Clearing the boards

5/4/2011 - Boxing
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

This story appears in the May 16, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Vegas oddsmakers don't think much of Shane Mosley's chances against Manny Pacquiao on May 7. Mosley, 39, is 0-1-1 in his past two fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Sergio Mora. He will walk into the ring a 5.5-to-1 underdog. Pacman, who's won five different belts and a Filipino congressional election since his last loss (March 2005, against Erik Morales, if you're wondering), is the fan favorite. Still, when we surfed the message boards we found a few picking Mosley, but more picking on him. When we took the buzz to the source, Mosley -- not surprisingly -- fired back.

"Shane Mosley will beat Manny Pacquiao badly for 12 complete rounds. Pacdogs better hope Mosley runs out of gas! If he doesn't, Pacquiao will take the butt whuppin' of his life."

-posted on boxingnews24.com

MOSLEY: "Sounds good to me! I'll be trying hard to beat Pacquiao in dramatic fashion. I'm very confident I can pull it off, because of styles. Pacquiao isn't a boxer like Mayweather is -- he can't move like Mayweather. We're both fighters. That's what'll make this fight great."

"I saw Antonio Margarito land a shot that slowed ol' Manny down. If Mosley can really work the body shots, I would say his chances of winning are pretty decent ... Manny's body was his weak point."
-posted on boxingforum.com

MOSLEY: "That's a good observation. Body shots definitely slow any fighter down. When I fought Margarito, I hit him to the body and he slowed down. And I have a better chance of hitting Pacquiao on the button than Margarito."

"Don't matter if he wins or loses, Shane needs this big payday. He just divorced his wife not too long ago. Gotta pay dat alimony ... "
-posted on tmz.com

MOSLEY: "Let me just explain something. Since 1998, I've been making millions for each fight -- $4.5 million, $4.5 million, $1.5 million. I'm still a multi-, multi-, multimillionaire."

"This fight is a slap in the face to Manny. Mosley's coming off a loss and a draw and is fighting possibly pound-for-pound the best fighter of all time. No disrespect to Mosley, but he's not the same fighter he was a few years back. If he was in his prime this would have been the fight of the DECADE, hands down, but Mosley's too old."
-posted on blogesaurus.com

MOSLEY: "They said the same thing before the Margarito fight, I still beat him. When Pacquiao fought Margarito, he got hit more than he did before, and Margarito couldn't hit me. I was 37 at the time."

"Not accusing anyone of anything, but what if Mosley is on PEDs for this fight and fights Pac like he fought against Margarito, with that type of stamina? What if Mosley WAS on something against Margarito and is on the same stuff when he fights Pacquiao? How interesting will this fight be then?"
-posted on eastsideboxing.com

MOSLEY: "Ha-ha. I get worse stuff on Twitter. It's lies, lies and more lies. Don't listen to that. The performance enhancer was a past thing. That was 2003. It's been asked and answered. Some say if I beat Pacquiao, the issue will die. But they said the same before I fought Margarito, and people are still talking about it."