Mayweather-Mosley report card
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley
May 1, 2010, MGM Grand, Las Vegas
The main event
Comment: Most knowledgeable observers predicted Mayweather would win by decision, which is what happened. However, I don’t believe many people expected such a profoundly one-sided fight. It wasn’t half over when it became apparent that Mayweather would cruise to victory. Thus, the considerable drama of the first few rounds slipped away and the largely disappointed crowd went dead. It was a great performance by Mayweather. It was also a lousy fight.
Comment: It would be easy to sit here and nitpick. Mayweather was hurt badly in the second round. He was more aggressive than usual but more or less stuck to his safety-first style. He failed to stop Mosley when he probably could have. Here’s the bottom line, though: Mayweather made the No. 3 fighter pound-for-pound and a future hall of famer look foolish for 10 rounds. That was no small feat. It was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.
Comment: Mosley went into the fight with the tools and experience to give Mayweather the fight of his life. He left the ring like most of Mayweather’s opponents, a frustrated, beaten man. We’d be hailing him as a true wonder had he been able to take Mayweather out in the second round. However, Mayweather survived and Mosley gave us almost nothing else. I expected the fiery competitor in Mosley to emerge in the middle rounds, when it became clear he couldn’t outbox Mayweather. Instead, he was hesitant, tight, nothing like the Mosley we’ve known. Maybe he knew he had no chance. Maybe he got old before our eyes. Whatever it was, it wasn’t pretty.
Roger Mayweather, Mayweather’s trainer
Comment: The fighter’s uncle made two very specific predictions that materialized in the fight: Mosley wouldn’t jab effectively and he’d be jittery. Mosley landed only 16 percent of his jabs and looked extremely jittery much of the fight, as if he were overwhelmed by Mayweather’s speed and had no idea what to do. That was astute on the elder Mayweather’s part. He also handled the mini-crisis after the second round well, acting as if there were no problem and telling his fighter to stick to game plan. Things worked out well. I don’t think Roger Mayweather gets enough credit for his nephew’s success.
Naazim Richardson, Mosley’s trainer
Comment: Everyone in the boxing world has tremendous respect for Richardson, who also trains Bernard Hopkins. Nothing changed on Saturday. He tried to help Mosley make adjustments during the fight but the fighter was simply overwhelmed by a far superior opponent. Afterward, Mosley was self critical when he said he failed to follow Richardson’s game plan. However, Richardson would have none of it. In a wonderful moment of loyalty, he said directly to Mosley: “I told Shane, ‘Don’t nobody talk bad about my fighter – including you.'”
Comment: I scored it 119-110, making the uneventful first round 10-10, giving Mosley the second round and giving Mayweather all the rest. So I have no problem with the official scoring: Adalaide Byrd, 119-109; Robert Hoyle, 118-110; and Dave Moretti, 119-109. It was an easy to fight to score.
Comment: Kenny Bayless was next to invisible, which is always good. He was stern when the fighters wrestled on a few occasions and, as colleague Bill Dettloff pointed out, he didn’t overreact when the fighters were talking to each other during the eighth round. He let them get through it and continue fighting.
Comment: The fans were pumped before and early in the fight. When Mosley had Mayweather in trouble in the second round, the cheers of “Mosley! Mosley! Mosley!” rocked the arena. And there was a moment later in the fight when others chanted “Money!” for Mayweather. When it became clear that Mayweather would dominate the fight, though, most of the energy dissipated and some people left after the 11th round. Muhammad Ali was the biggest name in the star-studded audience.
Comment: The undercard didn’t look too promising on paper but several of the fights were good. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fought Jose Miguel Cotto, the brother of Miguel Cotto, in the main undercard fight and put on a good show. The red-headed Mexican, only 19, survived a pummeling in the first round to break down Cotto and ultimately knock him out in the ninth round. Another good (albeit short) fight was Said Ouali-Hector Saldivia. Saldivia hurt and put Ouali down in the opening seconds but was knocked down twice and stopped himself in the same round. Good fun.
Note: We will be putting together report cards regularly after selected big fights to give readers an idea how various players performed.
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]