The highly anticipated match between Floyd Mayweather and Sugar Shane Mosley is only hours away and it seems that the boxing public is split when it comes to predicting a likely winner of this intriguing match-up.
So much has written about their boxing pedigrees, their styles, strengths and perceived weaknesses and yet it is hard to imagine how the fight will play out when they clash in a few hours.
What makes this match even more intriguing is that neither fighter had previously fought a similar opponent. Plus, this is very likely to be a fight of different boxing styles: quick and wide combos against razor-sharp pot-shots, powerful overhand rights against check-hooks, aggressive offense against defensive wizardry, and so it goes.
Even their record is in contrast – perfect record built on opponents that rarely posed the challenge against the less-than-perfect record built on stiff challenges. Does it seem that those two are very different personalities? You bet - like day and night!
So, when all is said and done – who is likely to win? Will it be supremely-talented, lightning quick, king of defense Mayweather, who is yet to be seriously tested in his career, or will it be slightly over-the-hill, 38 year old battle-harden veteran Sugar Shane Mosley, who somehow always wins his fights in the eyes of his loyal fans, even when he loses them.
In my view - if Floyd is to win he will have to do what he usually does, constantly moving and setting up his hooks and straights by jabbing. He knows that this time the centre of the ring will be his ally and the ropes will be his enemy. He knows that any time he trades with Mosley he will open himself to Shane's knockout power.
In fact, this is likely to be part of Mosley’s strategy - to take some in order to land some and hope that nothing comes back. Mayweather doesn’t have a big margin for error since Mosley has the size, reach and power advantage as well as Mosley is one of the best closers in business.
Some years back Floyd was staggered by an overhand right during the exchange with DeMarcus Corley, but he managed to regain composure, come back and win fight with ease.
He was also hit by Judah and Hatton but showed no effect. Unfortunately, this time he can’t afford to test his durability. So, if Mayweather does all that consistently through throughout fight he will give himself good chance of win, but that will be far from certain.
Mosley, on the other hand, must take Mayweather out of his rhythm by double and triple jabs, before unleashing his combos. He will need to try to do what Judah was doing successfully in the opening rounds against Mayweather - and that is to time him.
Floyd is very fast but not completely unpredictable. Mosley needs to keep a high work rate while in a same time he needs to vary his shots and his pattern of attack. The moment he starts getting tagged – he must know it is time to change punch sequence, try new angles, feint a bit and then go back to jabs, combos, the occasional uppercut and the over-hand just to keep himself respectable.
The truth is – Mosley can afford a bit of a gamble, as long as he crowds Floyd, unsettles him, presses him on the ropes before unloading. Sounds easy - although it will be far from that for either fighter, but when the dust settles one man will win, and so my prediction is:
Mosley wins by stoppage!
Regards to all readers and let this be memorable and thrilling fight.