By ALEX P. VIDAL/April 26, 2011
LOS ANGELES, California – Between a “senior citizen” but razor-sharp gunslinger and “overworked” but immensely popular speedster, which one could still pull the rabbit and send shockwaves to the marquee game on May 7 in Las Vegas?
Sugar Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) is being dismissed as “old” and “past his prime” at 39, but sources from his high altitude training camp in Big Bear said “he still packs pistols in both hands and is extremely dangerous in any street shootout.”
“When Mosley attacks, he is merciless and ferocious that leaves his opponent totally confused and wrecked – unless the referee is quick enough to intervene in a carnage,” observed boxing buff Jeff “The Lightining Rod” O’Donnell, in exclusive talk with this writer.
“In Big Bear, Mosley is so focused and trains seriously like when he was preparing to fight Oscar De La Hoya. The coaching management sees to it that there are no distractions.”
Three fights ago, Mosley, an orthodox fighter, chopped down Antonio Margarito, the “tallest tree in Manny Pacquiao’s forest” in 8th round to send a signal that he was still in command of the guillotine.
Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), who broke his fists attempting and failing to topple down Joshua Clottey for 12 rounds in Arlington, Texas in March 2010, could not duplicate Mosley’s fireworks when it was Pacquiao’s turn to engage the tough Mexican in the battle for WBO welterweight supremacy also in Arlington, Texas in November last year.
Badly clobbered, Margarito, however, considered his 12-round unanimous decision loss to Pacquiao “as the worst beating in my boxing career.”
Mosley’s stunning second round shocker against Floyd Mayweather Jr. left a bad taste in the mouths of those hobnobbing for a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather tango even if he failed to hack out an upset win against the overbearing and undefeated fellow black fighter from Nevada.
Critics have written Mosley off when he managed to only eke out a 12-round split draw against one-time Vernon Forrest conqueror, Sergio Mora, in what they considered as one of his most lackluster performances in recent years.
“But the Mosley boxing fans will see on May 7 is a reincarnation of the Mosley who electrified the boxing world years back with epic battles against Forrest, De La Hoya, (Fernando) Vargas and Micky Ward ,” assured O’Donnell.
“When you always see a smile on Mosley’s face, it means he is in excellent condition and deadly. Fans have seen him smiling a lot these past days.”
His job as congressman being his biggest priority outside boxing ring, Pacquiao, 32, is considered as one of the most active welterweight champions today and has been unbeaten since Feb. 19, 2005 when he lost on points to Erik Morales (51-7, 35 KOs) for the WBC international superfeatherweight championship.
As one of the richest and highest paid professional athletes in the world today, the Filipino southpaw is also considered as “one of the most tired” prizefighters in the world having logged more professional fights than Mosley, who is older by seven years.
Pacquiao’s coaching staff led by Freddie Roach, however, managed to steer him away from extra-curricular activities not related to his May 7, WBO 147-lb duel with Mosley and praised the Baguio City training camp in the Philippines as “the best ever”.
Even Pacquiao’s Twitter account, where critics had lashed him out for justifying his “no” vote in the impeachment case against Ombudsman Mercidetas Gutierrez, had to be shut down “to avoid distractions”.
A celebrity life and “pressures to always win and satisfy the fans” were also seen as among the hard-hitting Filipino’s psychological anxieties which he recently acknowledged.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum had sounded an alarm following erstwhile WBO featherweight ruler Juan Manuel Lopez’s shock 8th round disposal defeat to unheralded 30-year-old Orlando Salido (35-11, 23 KOs) in April 16 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Distractions both in Lopez’s training and personal life, Arum said, destroyed 27-year-old Lopez (30-1, 27 KOs).