to sell companies on their sport beyond one fighter.

“I’m guilty, Bob’s guilty, all of us in boxing are guilty to listening to the rhetoric that corporate America won’t associate itself in boxing,” DuBoef said. “They will, if it’s done right.”

On Wednesday, at Pacquiao’s final news conference, the singer-songwriter Dan Hill sat near the back. He recently recorded seven versions of “Sometimes When We Touch” with Pacquiao, whose concentration he found similar to the singer Celine Dion.

In explaining Pacquiao’s appeal, Hill said: “There’s such a genuineness and humility. You just don’t get that anymore. I honestly really, really love the guy.”

Top Rank hopes to harness such appeal in a more organized manner. On the home page of its Web site, it lists McKelvey as his endorsement contact. In February, it sent letters to specific companies outlining its plans. All deals, McKelvey said, go directly to her and Koncz.

When McKelvey worked at IMG, Woods endorsed products in specific categories: car, credit card, sports drink, watch, electronics. To that end, McKelvey wants to broaden Pacquiao’s relationship with Nike. Nineteen executives from the company are scheduled to attend Saturday’s fight.

Soon, Pacquiao will sign a contract with Hewlett Packard. He has a cologne line. He also recently partnered with State Street Produce, a deal that Koncz hopes, perhaps implausibly, will do for Pacquiao what grills did for George Foreman. Top Rank hopes those deals and more prominent Nike placement will lead more companies to follow suit.

On recent flights, McKelvey said fellow passengers expressed amazement when she told them about her new job. She said: “I represent Manny Pacquiao. I work in boxing. And I am the most unusual suspect.” Ultimately, McKelvey said, she will convince everyone — boxers, promoters, advertisers, skeptics — this experiment can work.

Either way, for the unorthodox executive, in the unusual role, Pacquiao is the test case.

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