Shane Mosley speaking inside of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (Photo: Chris Robinson – www.HustleBoss.com)
By Chris Robinson
During a recent swing through the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, I caught up with former three-division world champion Shane Mosley and touched on a variety of subjects both in and out of the sport of boxing.
As the dialogue rolled on, Mosley gave his breakdown of the forthcoming rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley.
Bradley will look for a third successful defense of his WBO welterweight championship on April 12 when he faces Pacquiao in a much-needed second encounter from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mosley has some definite insight into the match, having spent twelve rounds in the ring with Pacquiao during his unanimous decision loss to the Filipino icon in May of 2011.
Bradley won a controversial split-decision over Pacquiao nearly two years ago yet Mosley feels the backlash following the match was a little overblown.
“It’s going to be a very interesting fight,” Mosley stated. “I thought that Timothy Bradley did a great job the first time when they fought. I was like the others that felt that Manny Pacquiao pulled it out by a little bit, but I didn’t think the margin was as big as everybody thought it was. Everybody said that Manny Pacquiao blew Bradley out and that wasn’t the case.”
Mosley feels that Bradley is riding a high following his unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Marquez this past October and seems unsure whether the 35-year old Pacquiao can bring his prime form into the ring with him.
“This time it might be a little different because Bradley has something to prove and maybe Manny’s not the same Manny that fought him the first time,” Mosley explained. “Bradley could win this convincingly [this] time, as he beat Marquez. It could a great fight and for some reason I think that Bradley has the edge.”
I asked Mosley what it is about Bradley that sticks with him the most.
“Bradley always shows me that he has mental toughness,” Mosley said. “He’s very strong mentally and he has strength and will to win at all costs. Even when he’s knocked out and he’s done, he’s going to fight until the bitter end and that’s what I admire about Timothy Bradley. He will fight until the end. Almost to death.
“People should realize and recognize that he is a real fighter,” Mosley added of the Palm Springs native. “He needs to be recognized as one of the best.”
Pacquiao saw his world turned upside down when he was knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012. Eleven months later he would return with a solid points victory over Brandon Rios and Mosley isn’t 100% sure whether his calculated approach will carry over into the Bradley rematch.
“He’s still the same,” Mosley stated. “He still moves good. He still has good speed, pretty good punching power, but he didn’t show me at the end of the fight the killer instinct that he showed back in the day. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know if that’s just because of Rios or maybe he will fight Bradley a little different. I don’t know. That’s what we’re going to see when the fight happens.”
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Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com