Manny Pacquiao will defend his welterweight and mythical pound for pound title against Shane Mosley Saturday night. Pacquiao has ascended to the top of the boxing world with his climb from flyweight to welterweight champion, even being coronated the fighter of the decade for the 2000’s.
Sugar Shane Mosley is expected to become the latest to feel the wrath of the man many feel is the best boxer in the world. The wake of welterweight opponents Pacquiao’s left in the dust reads like a who’s who of boxing’s most exciting division. What that list lacks though is credibility, credibility that can only be obtained by squaring off with Floyd Mayweather.
Mosley vs. Pacquiao will more than likely go as Pacquiao’s recent bouts have went. In each of those fights, Pacquaio levied a beating onto an overmatched opponent on his last leg. Taking nothing away from the careers of the welterweights Pacquiao has faced, but all of them were or are in their last days. The names and records are still present, but the skills…the skills have eroded.
Floyd Mayweather still possesses both the name and the skill. The ironic twist is that Floyd usually catches the flack for his opponents of choice. De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto, Clottey, Margarito, and Mosley were all chosen as Pacquiao opponents with one thing in mind…deceive the public.
Pacquiao has attained a cult like following almost Bieber like with fans not seen since Oscar De La Hoya. If there’s any doubt to the magnitude of Pacquiao’s effect on the sport, try to listen to Jim Lampley for five minutes. Mayweather on the other hand has turned off fans and boxing purists with his bragodocious ways and reluctance to fight. A legitimate argument can be made that it is the outside the ring Mayweather that has made the public feel he is in need of Manny Pacquiao.
Without delving into who is at blame for there not being a meeting of the two, both fighters are guilty of not fighting the best opponent available. Years from now, records will reflect that both fighters fought the names. Casual fans will more than likely side with public sentiment that Pacquiao took on all challenges. Boxing purists not named Jim Lampley will know that those challengers weren’t really challenges at all.