Saturday, May 7, 2011

Truax in Las Vegas, Presley in St. Paul offer predictions for Pacquiao - Mosley

Tonight will be very entertaining for boxing fans as Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Welterweight title against “Sugar” Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. While the odds makers have favored Pacquiao heavily and it’s hard to find anyone predicting a Mosley victory, the modern day Sugarman should be a bigger challenge than the “Pac Man” has seen in recent fights. Minnesota Middleweight Caleb Truax spoke briefly about the fight from Las Vegas, where he is training for his May 27 fight with Andy Kolle, and world class trainer Dennis Presley offered his own assessment Friday in St. Paul.

“I’d really like to see Mosley win,” said Truax, who’s admiration has grown for him since training a year ago at his Big Bear, California facility; “but I’d also like to see Pacquiao win to set up the showdown with Floyd Mayweather, Jr.” Also, Truax believes that ultimately, no matter how competitive the fight is, Pacquiao will win.

“Mosley is bigger and he’s a bigger puncher,” Truax says, “but Pacquiao’s just going to be too young for him.

Presley explains that yes, Mosley is a big puncher who poses a serious threat to Pacquiao, but that he is not a heavier puncher than Pacquiao and that his chances of going the distance are unlikely.

“Pacquiao’s previous opponents,” Presley explains, “are knockout punchers, but none of them have had that power combined with the great speed and overall finesse of Mosley.”

Out of 53 fights, Mosley’s record is 46 wins, 6 losses and one draw with 39 knockouts, and he’s never been knocked out. So he can obviously take a punch and he also can land a powerful one. After all, he did knock out Antonio Margarito. Pacquio stopped Margarito in his last fight, but he didn’t knock him out the way Mosley did. Pacquiao did hurt Margarito badly, though, and his punches always come with a relentless combination of speed and power. As Presley explains, Pacquio’s speed, power, and number of punches all tend to increase as the fight goes on. So Mosley’s only chance, he contends, is to knock Pacquiao out within the first four rounds.

“Pacquiao’s punching power is comparable to Mosley’s,” Presley says, “but he’s also a good combination puncher and counter puncher. And he’s one of the few lefties with footwork who is effective from a distance.”

That footwork will set up the relentless attack, Presley argues, allowing Pacquiao to control the second half of the fight and eventually end it.

“Mosley will throw shots in the first four rounds, but won’t be able to stay on top after four. After seven and eight it will be all Pacquiao, and he will win by around round 10.”

My original prediction was for a Pacquiao win by decision, but I believe Presley’s assessment makes a lot of sense, especially given the over/under odds I found on line. Odds makers set the fight lasting over 11 ½ rounds as a + 130 long shot, with the fight ending earlier a – 170 favorite. I think that’s selling Mosley a bit too short, and it doesn’t grant much margin of error for an over/under bet, because it basically means to bet over is to bet it goes the distance, and to bet under gives you almost the entire fight for a stoppage. I’d consider a small amount on the over, because it’s such a high payoff and I do believe Mosley can go the distance; but I wouldn’t recommend it either way because, even though I believe the fight will go past round ten, it’s not unlikely to end before twelve.