A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Thoughts on Saturday Night
Shane Mosley’s career ended Saturday night. There is no nice way to say it but Mosley looked old and defensive, intent on surviving the Pacquiao onslaught; unable to win against a younger opponent. The old Mosley would have found a way to make the fight competitive and he had the quickness to compete with almost any fighter but at the age of 39, no quickness was left.
When he fought Mayweather, he looked confuse and seemed unable to pull the trigger as they said. With the exception of the second round, in which he managed to connect with a right that buckled Mayweather knee; Mosley simply got out punched by a faster fighter. He simply couldn’t put a combination together and last Saturday night, it was no different. He simply could not put combinations together all night and rarely could have connected even a single punch.
When a fighter looks to survive, the fighter is on the downside of his career or simply in danger of becoming an opponent. Mosley have been a courageous fighter all his career and he showed no less courage against Pacquiao but he did not have the speed to compete with the Pacman and no ability left to launch an offense against a faster opponent who could hurt him.
At 39, Mosley showed that he could not compete with elite fighters anymore. What Pacquiao showed, Mosley is now an old fighter and decision time has come. De La Hoya faced a similar dilemma when he fought Pacquiao and when he lost a decisive one sided fight; De La Hoya saw that he was not longer an elite fighter. He retired and became a business man. Mosley is in the exact same situation as he lost a decisive fight against Pacquiao. So his career is now at the point that he can longer be a headliner fighter for a PPV event and the only course is downward.
Evander Holyfield has a dream, to be a Heavyweight champion again but at 48, the skills have long disappeared. Holyfield is chasing a dream that can no longer obtainable and his victory over another aged fighter, Brian Nielsen simply kept a dream alive just a little bit longer but the reality is that there was nothing to show that Holyfield has anything left to beat a solid fighter. Yes, he did come close in the past few years with a close lost to Nikoli Valuev that many stated was a Holyfield victory but that fight has proven to be an exception for many of his victories over the past decade have been over second and third tier heavyweights. There are no victories that suggest that he should be involved in a championship.
Manny Pacquiao may be the best fighter in the world but he has a dilemma. There are very few opponents who had the capacity to infuse a big PPV event. Pacquiao is one of those fighters who could fight the local janitor and fill an arena but he is also a fighter who is interested in the big events. Certain fighters get to the point where they are big events fighters as oppose to be merely championship fighters. Championship fighters are interested in belts but big events fighters are interested in fighting other elite fighters for big bucks. Oscar De La Hoya was one of those fighters, who forever set up fights for PPV event and Pacquiao has become a big event but right now, there are very few fighters who fit the bill; an elite fighter who can bring big buck. Right now, there are two fighters with a potential for a third. The first is Mayweather but this fight has been talked about for over two years but bogged down in negotiations and Mayweather legal troubles. The second is Juan Manuel Marquez, who has fought two very close bouts with the Pacman and he wants to fight Pacquiao. The third possibility will be winner of the Tim Bradley-Amir Khan. The third option is a year away so look for Marquez-Pacquiao but everyone is still wants a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout.
Pacquiao have fought the best fighters over the past decade and while titles have been put on the line, the reality has been that these titles were secondary to the fight itself. Does anyone care or even knew that the WBO Welterweight title on the line or for that matter, even care? The answer is that when Pacquiao fights, it is not the title that matters but the fight itself. Pacquiao has become a big event fighter where opponent and money are what matters, not the title.