In the midst of a slow weekend for MMA, the eyes of the combat sports world are firmly on tonight's boxing mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley. With only a few hours to go before bell time, here is a round up of the last day of coverage.
Weigh-ins went off without a hitch yesterday. Pacquiao checks in at 145 pounds, while Mosley is right at the 147-pound limit. Both men looked good, and Mosley (who had the tougher cut) seemed to not be dehydrated at all. One big note from these weigh-ins - they were packed with 6,000 fans and an additional 2,000 turned away. A lot of boxing analysts have spoken about how no one cares about this fight, largely due to Mosley being seen as an irrelevant opponent, but Scott Christ at Bad Left Hook thinks these numbers tell a different story:
When you pack 6,000 fans into the MGM Grand for a weigh-in and turn another 2,000 away because there's no more room, and then someone says, "No one cares about this fight," it really makes you question the sanity of some people. No one cares? Then why were all those people there? Why did they sell 16,000-plus seats for a big gate in Las Vegas? Why will 1 million-plus order the show tomorrow night for around $50 a pop?
Both Pacquiao's team and Mosley's team met individually with the Showtime production crew, and video of those meetings is now available. Highlights:
Mosley on how he will fight Pacquiao: "I think it's important for me to control and dictate the fight." When asked about possibly retiring after this fight: "I think once you start thinking about retirement... you really don't want to fight. I love the sport of boxing, I could fight forever."
Pacquiao, when asked if he thinks he is a great fighter: "I don't know, that's what people say." Can he get better: "I will try. That's what I am trying to do, to get better and better and better." Freddie Roach was asked the same question, if Pacquiao can get better. His response: "Yes."
There have also been some interesting analyses of how the fight could go. Showtime's Al Bernstein gives each man's keys to victory. For Mosley: stay off the ropes, work the body, and land the right hand. For Pacquiao: use angles, avoid the right hand, and throw combos. Here's Scott Christ again, adding to Bernstein's analysis:
Bernstein's breakdown is right on, by my estimation. He's looking at Mosley's side, in particular, exactly right. Bernstein has previously noted that he thinks Mosley's left hook could be a major weapon if he can get it off, but the right hand has been Mosley's money punch in recent years, and chances are that's what he'll look to. He says that Mosley needs to land the right hand home runs, and that Pacquiao, obviously, needs to stay the hell away from them. As we know, the straight right hand is known as "the southpaw killer." Mosley's right isn't always the straightest, but Manny's habit of leaving himself open and willingly trading is, in my view, the one true chance that Shane Mosley has to win this fight, and it's a legitimate chance.
There's also this odd Teddy Atlas breakdown for ESPN using computerized versions of Pacquiao and Mosley that is kind of fun.
For the most up to the minute news on Pacquiao vs. Mosley, be sure to visit Bad Left Hook.