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.