By Jim Dower: World Boxing Association welterweight champion Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KO’s) plans on making unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. (40-0, 25 KO’s) fight him in their upcoming May 1st bout at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mosley, 38, says in article at Boxing Fanhouse, “Style-wise, Floyd doesn’t really like to engage in a fight until he’s ready to engages. He has to be forced to engage in a real fight…Other fighters will try to engage and try to knock you out early and really fight you, where Floyd kind of boxes around, moves, touches, taps.” Mosley has to find a way to get Mayweather out of his comfort zone, because few of his opponents have done a good job of pressuring him during his career with the exception of Jose Luis Castillo in their first fight eight years ago in April 2002.
Castillo was able to pressure Mayweather effectively, but no one since then. Mayweather has gotten better at dealing with fighters that come right at him and punishes them with straight right hands and left hooks. Ricky Hatton, Arturo Gatti and Carlos Baldomir went right at Mayweather and paid a huge price by getting chopped up and beaten down. Mosley is going to have to have an alternative plan to use against Mayweather, because pressuring might not prove to be an effective plan.
Mosley used a smothering attack in his last fight against WBA welterweight champion Antonio Margarito last year in January. The smothering worked in part because of Margarito’s poor hand speed. Mosley was able to punch and immediately clinch Margarito to keep him from getting off with his own shots. Mosley could have limited success using this approach with Mayweather. The one problem with that is Mayweather is blinding fast, and if Mosley reaches in to clinch Mayweather, he could find himself getting nailed with straight rights and short left hooks as he moves in.
Mosley says “Floyd is the type of fighter who, if he doesn’t feel comfortable or confident, he’s not going to fight you. So I have to be ready for that type of mentality that he has of touching and moving, touching and moving.” Mosley probably doesn’t have much of a chance at beating Mayweather if Floyd keeps on the outside and moves all night long.
Shane is a much better at fighting stationary fighters like Margarito and in some respects, Oscar De La Hoya. Neither of those guys moves a lot, and Mosley was able to be the one to dictate when and where he wanted to fight. This won’t be the case with Mayweather, who won’t be staying still for Mosley and who will keep the lateral movement up all fight long. Mosley will have to chase Mayweather and be quick to land shots while he has the opportunity.
Mayweather can’t be beaten by pressure alone. Mosley has to be smart and use a variety of different approaches for this fight if he wants to be successful. Mayweather isn’t likely going to be trying to get in any long exchanges with Mosley, so he needs to understand that. Mayweather is going to do what he did in his last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez by landing mostly single shots as Mosley comes forward, and take advantage of his mistakes. Mayweather won’t likely initiate much of the action on his own. It’s going to have to be Mosley that makes things happen.