|Photos Courtesy of Showtime Boxing|
By Randy De La O
Years ago, when my father, the late great Andrew De La O was still alive, he would almost always answer the obvious questions with "It's possible but not probable". I have no doubt that would be his answer to "Hey Dad, do you think Mosley can beat Pacquiao?" It would be petty hard to argue with that. A decade ago I would probably say Mosley, without a doubt but it's not 2001, it's 2011 and Mosley is nearing 40 years of age. The odds favor Manny Pacquiao, big time..
That being said, if there is any fighter alive, in or around that weight class, that can find the possibility of beating Pacquiao, it's Sugar Shane Mosley. Manny is great, no doubt. I'm not convinced he can walk on water but he can fight, I''ll give him that. What makes it even microscopically possible is Manny's style and Mosley's quickness. Mosley is a pure fighter and is at his absolute best when the man in front of him chooses to fight. Mosley is still (possibly) quick enough to make that work for him.
I've been accused more than once of thinking with my heart when it comes to the fighters that I like. It's true, I'm not denying it but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm wrong. In this case my head knows better but my heart will still be pulling for Mosley. He's the underdog here and I love an underdog. Plus, Mosley is an L.A. area fighter, a hometown guy and he has a huge heart, maybe the biggest in the game today. I'm hoping to see Mosley win this one. He's what my old trainer Mel Epstein would call " a deserving guy".
When the fight was first announced I was dead set against it, It just seemed too much to ask of Mosley. The fight game can be cruel, crueler than most sports. The reward for a great career is to grow old and be pitted against a younger, stronger fighter than yourself. It's just the way of the sport. Think Muhammad Ali vs Larry Holmes in 1980, Sugar Ray Leonard's 1991 fight with Terry Norris or more recently Oscar De La Hoya's beat down by Manny Pacquiao in 2008 or any number of fights over the years. Very few escape it. Mosley is well aware of the risks. The decision was his to make.
Still, my hope, and it's a slim one, is that Mosley wins big and retires. I know, I know, I'm thinking with my heart again. I can't help it. But hey, anythings possible, right?
Sugar Shane Mosley will be challenging Manny Pacquiao for Pacquiao's WBO Weltereight title, May 7, 2011 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will be shown on Showtime PPV. As always, may the best man win.