It is hard for one to see this fight as anything but a fore-gone conclusion, a bout that Manny Pacquiao just has to turn up to win, if you look at the pair's last two performances.
Mosley was very lacklustre in a draw against Sergio Mora, and suffered a one sided beat down at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao’s last two fights were back-to-back annihilations of Joshua Clottey, who seemed just pleased to share a ring with the Pac-man, and then Antonio Margarito, whom Pacquiao took apart.
Margarito is a common opponent between the two men. Mosley was the first fighter to really smash Margarito, but before the fight Mosley was the underdog, again, and Margarito was, at the time, viewed as an unstoppable force.
Besides, Margarito made Cotto quit, and Cotto beat Mosley around the ring eight months prior.
Forgetting what happened moments before the fight, [the illegal plaster hand-wrap incident] Mosley went out against Margarito and showed his critics that there was life in the old dog yet.
Margarito is not the fastest fighter in the world, but against Mosley he was made to look prehistoric. The pressure that Margarito so easily applies to his opponents was not working and he was getting caught coming in by Mosley, who was loading up on nearly every shot. Margarito fell in the ninth; Mosley had annihilated him.
Pacquiao too, beat up on Margarito but did not stop him. Pacquiao's speed surpassed that of Mosley’s, but did he hit as hard? No. He beat Margarito to the punch all night, but he could not halt him with power. It was volume that put Margarito onto the back foot.
Also, Margarito never hurt or worried Mosley while Pacquiao was hurt a couple of times in the Margarito fight. In the middle rounds a body shot from Margarito made Pacquiao dip at the knees, momentarily, before he continued the beating.
After the fight, Pacquiao said that he was hurt, never seriously, but Margarito got through and made an impact. So if the slow, lumbering Margarito can get through with a shot or two that hurt Pacquiao, what will happen if Mosley gets through with faster, harder punches?
In that fine example of Mosley being the underdog against Margarito and shining through as the victor, there is also the Mayweather fight in which "Sugar" Shane was the massive underdog and had everything to go for.
In the first couple of rounds, Mosley held his own against ‘Money’, even rocking him hard in the second round, the first time we had seen Mayweather actually hurt. But that was it. Mayweather then took over, dictating the pace of the fight to suit him and started unloading on Mosley every time Shane opened up.
This was when we called for Mosley’s fighting heart to come out, the same heart he showed against Margarito or Oscar De La Hoya, or when he was hurt badly against Vernon Forrest but continued the fight.
This is now an older Mosley though and when Mayweather came out snarling, Mosley did not meet him with the same aggression he had once showed; he looked to be trying to outbox Mayweather because he was out of ideas.
He could not match him in speed, he couldn’t tag him again to hurt him, he was standing there, in range trying to feint Mayweather into doing something, hoping for that one big shot. He may as well have given up, as that was playing right into Mayweather's hands. For the first time "Sugar" Shane looked lost and the rest was a cakewalk for Mayweather.
Pacquiao will not fight that fight, he will come, as always, with aggression and explosiveness. Mosley could see some of Floyd’s right hands coming towards him, yet he could not evade them. How will he deal with Pacquiao’s five, six, seven punch combinations, all coming from different angles that he won’t see?
Mosley's last outing against Sergio Mora wasn’t exactly fan friendly, and Mora gave him trouble. Mora is a slick southpaw who is an awkward customer, but on paper, Mosley should have beaten him, the Mosley of a fair few years ago would have steamrolled Mora.
Also, there are Mosley's two losses to Winky Wright who, again, is a skilled southpaw. Winky stood toe-to-toe with Mosley and would not budge, catching Mosley on the counter consecutively.
When Cotto, who is a natural lefty, would switch to southpaw he would catch Mosley. So it is clear that he struggles, not overly, but is not entirely at ease with southpaws.
Mosley has a very good chin, but then so did Margarito, Clottey, De La Hoya, Diaz, Marquez, Barrera and Morales. They were all chewed up and spat out by the Pac-man.
What can be said about Pacquiao that hasn’t already been said? He has dominated bigger, better guys in the past. When he is tagged he always fires back and welcomes the fight, Mosley used to fight like this but we haven’t seen that side of him in a while.
Oscar De La Hoya was easily as fast and powerful as Mosley and look what happened to him when he fought Pacquiao.
Mosley is by no means a write off going into this fight. The odds are stacked against him but he has performed under such pressures before.
This could be Mosley’s first stoppage loss, as it is hard to see how he will cope with the power, the speed, the aggression and the work rate of Pacquiao.
However, if there is anyone out there with the tools to create an upset, "Sugar" Shane Mosley has them; it is whether he can utilize them or not, that is the question.