Commentary

Manny Pacquiao makes it look easy

Updated: May 8, 2011, 7:26 AM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

LAS VEGAS -- About a decade ago, Shane Mosley was the pound-for-pound king, a lightning-fast fighter with excellent power who looked unbeatable.

Those days are but a distant memory as the reigning pound-for-pound king, the great Manny Pacquiao, made Mosley look like the old man most expected he would be.

He was about an 8-1 underdog and fought like one, with the result a lopsided decision for Pacquiao, who retained his welterweight title for the second time in a clinic in front of a sold-out crowd of 16,412 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Pacquiao, with most of the crowd behind him, darted in and out and landed an assortment of straight left hands and generally left Mosley with no idea where he was or how to reach him.

"He is fast. Manny is fast. He is faster than anyone I have ever fought," Mosley said.

By Pacquiao's standards of exciting fights, it was a disappointment in terms of action, but certainly not in the outcome for the congressman from the Philippines, who banked a minimum of $20 million -- and likely much more once the pay-per-view sales are tallied.

[+] EnlargeManny Pacquiao
Chris Farina/Top RankManny Pacquiao earned the right to retain his welterweight belt, if not the usual adulation from boxing fans.

Mosley has been troubled by fleet-footed fighters in the past, as well as opponents with good hand speed. Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) has excessive amounts of both, and gave Mosley angles and fired shots, while Mosley could do little but watch as he moved away.

Mosley is 39 now and has been a great three-division champion.

Those days are long gone.

Between the loss to Pacquiao and his wipeout decision defeat in May 2010 to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Mosley has lost almost every one of the past 24 rounds he has boxed in the MGM Grand Garden Arena ring.

He also fought to a draw in a terrible fight with Sergio Mora in September. Clearly, his time has passed.

Pacquiao, however, remains solid at the top of the pound-for-pound list. He looked like he might make it an early night when he dropped Mosley for only the third time in his career -- the other two times coming a decade ago in the same loss to the late Vernon Forrest -- in the third round.

Pacquiao cracked Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) with a straight left hand behind a right jab and Mosley crumbled to the canvas.

"He just felt my power early," Pacquiao said.

He sure did.

"I just fought the best fighter in the world. He has exceptional power, power that I have never been hit with before," said Mosley, who complained of a blood blister in his right foot after the sixth round. "Manny Pacquiao has speed and power. He's a warrior."

Pacquiao picked his shots -- and usually connected. For example, in the ninth round, he landed a hard left just before the end of the round and snapped Mosley's head back.

Mosley's one big moment, if you can even call it that, was when he was credited with a knockdown in the 10th round. However, Pacquiao was not hurt and replays showed that he went down more from a push than any sort of legitimate punch. After the knockdown, Pacquiao tore into Mosley and dominated the rest of the round, like he had the rest of the fight.

By the end of the 11th round, Mosley looked exhausted and trainer Naazim Richardson said he was thinking of stopping the fight before the final round, but he let it go on.

There was no miracle, however.

Mosley, who earned a minimum of $5 million, was looking more to protect himself than take any chances, which was his only prayer.

"I wasn't going to take those kinds of risks. I was looking to land my shot," Mosley said.

For Pacquiao, boxing's only eight-division champion, it was just another in a long line of lopsided wins -- 120-108, 120-107 and 119-108 on the judges' scorecards. ESPN.com also had it 119-108 for Pacquiao .

"Nobody is going to beat this guy," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said. "You can make stories up about every fighter he is going to fight, but nobody is going to beat him. Shane has never seen this kind of speed and power. Manny gets everybody out of their rhythm. He gets everyone out of their game. Nobody can really perform against him.

"These guys are pretty good fighters Manny is fighting. [Oscar] De La Hoya was older, but he could fight and he was helpless against him. They are all helpless. Nobody in their whole experience in the sport ever faced someone like Pacquiao. It's completely new for everyone: the speed, the power; you can't match it."

Pacquiao took care of Mosley with a bit of a handicap, too.

"He came back to the corner after the fourth round with a left leg muscle cramp," trainer Freddie Roach said. "He had no leverage to move after that. It was a very gutsy performance because of the handicap with his leg."

Said Pacquiao: "I couldn't move because my left leg got tight. It's a problem I have been having lately. I will work on that with my team. I told my corner I was having problems moving."

We should all have such problems.

Next up for Pacquiao will unfortunately not be the fight the world wants to see -- a showdown with Mayweather -- unless something massively unexpected happens.

"I am very satisfied with my career now," Pacquiao said. "If I can fight [Mayweather] it would be a great fight. I leave that up to my promoter. If that fight never happens, I wouldn't lose a minute of sleep."

Arum said Pacquiao will return to the ring Nov. 5 or Nov. 12, probably against lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez, who would move up in weight.

They have had two epic fights with each other. In fact, Marquez is the only fighter to give Pacquiao any problems since his last loss to Erik Morales in 2005.

Making the deal could be tricky, because Golden Boy Promotions, Top Rank's bitter rival, has the right to match any offer for until February to Marquez, whose promotional deal with Golden Boy recently expired.

"We sent an offer to Marquez and we sent a copy to Golden Boy to protect us," Arum said. "Marquez was not satisfied with our offer. We had a meeting [Saturday] with Marquez. We're going to send him another offer, a revised offer, and if it meets his approval he will send it to Golden Boy and give the right to match, which they contractually have."

If Golden Boy matches and takes Marquez off the market, Arum said he would pursue fights with either Timothy Bradley Jr. or Zab Judah, both of whom hold junior welterweight belts.

"Those are the two guys we are looking at," Arum said. "Hopefully, it will be Marquez. If a wrench gets thrown into it we will move on."

Move on, seemingly, to another opponent who won't stand much of a chance.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.

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