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On Saturday afternoon, hours before his scheduled fight with "Sugar" Shane Mosley, welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao was reportedly involved in a car accident. Luckily, Pacquiao apparently sustained no injuries, and is still expected to fight Mosley on Saturday night. From TMZ Sports:
Sources close to Pacquiao tell TMZ he was traveling in a fleet of cars after church today, when one of Manny's security vehicles collided with the car carrying Manny.
We're told Pacquiao is back at his hotel now, where his trainer, Freddie Roach, checked him out. According to our source, Pacquiao is just a little shaken up ... but he's okay to go for tonight.
This is certainly good news for fans of Pacqiuao, the world's most popular fighter. TMZ's account seems to indicate that it wasn't too much more than a fender-bender, so apart from making his team's heart skip a beat, no harm done.
As they prepare for their Showtime pay-per-view clash on Saturday night, Manny Pacquiao and "Sugar" Shane Mosley met with the Showtime production crew to talk about the fight. This is standard stuff and where a lot of the quotes you hear on broadcasts come from as they talk about "when we sat down with the fighters" and such. The Showtime promotional series Fight Camp 360 has released some bonus footage of these meetings:
Manny is joined by his head trainer, Freddie Roach, while Naazim Richardson accompanies Shane Mosley. The always outspoken and entertaining Naazim continues to push the idea that no one should be thinking about Manny Pacquiao as a "small guy" despite Mosley's height advantage and does it by pointing out that "Pacquiao has convinced you all he's two inches tall and weighs thirty-two ounces."
Top Rank Promotions will be streaming the bout between Manny Pacquiao and "Sugar" Shane Mosley (as well as the undercard) on their website for $54.99. This pay-per-view stream will provide customers with some unique options such as allowing viewers to choose between the main stream and international stream as well as having DVR functionality.
Top Rank president Todd duBoef recently spoke to MMA Junkie about the decision to stream the event:
"I don't believe it's going to take away from our current distribution models. I think it's just going to supplement it. There are plenty of kids in college that don't have a cable box in their rooms, but they have a laptop. There's plenty of people that are traveling that have a laptop that couldn't otherwise see the fight. There are people in hotel rooms that can't buy the fight, but they're interested in doing it. I think as all of us are connected more and more to the digital platforms, I think as part of the new-media delivery, the content has to be available to them."
Of course, there are always risks to online streams and Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook points out some of the reason for concern:
Though I had heard that a different company would be powering this pay-per-view, NeuLion is apparently the company behind the stream. NeuLion will be familiar to fight fans as the company behind Top Rank's live streams of off-TV undercards, press conferences, weigh-ins, and the like.
The problem here is that Top Rank's live streams are notorious for crashing. One has to assume that Top Rank has taken extra measures to ensure that this pay-per-view will be stable, but from past experience both with Top Rank and with companies trying to stream content online who aren't prepared for the demand, I would proceed with caution if making this your choice tonight.
If it works, I'm sure it will be a great experience for those willing to give it a try. If it doesn't, it'll lead to a lot of refunds to unhappy customers.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will likely never step into a ring together at this point. But that little problem won't stop Floyd Mayweather Sr. from chiming in on tonight's bout between Pacquiao and "Sugar" Shane Mosley (9 pm. ET, Showtime pay-per-view). Check the video:
If ever there was a video that didn't really need to be eighteen and a half minutes long, it's this one. In between awkwardly telling Manny to "take the test" he finds a little time to discuss the Mosley vs. Pacquiao bout.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao's names will probably be forever tied together. But, with Floyd constantly screwing up with the law and Manny's unwillingness to bend to Floyd's demands it just feels like it will never actually happen.
Saturday, May 7, 2011 sees the world's number one pound-for-pound boxer, Manny Pacquiao, step back into the ring. Pacquiao will face "Sugar" Shane Mosley on Showtime pay-per-view. The PPV broadcast starts at 9:00 p.m. ET.
How They Match Up
Shane Mosley - 46-6-1 (39 KO), 39 years old, 5'9", 74" reach, Official Weight - 147 lbs
Manny Pacquiao - 52-3-2 (38 KO), 32 years old, 5'6", 67" reach, Official Weight - 145 lbs
Last 5 Fights
Shane Mosley - Draw - Sergio Mora, Loss (Dec) - Floyd Mayweather Jr., Win (TKO-9) Antonio Margarito, Win (KO-12) Ricardo Mayorga, Loss (Dec) Miguel Cotto
Manny Pacquiao - Win (Dec) - Antonio Margarito, Win (Dec) - Joshua Clottey, Win (TKO-12) - Miguel Cotto, Win (KO-2) - Ricky Hatton, Win (TKO-8) - Oscar De La Hoya
Manny Pacquiao will enter the ring as a huge favorite. His ability to seemingly move to whatever weight class he wants and dominate his opponents has been amazing. Still, from the pre-fight hype one would be led to believe that all Manny has to do is show up, step in the ring and have his hand raised. It's not going to be that easy.
Shane Mosley is a fading star, yes. But he's a fading star who is battle tested and still possesses shocking power in both hands. He's also the bigger man by several inches. Once the fighters rehydrate after the weigh-in it's possible that Mosley will have upwards of a ten pound weight advantage.
But, as we saw in Pacquiao's fight against Margarito, being the smaller man does not mean he will be outmuscled or "fight small."
Pacquiao does have a bad habit lately of standing a bit stationary at times and inviting his opponent to hit him. If Mosley can land one of his powerful right hand shots he can drop Manny, even with Pacquiao's solid chin. Unfortunately for Mosley, if Manny decides to use movement and speed, he just can't match foot or handspeed in 2011. He just is not the quick and athletic fighter he was early in his career.
Everything comes down to Manny's ability to avoid the right hand and overwhelm with speed and combinations. It should be something that he is able to do, but Mosley has beaten men who "should" have beaten him in the past and he'll be doing everything he can to make it happen again.
I spent weeks leading up to this fight thinking about how easy of a night it would be or Pacquiao. But over the last few days I've been unable to shake the feeling that something is going to happen. Manny can be hit, and Mosley can hit hard. It's entirely possible (hell, it's entirely likely) that Pacquiao busts Mosley up and even knocks him out. But I'm going to go with my gut and pick Mosley to score the TKO win somewhere between rounds 4 and 6.
Fans who tune in to Showtime pay-per-view tomorrow for the bout between "Sugar" Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao will be treated to the best announcer in combat sports, Al Bernstein. Bernstein came onto the Showtime crew in 2003 but has been involved in boxing since the 1970's. As such he has an incredibly deep knowledge of the sport and is incredibly effective at describing the action and breaking down key points. That skill at breaking down fights is on display here in Al's Key's to the fight for Pacquiao vs. Mosley:
As Al points out, there are only a few things that the fight comes down to. Mosley needs to find a place to land his right hand and he has to land it very hard. For Pacquiao it comes down to angling and combination punching. If he keeps busy and forces Shane to deal with his speed, it will be a very long night.
Mosley and his supporters continue to point out his speed, but the days of the fast "Sugar Shane" are gone. He needs to catch Manny on the way in and take advantage of every opening.
With Manny Pacquiao set to meet Shane Mosley Saturday night on Showtime pay-per-view the plans are already in motion for Pacquiao's next fight. The talk of a third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez has been picking up steam as of late and recently word came out that Marquez has been offered a huge amount of money to take the fight. Now, Jhonny Gonzalez of Boxing Scene is reporting that a November 12 date has been set aside for Manny's next fight.
There is an immediate rematch clause in the Pacquiao vs. Mosley contract that dictates that Manny will get another shot at Mosley if he can pull off the huge upset win. If the expected happens, it would appear that Pacquiao vs. Marquez 3 will be next up for the world's top pound-for-pound fighter.
The first battle between Marquez and Pacquiao took place at featherweight with the two men battling to an amazing draw. Manny was able to drop Marquez three times in the first round but JMM fought back and won the vast majority of the rest of the rounds to pull even. Pacquiao likely should have gotten the win but rather than a 10-6 score for the first round for three knockdowns, one judge scored the round 10-7 resulting in his final scorecard reading 113-113.
The two met in a rematch at super featherweight and Pacquiao won a tremendous fight by split decision. In that fight Pacquiao managed a knockdown in the third round that was the deciding moment.
Pacquiao would be a big favorite in the fight if it is held at welterweight due to the large size advantage he'd enjoy at this point in his career.
Despite the fact that "Sugar" Shane Mosley is legitimately one of the top three welterweights active in boxing at the moment, he will enter his fight against Manny Pacquiao as a heavy underdog. The odds have Shane sitting at between +500 and +600 while Pacquiao is as much as a -1000 favorite. That means that you'd have to bet $1,000 just to win $100 if you make a play on Manny. Here's a rundown of the odds at major books currently:
Against Mayweather, Mosley only entered the ring as a +250 underdog, but he was fresh off his trouncing of Antonio Margarito at the time. I still wouldn't be shocked to see the line move a little with late money coming in on Shane.
We're now one day away from the Showtime pay-per-view clash between Manny Pacquiao and "Sugar" Shane Mosley. By all accounts this training camp for Manny has been fantastic, much better than some of his other recent camps. Despite the distractions of his political career and the constant attention of being the best boxer in the world, Pacquiao has settled down and focused on getting ready for the battle with Mosley.
MPBoxing.com released a video of Manny's final day of training. The video is mostly fluff but there is some footage of Pacquiao hitting the mitts with trainer Freddie Roach toward the end. It's really amazing to watch his handspeed and power when throwing combinations. Give the video a watch:
If September 29, 2007 feels like a long time ago to you, imagine how Kelly Pavlik feels. On that night Pavlik upset Jermain Taylor to win the middleweight championship. It was a great fight, one where Kelly had to pick himself up off the floor and overcome big trouble early in the bout to score the comeback knockout win. Only three fights after establishing himself as one of the top fighters in the sport, Pavlik was dominated by Bernard Hopkins in a catchweight fight.
Pavlik managed to pick up a pair of wins before his middleweight championship run ended at the hands of Sergio Martinez. His comeback attempt on the undercard of the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley was derailed by what was announced as a rib injury. In reality, the years of rumors that Pavlik liked to drink somewhat more than "socially" were confirmed as he checked into the Betty Ford Clinic to treat his alcoholism.
Saturday night it will be Pavlik's chance to take the first step in rebuilding his career. Now fighting at super middleweight, Pavlik takes on undefeated Alfonso Lopez (21-0) on the undercard of the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley. It's been more than four years since Kelly wasn't the feature bout. This could be a godsend as there is less attention and pressure on Pavlik as he tries to balance the unforgiving world of the fight with the realities of recovering from addiction.
While some question if he has fully come to terms with his problem, Pavlik told reporters at the undercard press conference that he feels ready. "The energy level of this training camp is the best I've had in my career. I'm ready to show the boxing world that we're back and we're ready to make our stamp in this division" Pavlik said.
Kelly is saying all the right things about not overlooking a generally unknown opponent in Lopez. "The story has been done, everything has been written. But what hasn't been talked about is how zeroed in I am for this fight. This is a hungry kid, he's undefeated and he's looking to make a statement in his career. We didn't take him lightly. He's a tough kid with a lot of knockouts and he's a great opponent to come back to."
There is no doubt who is the underdog heading into the Showtime pay-per-view bout between "Sugar" Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. If the fact that Mosley currently sits at +500 at the sports books (for the uninitiated that means a bet of $100 would win $500) wasn't enough for you, a simple search of predictions for the fight would bring almost nothing but bad news for Shane.
You will hear he is a former three-division champion with a pair of the fastest hands in the sport.
You will hear he has concussive, two-fisted power and be directed to a YouTube video of Mosley bludgeoning the iron-jawed Antonio Margarito in 2010.
You won't hear much about Mosley's fast-fading skills, how Floyd Mayweather wiped the mat with him last May and Sergio Mora -- Sergio Mora? -- pushed him to a draw last September.
You won't hear how Top Rank cherry-picked Mosley from a list of more formidable candidates (headlined by Juan Manuel Marquez) in a less-than-subtle attempt to use Mosley's name to sell a few more pay-per-view buys.
First, let me say that talk of Shane's speed should be forgotten at this point. During his rise through the lightweight division and eventual move to welterweight he did possess rare speed combined with shocking power. His willingness to use that speed in combinations that moved from body to head with lightning speed was amazing to watch.
Shane Mosley in 2011 is not a man in possession of anything beyond slightly above average speed.
But allow me to address the Juan Manuel Marquez point. Marquez is a lightweight. At featherweight and super featherweight, Marquez gave Manny all he could handle. But this is not 2008 and Manny Pacquiao is not the same fighter he was when he was checking in at under 130 pounds. This is a 147 pound animal. When Marquez attempted to move up to welterweight for a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. he claimed he lost too much speed and dropped down to lightweight.
Let us not forget that the build-up to that fight was filled with talk that Mayweather was simply too big for Marquez. If Mayweather was too big for JMM, what does that make Manny at this point? As pointed out by both Mosley and Showtime announcer Al Bernstein, if Marquez and Mosley were to fight tomorrow at welterweight it would be Shane who likely came into the bout as the favorite.
As much as Mannix and others may attempt to dismiss Shane's chances by playing up the poor showings against Mayweather and Sergio Mora, you can't dismiss the stylistic differences between them and Pacquiao. If Manny makes the mistake of bulling forward he can be hurt. Shane stung Mayweather badly in their clash last year and he does possess the kind of power to do it to Pacquiao. For all the talk of his granite chin, Manny was buzzed by Margarito in his last bout. Mosley is not likely to be the kind of man who lets his opponent off the hook if he can finish the bout.
The oddsmakers have a line set that is fair. Shane does not have a tremendously good chance of pulling off a win Saturday night, but he is still a dangerous fighter and one who deserves not only Pacquiao's respect, but that of the fans and media alike.
"Sugar" Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao arrived at the MGM Grand to a big fan reaction prior to their Showtime pay-per-view bout Saturday night. Showtime has released some bonus footage of the fighter arrival for their Fight Camp 360 series. Check the video:
As pointed out by Bad Left Hook, the chanting Mosley guys seem a little bit like classic plants, put there to create a better atmosphere and more equal crowd reaction. While Shane Mosley is a genuinely likable guy, he is also nowhere near the star that Manny Pacquiao is.
Still, this was a very good turnout for the fighters just showing up and walking into the venue. We'll have much more on the event in the next few days as we head toward the weigh-ins Friday, the fight Saturday and the fallout on Sunday. The pay-per-view starts at 9:00 p.m. ET on Saturday and we will have live results and round-by-round coverage of the event.
If you're having thoughts about a potential superfight between boxing stars Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. happening in 2011, you're nuts. If you think it might happen in 2012, you might as well be. Mayweather, who already is facing several misdemeanor and felony charges, has been arrested again. This time the charge is misdemeanor harassment for threatening security guards over parking tickets.
According to the criminal complaint, it all happened back in October [when] two security guards cited a couple of Mayweather's cars parked outside his 12,000-foot mansion ... and Floyd flipped.
Mayweather allegedly threatened the guards -- who patrol the boxer's upscale housing community -- after he noticed the citations, claiming, "My homies have guns. If you want me to call them, they'd come over here and take care of you."
According to the complaint, Floyd added, "These are my f**king cars. Don't touch my f**king cars."
Words fail me. If there is a greater king of self-ownage, we've yet to meet him. Scott Christ explains the depths of Mayweather's charges:
Mayweather, 34, has not fought since May 1, 2010, and currently has two trials semi-underway, continually being postponed. One is a misdemeanor charge stemming from poking a security guard in the face, while the other has eight counts (felonies and misdemeanors) from a domestic violence charge, and carries serious jail time if he is convicted.
Between the inactivity and the attention Mayweather will have to devote to defeating these charges, any desire to fight Pacquiao, who has remained active while Mayweather has racked up charges, must be dying on a rapid half-life cycle. He'll want to compete to help battle court costs as well as what he owes the IRS, but not against Pacquiao. It's a big purse with too big a risk. Maybe Victor Ortiz. Maybe Andre Berto. Maybe others, but no Pacquiao. Not in 2011 and probably not ever.
A huge crowd of media attended the press conference for the bout between Manny Pacquiao and "Sugar" Shane Mosley. This a day after the fighters official "arrival" at the MGM Grand was attended by a larger than expected crowd of fans. Showtime Sports tweeted a photo of the media at the presser:
Both fighters appeared confident in their abilities heading into the Showtime pay-per-view bout. But, for Manny Pacquiao, it was a focus on the things that make him such an easy fighter to like:
There has not been trash talk for this fight, and I am happy for that. It sets a good example for the children who idolize fighters. In my life, this is the best promotion I've ever had (been involved in)
I am looking forward to Saturday and making a good fight with Shane Mosley for the fans. I am definitely not taking this fight lightly and I am not underestimating Shane Mosley. Mosley has good hand- and foot-speed and he moves like he is 31 or 32.
All my life, I've had to fight. As a child I had to fight to eat. Now when I fight, the Filipinos call me a hero. I think the world needs more heroes. My biggest fight is not in boxing. My biggest fight is to end poverty in my country. I will be wearing yellow gloves into the ring on Saturday - as a symbol of unity in the fight against poverty.
As for Shane, he spent much more time talking about the fight than his other interests:
Pacquiao is a short welterweight, but he's not a small welterweight. He's very powerful. This is like a Mike Tyson fight - we're heavyweights out there. I'm looking to go out there, take charge and beat Manny Pacquiao.
"I can muster all that energy that I had against Margarito. This type of fight reminds me of when I was able to do a lot of damage in the lightweight division. It's kind of like going back in time.
"I think I can do all the things I could do in the ring five years ago. Ten years ago, I can't think back that far.
"I don't know, that's what the odds makers are saying. That's fine with me. The main goal is to get the win and then we can talk about being an underdog. I don't pay attention to that - I've been an underdog in a lot of my fights.
For more quotes and some pictures from the press conference, head over to Bad Left Hook.
Fight Hub TV caught up with Showtime announcer Al Bernstein to discuss Saturday's bout between Manny Pacquiao and "Sugar" Shane Mosley. Bernstein does a nice job of selling the fight, which is his job, but also makes cogent points about why this fight will be competitive. Check out the video:
One of the key quotes from the video is Al sharing Shane's views on why he deserves to fight Manny after a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. couldn't be made:
"Mosley said 'If I fought Berto I'd be the favorite.' Which, now we know he would after what happened. Even though I think Berto is a fine young fighter. 'If I fought Juan Manuel Marquez tomorrow, I'd be the favorite in that fight.' Which he would. 'So why not me?' So, there you go."
Bernstein will call the action Saturday night on Showtime pay-per-view along with Gus Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
Naazim Richardson and Freddie Roach are no strangers to being in the corner for huge fights. Richardson has been training "Sugar" Shane Mosley since before his bout with Antonio Margarito. Richardson became one of the most talked about men in boxing in January 2009 when he called out Antonio Margarito's camp for loading his hand wraps with plaster prior to the Mosley/Margarito fight. Prior to that fight, he was most known for his time training Bernard Hopkins.
Where Richardson sits is in a difficult position. The once great Mosley is in the twilight of his career. Naazim was there when Shane appeared to revive his career with the drubbing of Margarito, but he was also there when Shane lost the lopsided decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and for the horribly disappointing draw against Sergio Mora. Now he's in a place where he has to help Mosley maximize what he has left. Richardson knows what Manny brings to the table:
Pacquiao is not a cliché fighter. Pacquiao has different variations of himself, where as though Pacquiao can box you and things aren't going his way, Pacquiao can bite down on his mouthpiece and start fighting.
If you watch Manny Pacquiao close enough, Manny Pacquiao's been hit with everything. Manny Pacquiao's been hit with different shots. The thing about Manny Pacquiao that makes him special is even when you're having success against him, he will bite down on his mouthpiece and turn it into a different kind of fight," said Richardson. "So even when you're landing uppercuts, even when you're turning him, even when you're hitting him with good shots, even when you put him on his pocket, it wouldn't surprise me to see him get off the canvas three, four times and start fighting Shane Mosley.
The list of big name fighters that Freddie Roach has worked with is lengthy, but Manny Pacquiao may be the fighter he is best remembered for cornering. He is a smart man and while most are dismissing Mosley's chances, including oddsmakers that have Paquiao at up to a -1000 favorite, Roach knows all too well the dangers of fighting Shane. Roach explains:
"He is a very dangerous fighter; he can punch. He has one-punch knockout power; he's the fastest guy we ever fought. You look at his last fight against Margarito, he looked great in that fight. People thought he was sensational in that fight. Then his next two fights, he fights runners. Bad styles, I mean, it's just matchmaking errors. It was bad matchmaking for Shane's style."
"Shane's never done well with boxers. Shane has always done well with guys who come at you," Roach continued. "Manny Pacquiao is one of those guys who will come after you at times but we have to go after Shane very scientifically with a little strategy."
"It's the cardinal sin with Shane," said Roach, who believes that his charge must work angles against Mosley. "If you walk straight into him, he'll hit you with a counter-hook and an overhand right and he has one-punch knockout power. Let's face it; he's a dangerous, dangerous guy and we're not going to get caught sleeping.
Both trainers seem well aware of what gives Mosley the best chance to win. If Manny is walking to Shane and engaging in a war it will provide openings. If Shane is forced to try to hunt Manny down, it should make for a long night for Mosley. The speed just isn't there like it used to be, but the power can still stop almost anyone.
In a battle between two of the most talented men the sport has seen over the past 15 years, it may very well be the preparation by the trainers that decides the outcome.
Much has been made of Manny Pacquiao's spectacular rise from a kid that had to put rocks in his pocket to make minimumweight to the man who drubbed Antonio Margarito at 154 pounds. Manny's amazing ability to move up in weight has baffled some and led to allegations of performance enhancing drug use. At Bloody Elbow earlier this week I summed up Manny's rise through the weight classes with this simple reminder:
He won his first ever world title with a knockout at 112 pounds, went up to 122 and won a title with a knockout. Same at 126, and again at 130, and again at 135, and yet again at 140, and again at 147. And while he wasn't able to knock out Antonio Margarito at 154 pounds, he was able to win nearly every single one of the twelve rounds in the fight. The left hand of Manny Pacquiao is where other fighter's title reigns go to die.
But "Sugar" Shane Mosley, the man who faces Pacquiao this Saturday on Showtime pay-per-view, wants you to know that he was small when he first got into the game as well. Via Bad Left Hook:
"I think the perception is that Pacquiao is a small guy because he once fought at 106, but I fought at that weight, too. I used to spar with Paul Gonzales when I was a teenager."
"He's a full-fledged welterweight. Calling him a small welterweight is like calling David Tua or Mike Tyson a small heavyweight. They're confusing being small with being short. A fire hydrant is short, but it's strong as hell. Manny has almost bamboozled the world with this. ‘He's only 2 inches tall and weighs 32 ounces.' He says it to you a million times: ‘He's bigger than me, he's bigger than me,' and everyone starts to bite on it."
Manny has very big, and very strong, legs that allow him to generate power while not being overly "bulky" for a short welterweight. He is "ripped" as far as his musculature but he is not built in a way that affects his speed. That speed is what led David Diaz to say "He was too fast. F*cker was too fast" after their 2008 bout.
Pacquiao actually has a tremendous body type for going up in weight and being effective. The fact that Manny going down to 140 any time soon seems near impossible probably supports Mosley's point more than anything.
There's an interesting piece today online on The Atlantic's website about five things that will push boxing into the mainstream and five things will help keep it out. I tend to view some of the saviors and cancers as overstated, but it's well-written, timely and thoughtful. The author is Gautham Nagesh, the editor of StiffJab.net.
Here's Nagesh's argument about why Pacquiao will ostensibly help push boxing back into the mainstream:
Endearingly humble and childlike, aside from the Mayweather camp it's almost impossible to find anyone in boxing with something negative to say about the eight-division belt-holder. The Pacman's unprecedented rise through the weight classes after debuting as a 107-lb teenager in 1995 has captivated his countrymen and built a massive following that's grown beyond Asia into a global phenomenon. His influence in the Philippines cannot be overstated; beyond his recent election to Congress he also boasts hit songs, TV shows, and films there as well as a number of businesses and near-universal respect from his fellow lawmakers.
"Even the New York Times, which gave up covering boxing years ago, makes a special effort to cover a Pacquiao bout," noted biographer Gary Andrew Poole, author of the recent Pacman: Behind the Scenes with Manny Pacquiao. "Pacquiao—a Filipino who is also a Congressman and has dedicated himself outside of the ring to helping his impoverished people--has essentially been carrying the sport on his back."
Pacquiao's influence in the sport is great enough that it enabled his promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum to spurn longtime market leader HBO to take the fight to Showtime, lured by the promise of cross-promotion on network parent CBS. As I'll discuss next, the prospect of exposure to the network audience is one of the key ingredients for any potential revival of the sport.
Meanwhile, argues Nagesh, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will help to keep boxing out of the mainstream. Here's the argument:
But Mayweather, who previously appeared to be playing the villain with his gaudy lifestyle and excessive spending in order to promote his fights, has become increasingly erratic in terms of his recent behavior. He is facing separate court dates for allegedly poking a security guard in the face and for creating an ugly scene involving the mother of his two children, the latter of which could result in jail time if he is convicted. His tendency to avoid opponents that could pose a risk to his undefeated record has earned him the scorn of the fighting world (even though he is no different in this respect than most other fighters, including Pacquiao), and there is a definite perception that he is ducking the Pacman at the moment despite being offered up to $50 million for the potential superfight.
Many believe that Pacquiao v. Mayweather is necessary for the sport to grow, and it would undoubtedly be the largest event since Tyson-Holyfield II almost 15 years ago. Debate over who would win and who is responsible for the fight not happening continues to dominate message boards and ringside chatter, making it all but impossible to avoid the topic of Floyd in any discussion of the sport's future. For the sport to flourish, the greatest American boxer must resolve his legal woes and find a way to get back in the ring with world-class competition. A failure for the superfight to materialize may not condemn boxing to the margins forever, but it would be further evidence that the sport is not yet ready to return to prime time.
Scott Christ thinks little of this matters and boxing is not returning to the mainstream ever again:
Then again, I also don't hold out any great hope that boxing will ever be a truly mainstream sport again. There are too many other options. Too many other sports to watch out there, and besides just sports, too many other avenues for entertainment with film, television, music, video games, and whatever else. I am as thrilled as anyone that boxing has poked its head back into network television's front door, but I'm not going to be holding my breath waiting for SportsCenter to regularly lead with a boxing story, or for anything besides the fascinating Pacquiao and Mayweather -- fascinating for opposite reasons -- to be subjects on "Pardon the Interruption."
I know that the general public doesn't care as much as I do about the corrupt "sanctioning" bodies, the short-sighted promoters, and the often questionable decisions from the networks that support and carry boxing. Yet at the same time, I see those subjects are far bigger roadblocks to mainstream acceptance, or at least something like mainstream acceptance. If the constant political nonsense in boxing were to be eliminated, or at least done away with to a large degree, so many things would not be an issue. The sport would be a lot more about what happens in the ring than it is trying to figure out why something isn't going to happen because one promoter doesn't like another, or a TV network is playing favorites, or a "sanctioning" body decided to do something that makes no sense while continuing to strip their "championships" of all value. Every mainstream sport is ultimately boiled down to what happens on the field of play -- that's what people remember, and what they enjoy most of all. Boxing doesn't have that going for it a lot of the time, and while it's fair to say that perhaps Mayweather is part of the reason for that right now, he's just one of several contributing factors, in my opinion, and hardly the biggest problem.
Christ shares some of Nagesh's views about what does and doesn't ail boxing. I don't mean to position what Christ writes as a full rebuttal of Nagesh. But it's worth noting what Christ says about boxing undercuts the very idea that Pacquiao, as temporarily beneficial as he may be, can't change what is already a solidified paradigm shift in American sporting appetites. Ditto for Mayweather or even a superfight between the two greats.
You can't make this stuff up. Or maybe you could, but either way, you don't have to. Like many ego maniacal athletes and pop stars before him (Michael Jordan, Britney Spears, etc.), Manny Pacquiao has launched his own men's fragrance. This is the sort of product you launch towards the tail end of your athletic glory years. Coincidentally, it's the last moment to take advantage of elite levels of fame and grift the last remnants of disposable income from adoring fans before they realize buying cologne endorsed by and imaged after an athlete is idiotic.
I'd rather shower in Febreze for a week than be caught dead wearing this cat piss, but I'm sure there's a market for it. The L.A. Times reports:
Called MP8 Scent of The Champion (a reference to the boxer's eight world boxing titles in eight weight divisions) the fragrance was developed by Neil Harris of Harris Fragrances and perfumer Chris Buccellato of Custom Essence, and it's described as having "top notes of bergamot and lemon, middle notes of lavender, vetiver, nutmeg and sage, and base notes of sweet musk, vanilla and amber."
With the the lingering fumes of another celebrity scent still fresh in my olfactory memory, I didn't exactly have high hopes for a pugilist-promoted perfume, so it was a pleasant surprise when I got the chance to spritz some around the office for the obligatory sniff test. (On a side note, as a result of such testings, the Image staff does inhabit the best-smelling cube farm in the building -- a top note of printer's ink, middle notes of citrus, rose and tobacco, a base note of fresh-cut grass and a hint of deadline desperation. Someday we'll try to bottle it.)
The fresh citrus scent makes the first impression: smooth, clean and in your face (in keeping with the boxing metaphor, I wish I could call it a "punch of citrus," but it was a lot more nuanced than that -- a jab, perhaps?). That's followed by a woodiness instantly reminiscent of English Leather cologne that, within a minute or so, gives way to a heavy but not unpleasant muskiness.
More important, the MP8 fragrance found favor with the women in the office (one co-worker even quipped -- unprompted -- "It smells like a winner!")
Manny Pacquiao: Smelling Like A Winner Since 2011. Now available for non-winners with $55 everywhere.
You can always tell when a bout is a big deal when the entrance music used by the boxers is leaked four days before the fight like the results of a pre-taped reality show. It appears that we know that Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao will both dip into the classics for their ring walks.
Examiner is reporting that Shane Mosley will walk out to "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J while Manny Pacquiao will enter to a live version of "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. It will be quite a sight to see LL and Survivor, both live in the ring, belting out classic "fight songs."
It should be noted that the cursed "Living In America" will not be used.
Also of note is Tyrese singing the Star Spangled Banner and Filipina superstar Charice handling the Philipinne national anthem.
In a bit of a "your jealousy is showing" moment for Floyd Mayweather Jr., the boxing star has started to make his way back into the current news. Mayweather had been unusually quiet for several months, but anyone familiar with "Money" knew that he would not let a huge weekend for his rival (Manny Pacquiao) go by without having some comment. Ben Thompson of Fight Hype caught up with Floyd to ask about some of the rumors and get his thoughts on this weekend's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley.
On rumors that he would fight Paul Spadafora and Roger Mayweather's talk that Floyd would fight in Dallas at Cowboy Stadium:
Listen, I didn't even know Paul Spadafora was still fighting. And whatever Roger said is not true. Since the Shane Mosley fight, I've only seen Roger about three or four times in one year. All the allegations and rumors are false. ...at this particular time, my focus is my family. When I do have an opponent, my fans will be the first to know.
On Pacquiao vs. Mosley:
Leftovers. Because when he comes to my house, the only thing he can eat is leftovers. Shane was already a beaten fighter. Not saying that I wish nothing bad on Shane because I want Shane to win. Everybody says, "Well, if Shane wins, what about your money?" I don't worry about that. I got things outisde the ring that I'm generating major income from. You just hear different stories, different stories, different stories. Whenever Floyd Mayweather wants to get back in the ring, he's going to get back in the ring. The thing is this, Floyd Mayweather has never been scared of Manny Pacquiao at all. Never! At all! All he's doing is fighting my leftovers and he just keeps on saying that I'm scared. All I say every day is this, just take the test!
And finally, will Floyd watch the fight this Saturday?
You know what I'm going to be doing Saturday night? Saturday night, I'm going to be watching Lady Gaga on HBO, the best network in the world. I want everybody to tune in and watch Lady Gaga. She's on the biggest and best network, HBO.
It all sounds like typical sour grapes on Floyd's part. He's out of the rankings after a year of inactivity and Pacquiao continues on as the biggest star in combat sports. Floyd knows that he needs Manny, and he probably needs Manny more than Manny needs him. That's not a situation that he's happy about.
Marv Dumon of Examiner.com had a chance to sit down with Manny Pacquiao's conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, to discuss Manny's nutrition. Nutrition is part of the fight game that is often overlooked by fans and media alike until a fighter has problems with his weight. But the daily grind of training and the need to offset that energy output is a big deal as seen in these quotes:
You can't fit eight solid meals in a day. We have to supplement Manny's diet with liquid calories, and that way, he does not have to wait long in order to eat again.
Manny is burning anywhere around 1,500 calories in the morning and another 2,500 calories in the afternoon. [ Pacquiao has been sparring on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. ] So he's burning about 4,000 calories a day. Manny has to ingest up to 7,000 calories every day.
For every pound of muscle, it takes 50 calories to sustain that particular muscle.
When you think about the fact that Manny, a man who will enter the ring at 147 pounds, is having to eat 7,000 calories a day it is pretty amazing. Finding the balance in your nutrition and training that allows you to fight as strong and fast as you need is a vital task and one that we should all take the time to properly appreciate.
Manny Pacquiao wrapped up his training for Saturday night's Showtime pay-per-view bout with "Sugar" Shane Mosley at the famous Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California on Tuesday. He closed up this portion of his camp with a little bag work for the media. Check out this video of Manny working the double end bag:
For those who have never tried working the double end bag, it can be one of the most incredibly frustrating experiences in the world. The speed and accuracy that Pacquiao displays hitting the bag while using lateral movement is one of those "not fully impressive until you've tried it" things.
Then there's this video of Manny working a heavy bag:
When you get past the fun of Manny going back to the "double punch" you can really zoom in on the combination of speed and power. But, what you should watch with a great boxer working the heavy bag is that it isn't just an excuse to stand and throw big punches at a bag. Watch Manny's footwork, the spacing between his feet stays correct, he moves with the bag and throws punches on the move. It's a thing of really subtle beauty.
Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley arrived at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this afternoon as they prepare for their clash on Showtime pay-per-view this Saturday. Reports from the Grand are that there were hundreds of people on hand for the arrival of the two top welterweights. Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook gives details of the crowd reactions to the fighter arrivals:
The 39-year-old Shane Mosley arrived first at about 12:20pm local time in Vegas, greeted with boos from Pacquiao fans and some support, of course, from the Mosley rooters in attendance. There did seem to be a section of plants who kept saying in unison, "And the NEEEEEW! Welterweight champion of the world! Sugar! Shane! Mosley!" It didn't exactly come off as spontaneous by the third time they went into the routine.
Pacquiao arrived at about 1:00 local time in Las Vegas, and received a loud reaction from the fans in attendance, and found himself immediately mobbed by international reporters. Pacquiao did his usual skirting around the questions asked of him, expressing great respect for Shane Mosley and the upcoming fight. That's Manny's par for the course, so the lack of great sound bytes should be no surprise.
The two men will take part in the official fight press conference tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. ET.
As Manny Pacquiao prepares to face Shane Mosley this Saturday at the MGM Grand Las Vegas arguably his greatest rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, continues to focus on getting a rematch with "Pac-Man." Marquez, currently the top ranked lightweight in the world, has battled Pacquiao twice in his career; a draw in their May 2004 clash and a split decision loss in March 2008 rematch.
Despite Manny's climb in weight to as high as 154 pounds, a third fight with Marquez remains something many boxing fans want to see. Top Rank offered JMM as much as $5 million plus a cut of the pay-per-view for a third bout, a move that Golden Boy quickly tried to undercut by offering Marquez a shot at Saul Alvarez:
"It sounds like, based on interviews that I've read - both from Juan Manuel and Nacho Beristain - that they are perfectly happy to fight at 147-pounds. Canelo said he would do 147. Canelo is actually going to start working out and training in Big Bear, and he'll have a full nutritional staff and so on. So for Canelo, if he needs to make 147 - it's no problem to make 147."
But Marquez is looking to remain at 140 pounds, fight under his own banner over the summer and take on Manny Pacquiao in the near future. This all assumes Manny gets by the tough Shane Mosley on Saturday. But if he does, we may have a fantastic third fight to look forward to.
Want to see video footage of the last time Manny Pacquiao lost a professional boxing match? HBO has you covered. It was six years ago the man to defeat Pacquiao was none other than Erik Morales. ESPN explains the significance:
When: March 19, 2005, Las Vegas
Result: Morales by decision in 12
What it means: Morales is the only man ever to beat Pacquiao by decision, and video of this war is must-see TV for Mosley, just as Morales himself had studied tape of Pacquiao's fights with Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera. Morales saw something and decided on a strategy of returning Pacquiao's firebombs immediately, like email sent to a bad address.
So the fight played out like a series of alternating waves: Pacquiao would rush in, driving Morales to the ropes, and Morales would return the favor, punching Pacquiao back to where he started. Morales managed to be fearless without being reckless. By Round 5, Pacquiao was taking it worse and was cut badly. By Round 6, it already seemed he needed a knockout. Morales was huge in the 11th. Pacquiao took an epic 12th, but it was too late. The judges all had it 115-113 for Morales. This fight provides a blueprint for future Pacquiao challengers. Whether a 39-year-old Mosley can channel a 28-year-old Morales to execute it is another question.
Pacquiao would go on to defeat Morales via TKO in the tenth. He hasn't looked back since. The ESPN write-up suggests Mosley could glean details that might help him in his fight this Saturday. Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook doesn't agree:
We talked about this fight last November, just after Pacquiao moidalized Antonio Margarito in Texas. I think it's a fun fight to look back on, especially for those who may have never seen it. Watching Manny in this fight is incredible. He is almost nothing like the fighter we know today.
There's an interesting article today in the New York Times where Manny Pacquiao claims he dervied his movements and some elements of his larger boxing style from martial arts legend and movie action star Bruce Lee. Wait, Bruce Lee? What could a kung fu fighter with choregraphed movement offer a prize fighter who has to improvise on the fly? Here's how:
Growing up in the Philippines, Pacquiao studied Lee, watching his movies on endless loops. He still often views his collector’s set. "Enter the Dragon" is his favorite. His conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, says he believes Pacquiao built his baseline movement off Lee’s template, the continual attacking, the feet drummed in and out.
"Bruce Lee jumped around and kicked his feet and shook his head and shoulders," Ariza said. "His feet moved in concert with his hands. He could be choppy, but he was rhythmic. Manny does the same thing. It comes from that."
As Ariza surveys the boxing landscape, he sees fighters emulating Pacquiao, or trying to. They bounce like him, dance like him, shift like him. But they are not as efficient, powerful, creative or balanced. Pacquiao boasts a style that is often imitated, never replicated.
Ariza has long wanted to test Pacquiao for scientific purposes, for lung capacity, red blood cells, endurance. He could publish his findings in a scientific journal. But Pacquiao wants none of that. Part of his genius remains a mystery and always will.
"Bruce Lee," Ariza said, "was like that."
I like the imagery of positioning Pacquiao next to Lee, if not the limits of the comparison.
There is something to the notion. The article in the Times is actually about how Pacquiao transformed his career first by becoming a two-handed fighter then a master of working angles and finally becoming a master boxing strategist after elevating his game. The Bruce Lee comparison isn't apt exactly for technical similarities as much as it is for what Lee often represents to others: a transcendental talent whose signature style was lighting quick, athletic, devastating striking prowess with immaculate technical precision and brilliance. Fairly or unfairly, Lee is culturally thought of as the master fighter with unparalleled and spell-binding ability.
Lee's reputation is due more to Hollywood choreography than real sporting achievement, but it's that idealized form and identity Pacquiao's chasing. Pacquiao's won enough sporting titles at this point to make anything but a win over Floyd Mayweather, Jr. borderline meaningless. It's that next level he wants: to be the gold standard in poise, economy of motion and ruthless efficiency.
It looks like we're getting our first taste of controversy for Saturday's Showtime Boxing pay-per-view event between "Sugar" Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, has heard that the Mosley camp will complain about Pacquiao's hand wraps. From ABS-CBN News:
The boxing coach reportedly heard rumors that Mosley's trainer, Naazim Richardson, intend to complain about Pacquiao's hand wraps.
"All I hear about is that they're going to complain about the hand wraps," said Roach.
"That's what Naazim's an expert at and try to get at Manny's head. I won't let that happen. I won't allow that argument," he added.
Of course, Mosley's camp nailed Antonio Margarito for loading his hand wraps in their now famous clash. Is it possible that the camp has seen something in how Roach wraps Manny's hands or is it just simple headgames? SB Nation's Bad Left Hook expands:
Freddie and Naazim are both master trainers in and out of the ring. They're great spokesmen for their fighters, get the best of their fighters, and understand the mental game. Maybe Freddie really heard the rumors. Maybe he didn't. Maybe he just expects it. Maybe he doesn't. I put nothing past either of them. They're smart, smart guys.
The greatest combat athlete on the planet and eight-time world boxing champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao takes on "Sugar" Shane Mosley this Saturday, May 7th, 2011. The fight is being held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will be contested at welterweight (147lbs) and is officially for the WBO welterweight championship, a title currently held by Pacquiao.
Pacquiao vs. Mosley is being promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank promotions. Pacquiao is expected to earn approximately $20 million for the fight, while Mosley could earn between $5 to $10 million depending on the outcome.
Mosley has contended he may retire should he lose to Pacquiao. The future hall of famer is 39 years old and comes into this bout after losing to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and drawing Sergio Mora.
Pacquiao will likely take time off after the fight, win or lose. He enters this bout having most-recently defeated Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito.
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