Last night's much hyped showdown between WBO welterweight king Manny Pacquiao and former three weight world champion Shane Mosley failed to live up to expectations last night at Las Vegas' MGM Grand.
Mosley, at age 39 at least six years out from his prime, started well, using his jab and the occasional right to keep distance between himself and Pacquiao, who only tested Mosley's defense with a few efforts in the first.
Pacquiao started to pressure Mosley in the second, leaping in with jabs and a few quick combinations, illustrating his hand speed advantage. Mosley continued to prevent Pacquiao from developing a rhythm by using the jab and footwork but this ability was slipping away.
The champion continued to up his efforts in the third, using multiple jabs to get closer to his rival, who was now fully on the backfoot. Mosley tried to shove the smaller man away when Pacquiao got in close but Pacquiao was finding the target with rapid combinations. Mosley was still using the jab and looking for openings for a right hand, backing up Pacquiao at times.
Pacquiao made a particularly hard charge that Mosley nullified by backing up but when Pacquiao came forward again, Mosley was caught flatfooted and when down after getting clipped with the sharp right, left combination.
Mosley beat the count and used his experience to survive the rest of the round, clinching his way through.
After the knockdown, Mosley became even less ambitions than he'd previously been and went into a definite safety first mode.
In round after round, the veteran made it hard for Pacquiao by rarely taking any chances offensively, nullifying Pacquiao's ambitions by backing away, slipping off to the side or when that failed, slipping or blocking punches.
When Mosley did throw anything other than jabs designed only to disrupt Pacquiao's rhythm, he picked his spots carefully, choosing to zip in a right or hard hook when Pacquiao was off balance or out of position, but it was is such small quantities that there was no way he could pick up a round.
Pacquiao tried to make it a fight, lunging inside with combinations, some of which were full-blooded shots that found targets on the head and body of Mosley.
By the tenth, Mosley seemed distracted by the increasing number of non-serious accidental head clashes and his tactics were no longer keeping Pacquiao off as the aggressive champion was landing with quick, bracing combinations.
Pacquaio was assessed a knockdown when he went down from a shove in the tenth but once back in action continued to chase and batter Mosley.
Mosley's woes continued into the 11th as Pacquiao kept up the pressure and punishment. The challenger was in full safety mode, initiating clinches and backpedalling rather than throwing any meaningful punches.
The 12th saw a tired looking Pacquiao still forcing the action until Mosley committed to a rare offensive charge, backing Pacquaio onto the ropes. Despite finding himself hopelessly behind on points, Mosley fought with no sense of urgency, clinching to buy time.
In the last minute, Pacquiao was successful on several occasions, landing good shots on Mosley with both hands before getting wrapped up in clinches.
When the scores were read, Pacquaio won by comfortable margins of 120-107, 120-108 and 119-108, improving to 53-3-2 (38). Mosley drops to 46-7-1 (39), and has now gone 2-3-1 over his last six appearances.
The support bouts featured a thrilling war at super bantam between previously unbeaten reigning WBO king Wilfredo Vasquez, 20-1-1 (17), and ex-WBO/WBC light fly and WBO super fly champion Jorge Arce, 57-6-2 (44).
Despite holding advantages of youth, strength and punching power, Vasquez was no match for the long big fight experience of Arce, who came off the canvas in the fourth to turn things around and stop the champion at 0:55 of the 12th frame.
Former WBC/WBO middleweight ruler Kelly Pavlik, 37-2 (32), made his first appearance since loosing his titles to Sergio Martinez a year ago, returning as a super middle and winning a hard fought ten round majority decision over undefeated prospect Alfonso Lopez, 21-1 (6), who appeared to tire in the later frames.
The vacant WBC Continental Americas light welter belt was won by Mike Alvarado, 30-0 (22), when opponent Ray Narh, 25-2 (21), failed to come off his stool for the fourth round.
Ex-WBC light flyweight boss Rodel Mayol, 28-5-2 (21), won a ten round majority decision against Javier Gallo, 17-4-1 (9), at super flyweight.