Is Shane Mosley Being Given Enough Credit Against Manny Pacquiao?

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.

In fact, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated spent an entire article describing just how pointless it was for fans to hope for a Mosley upset. From the piece:

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.

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