By Vitali Shaposhnikov: Between 2009 and 2011 a lot of significant things have occurred in boxing. Some fighters retired, while others elevated their careers to new highs. For Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2), this two year gap has been nothing but triumphant. Starting with the brutal knockout of Ricky Hatton (45-1-0) in mid 2009, and ending with a dominating win over Antonio Margarito (38-6-0) at the end of 2010, Pacquiao went through Miguel Cotto (34-1-0) and Joshua Clottey (35-3-0) in-between like butter.
Going up in weight and facing the top opposition proved to be something that the “dream team” of Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao had no trouble dealing with. Now, on May 7, Manny Pacquiao will attempt to claim another win over a living legend in Shane Mosley (46-6-1). Probably a few years back the odds would have been very different, but today, after Pacquiao’s “Pacman-style” progress, having him as an underdog is simply implausible.
Even the veteran and former pound for pound king Roy Jones Jr. (54-7-0) changed his mind between this two year spread.
In 2009, Jones advised Pacquiao to steer clear of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley. He saw both of them as being too big and too fast for Pacquiao. (http://www.boxingnews24.com/2009/06/boxing-news-roy-jones-jr-advises-pacquiao-to-steer-clear-of-mosley-and-mayweather/)
The latest news from Jones on this very same topic came about in early 2011, where Jones seems to have shifted his views. Now Jones seems Pacquiao as a clear winner in his bout against Mosley on May 7, 2011. “Pacquiao has been beating guys in bigger weight classes, and he’s hot right now,” said Jones in a recent interview. (http://www.boxingnews24.com/2011/01/roy-jones-jr-picks-pacquiao-to-beat-mosley-but-thinks-shane-could-give-him-some-problems/)
Jones still thinks that counting out Mosley is not wise, as veteran boxers are almost always able to make adjustments in the ring. I find it very interesting, and see it as a big deal that Jones Jr. modified his opinion about the Filipino superstar. Jones Jr. and Mosley have always been friends, and have spoken mostly good things of each other. For Jones Jr. to pick Pacquiao to win, shows the tremendous respect and admiration for his boxing skills.
At first I was skeptical of this match-up, siding with the “Mosley is too old for this” crowd. But lately, my excitement had been steadily building up. At this point, I am simply thrilled to see this fight, and think that it has the full potential to be a blockbuster event.