Sunday, April 3, 2011

Of Complacency and Old Sayings for Pacquiao

Shane Mosley (left) and Manny Pacquiao will meet on May 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las, Vegas.

The old saying is that "Complacency is devastating."

For Manny Pacquiao, who will face Shane Mosley next month in Las Vegas, the most significant danger for him would seem to be just that.

For all intents and purposes and except for several weeks a year, Pacquiao has moved on to a life that doesn’t involve boxing. Congressman in his native Philippines, philanthropist, father, husband and celebrity pitch man, the world’s top ranked boxer has made it clear he isn’t going to be stepping into the squared circle too many more times before calling it a career.

He’s beaten about everyone - except for the reluctant Floyd Mayweather, Jr. - and now it seems Pacquiao is simply hanging around the game to show up a few times a year, collect multi-million dollar paydays and pound just about anybody that steps in front of him into a pulp.

But with that career strategy there is danger. When a boxer continually meets guys in what Teddy Atlas calls "gentleman’s agreement" fights where there is some danger of losing – but not really – he more often than not becomes complacent and is upset in stunner.

Boxing history is littered with great fighters that suffered shock losses at the peak of their powers. It wasn’t the man in the opposing corner that caused the loss; it was their own lack of focus.

The last fight Mosley won was over two years ago. He punished Antonio Margarito in Jan. 2009 and stopped him in the ninth round.

While most believe that Shane Mosley, who is 39-years-old and is coming off a lackluster draw to Sergio Mora and a one-sided loss to Mayweather, Jr. is well past his "sell by" date, some believe he will pose a legitimate threat to Pacquiao the part-time fighter.

Not the least of whom is Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who has been sounding the alarm bells ever since this fight was first announced.

"I don’t see this as easy a fight as one some people say," warned Roach. "Shane will be tough early on in the fight and dangerous."

The other factor to consider is that Mosley is well aware that if he performs badly it will be his last grab at the proverbial brass ring. Mosley will come to the fight focused and with a game plan. Whether his brain will be able to transmit that plan to his aged body is another factor entirely. However, another old saying is that "Every great fighter has one last great performance in him."

While I’m of the notion that performance for Mosley came against Antonio Margarito over two years ago, there are many that don’t share that outlook; foremost among them, his father Jack and his trainer Naazim Richardson.

Whatever the case, an argument can be made for Mosley’s chances seeing how he is a former world champion in three weight divisions and has never been knocked out in over 50 fights during a career that has spanned nearly 18 years.

If the stars align just right and complacency rears its ugly head, Shane Mosley could have a shot.

But like an old wise named Don King once said: "He got two chances – slim and none – and slim’s outta’ town."

April 2011

No comments: