Floyd Mayweather Jr. Has Speed, Youth on His Side for Bout With Shane Mosley

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Has Speed, Youth on His Side for Bout With Shane Mosley Going into a Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight, the question for me isn’t about whether he will win. The questions are: Will he be tested? Will he start to crack? Will he be pushed to the point where he has to dig deep? Will I hear his trainer say, "We need these rounds"?

As a fight fan, you can’t help but love the fighters that can get through certain situations on nothing but heart and instinct. Guys who, for no good reason, continue to fight, claw and scratch their way to victory. Those are the guys who really touch you and make you so dedicated to supporting such a crazy sport. They make you believe that if they can overcome that insane adversity, then anything is truly possible.

Someone with the skill set of a Floyd Mayweather also makes you appreciate the finer points in a brutal sport like boxing. You see the chess match aspect of the sport come into play. You are at times mesmerized by the speed and finesse one human being can put on display. When I watch Mayweather fight, I am in awe of his talent, but that still isn't enough. I want to see the fight inside of him. He has achieved amazing things in this sport, and at times he has done it without breaking a sweat. I wouldn’t want Mayweather to fight in a different style, or try to become more fan-friendly in the ring. I just want to see him go beyond what we already know he can do.

Shane Mosley is easily one of the best fighters of this generation and arguably Mayweather's toughest opponent to date. He has the potential to take Mayweather to the limit, and he has the obvious tools and talent to beat the undefeated fighter. Can he be the guy who, as Nazim Richardson said, "forces Floyd to become a dragon?" Could he get the best out of Floyd? It all depends on Shane.

Let’s look at their last few fights:

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (40-0, 25 KO)

Jan. 7, 2006
Opponent: Zab Judah (38-6, 26 KO)
Result: Mayweather, unanimous decision

Mayweather had some trouble with Judah’s speed and combination punching for the first few rounds. Mayweather, however, adjusted and went on to batter Judah in the late rounds, taking a unanimous decision. (There was a slight melee in the mid-rounds, but I don’t think we need to get into it.)

Nov. 4, 2006
Opponent: Carlos Baldomir (45-12, 14 KO)
Result: Mayweather, unanimous decision

Mayweather demonstrated his superior defensive abilities and put on a master class against the slow, plodding champion. Say what you want about Baldomir, but he was the Ring champion, and he had beaten both Judah and Gatti.

May 5, 2007
Opponent: Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KO)
Result: Mayweather, split decision

Pretty Boy Floyd moved up to 154 pounds to face the Golden Boy in what was billed as the "fight to save boxing." Hardly the case, but in the end, Mayweather was good enough to take the victory. Oscar had his moments in a fairly boring fight, and he gave Mayweather some troubles with his jab.

Dec. 8, 2007
Opponent: Ricky Hatton (45-2, 32 KO)
Result: Mayweather, TKO (10)

Mayweather withstood some early pressure from Hatton and eventually broke him down as the fight wore on. In the 10th, Mayweather landed a picture-perfect left hook that had Hatton eating the corner post.

Sept. 19, 2009
Opponent: Juan Manuel Marquez (50-5-1, 37 KO)
Result: Mayweather, unanimous decision

After an almost two-year layoff, Mayweather came out of retirement to hand Marquez a completely lopsided decision loss. Mayweather didn’t even bother to make weight, but as far as I’m concerned, the outcome would have been the same either way. Mayweather also still likes to point out that Marquez drank his own urine.

Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KO)

July 15, 2006
Opponent: Fernando Vargas (26-5, 22 KO)
Result: Mosley, TKO (6)

Mosley put on a stellar performance, destroying a Vargas whom he'd trouble beating a few months earlier. Mosley looked be be back on top after his lackluster performance against Vargas the first time around.

Feb. 15, 2007
Opponent: Luis Collazo (30-4,15 KO)
Result: Mosley, unanimous

Mosley outboxed this slick New York southpaw to show everyone he still had a little something in the tank. Mosley looked good that night — probably not as good as the commentators tried to make you believe, but good enough to compete at the upper levels of boxing.

Nov. 10, 2007
Opponent: Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KO)
Result: Cotto, unanimous decison

Mosley was by far the toughest test of Cotto’s career up to that point. Cotto seemed to beat Mosley at his own game by outboxing him through the early rounds. Most were surprised at the fact that Cotto was fast enough to beat Mosley to the punch, and even seemed quicker than Sugar Shane at times. Mosley would come on late to make it an interesting fight, but it was too little, too late.

Sept. 27, 2008
Opponent: Ricardo Mayorga (28-7, 22 KO)
Result: Mosley, KO (12)

Mosley pulled off a last-second knockout over Mayorga in the 12th round of a lackluster fight. Most felt Mosley was showing his age and would have destroyed Mayorga had they fought a few years prior.

Jan. 24, 2009
Opponent: Antonio Margarito (37-6, 27 KO)
Result: Mosley, TKO (9)

Mosley put on a career-defining performance by absolutely annihilating a seemingly durable Margarito. Mosley looked as if he was 10 years younger than his age, and seemed to pose a serious threat to anyone in the division. (Margarito was found with plaster in his handwraps before the fight.)

What I get out of looking at the last five fights from each fighter is that one is extremely consistent and the other is not. Mosley has had his moments in these last fights. He looked amazing stopping Vargas inside of six, and was slick enough to outbox Collazo, but he looked slow against both Mayorga and Cotto. 

He may have looked unstoppable against Margarito, but that was after they busted Margarito for cheating. I can’t imagine what was going through his mind as he got in the ring. To top it all off, the Margarito fight was 15 months ago. That may not be a big deal for someone like Mayweather, who is in his prime, but to a 38-year-old guy, it can’t be ideal.

The one thing that Mosley has going for him is that Mayweather has never faced anyone as big, strong and fast as him. Judah may have been faster than Mosley, but he is a small welterweight and doesn’t have the brute strength of Mosley. De La Hoya may have been bigger than Mayweather, but he couldn’t match his speed. 

If Shane can put everything together into one grand performance, he has a chance to hand Mayweather his first loss. The problem is, who shows up? Mayorga Shane or Margarito Shane?

I think that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the best all-around boxer in the game, and I don’t see him getting beat on Saturday. He will use his speed to beat Mosley to the punch, just like Cotto did. Mayweather is too fast, too slick, too young, and just too talented to lose.

I think that Mayweather will take a unanimous decision on Saturday night, but I truly hope that Shane can push him to the brink. More than anything, I want there to be some question going into the "championship rounds" as to whose fight it is. Then, maybe I can hear Roger Mayweather say with desperation in his voice, "We need these rounds."

Prediction: Mayweather, unanimous decision

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