Less than an hour ago, Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley faced off one last time before theyll engage in battle tomorrow night (May 1) in the MGM Grand for the welterweight title.
Fans at the weigh-in slightly favored Mosley, who looked great coming right in at 147 despite his last fight being in January 2009.
Mayweather was well-defined, and without having to worry about a catchweight like his last fight, came in at 146 pounds.
There wasnt much trash-talking, as both men are likely well aware the hype has run its course.
Now that youve seen the weigh-in, read all the interviews, and reviewed their previous fights, who is going to win the May 1 showdown?
Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns Discuss Mayweather-Mosley
Marquee welterweight matchups always seem to capture the publics imagination. Some, like Leonard-Duran, exceed all expectations and become classics. Others, such as De La Hoya-Trinidad, have all the ingredients but simply fall short.
So as we approach another epic showdown, its only fitting that Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard reflect on their phenomenal 1980 encounter, and what they expect tomorrow night.
“This is going to be a very good fight. I think it is going to be a very competitive fight. It is going to be a chess match, Hearns explained. I think Mayweather should do well with that style. I think Shane is going to try to test that and see how well he can get that shot in.
Regarding whether the fight would be as good as his first fight with Leonard, the Hitman doubted if their styles could mesh as well.
“I don’t see it being the same as me and Ray. We set the standard and it’s going to be tough to top what we did, Hearns stated. I am proud to know Ray Leonard. Ray brought the best out of me and I think I brought the best out of him. It’s going to be a great fight this Saturday night, but don’t look for the same thing as happened in our fight. That was a different era.
Sugar Ray Leonard disagreed with his former rival, believing Mayweather and Mosley can live up to previous welterweight classics.
Most of the time fights don’t live up to expectations. But fights like this, with Mosley and Mayweather, are highly anticipated, he explained. I truly believe that this fight here, these two guys will indeed live up to expectations, because whether they say it or not, it is about bragging rights. Yeah it’s about the money. Everyone wants the money, but for the guy who wins, it’s bragging rights.
When asked how Mayweather would have done in their era, both were dismissive of Floyds chances.
Floyd would have been too small for us. We were really big welterweights, said Hearns. Hes a small guy. We wouldve made it very difficult. Anytime youre punching up at someone, thats a big difference.
Leonard agreed regarding a potential Mayweather-Hearns fantasy matchup.
Tommy is a freak of nature for a welterweight. He’s big, strong, powerful, has a big heart, and I don’t think anyone could beat Tommy Hearns…except me, Leonard quipped.
Look for footage of this special press conference after tomorrow nights fight.
Mayweather-Mosley: True or False
In discussing this fight with fans and fellow fans, there have been several, oft repeated talking
points emerging. But are they really true? Lets analyze.
1. Shane Mosley is the best opponent Floyd Mayweather has ever faced.
Shane Mosley is a first ballot Hall of Famer and one of the best welterweights of the last decade. Since arriving in the welterweight division in 2005, Floyd Mayweather has faced Sharmba Mitchell, Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Manuel Marquez. None of these fighters are in Mosleys league. And the same applies with his standout super featherweight and lightweight opponents in Diego Corrales and Genaro Hernandez.
Oscar De La Hoya was still good at 154 when Floyd faced him in 2007. However, Oscar was not pummeling the best of his division at that time with his sporadic schedule, unlike Mosley.
2. Mayweather is the best opponent Mosley has faced at 147.
Because of the scrutiny applied to Mayweathers welterweight record, this is often overlooked. With all due respect to Miguel Cotto, the only fighter close to Floyd on Mosleys welterweight ledger is Oscar De La Hoya. Although the Golden Boy presented Mosley with a classic battle in 2000, I believe that Floyd is much smarter and craftier than the Golden Boy, which will force Mosley to make more adjustments in the ring than he did against Oscar, whom he was able to outwork and out brawl down the stretch to take the decision.
3. Since Miguel Cotto outfoxed and beat him, Shane has no chance outside of a KO against Mayweather.
Before the Margarito and Pacquiao beatings, Cotto was arguably the best welterweight in world and without question had fought the best competition at the weight. Following the Mosley fight, Cotto had defeated 4 straight Top 10 welterweight contenders.
With Shane, he combined a hard jab and accurate, powerful hooks to keep Mosley honest early. Mosleys iron chin saw him through a difficult first half, and the Puerto Rican star narrowly escaped with a close, but hard fought decision.
Cotto has much more power in his punches than Mayweather, and that was essential in keeping Mosley from overwhelming him early. Mayweather has deceptive, stinging power, but it remains to be seen if its enough to get Mosleys respect. If not, Shane will continue pressing his attacks, most likely to the body. If his stamina holds after a 16 month layoff, and hes worked on shortening his punches and continuing to enhance his jab (which looked good in the Margarito bout), there is a chance he can outwork Mayweather, whos relegated his once great, varied combination offense to potshots at higher weights.
4. Mosley is too big and strong for Mayweather. Floyd will probably be roughed up.
Mayweather has fully grown into welterweight. When he first came back, there was talk that maybe he could still make 140. That went out the window last September against Marquez when Floyd couldnt make the specified catch-weight of 142, costing him thousands of dollars. To date, Mayweather has shown toughness and held his ground in the trenches when faced with aggressive fighters. Against determined by lesser fighters in Emmanuel Augustus and Jesus Chavez, Mayweather dissected them with short uppercuts and hooks. When injured, he stood toe to toe in later rounds with a prime Jose Luis Castillo, which enabled him to escape with a disputed decision. Even in a division he had no business in at junior middleweight, Mayweather was able to control a bigger Oscar De La Hoya in the clinches.
A look at their weigh-in physiques show Mosley and Mayweather are very close in size, so its not a given Shane will the stronger man tomorrow night.
5. The winner will automatically face Manny Pacquiao next.
There is a rematch clause in place, which most certainly will be exercised in the event the decision is disputed and the fight lives up to expectations. Top Rank and Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum rather keep his funds in-house by pitting Manny against Antonio Margarito later this year.
Its not what the people want, but how often do promoters listen to fans?
Prediction: Mayweather Unanimous Decision
It may have been a different story 10 years ago, but at this stage I believe that Mayweather has the ring smarts and style to frustrate Shane. It will be exciting at times, but Shane himself told me that hes a expecting to make it a tactical, technical battle, and theres no way he can beat Floyd at that game.
Mosley is a lot slower than the fighter he was when he burst onto the welterweight scene on 2000 in beating Oscar De La Hoya, and itll show when hes in the ring with someone whos not standing directly in front of him like Ricardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito.
Joe Calzaghe to Make Return Against Super Six Winner?
Before the weigh-in, Golden Boy brought a host of fighters to be received by the crowd. Among them was retired, undefeated super middleweight and light-heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe.
What struck me immediately was that Calzaghe appeared to be in great shape despite his last fight being 2 years ago!
Now, there have been unsubstantiated rumblings that Calzaghe has considered facing the winner of Showtimes Super Six tournament. Previously Id dismissed those rumors, but there may be some credence to them based on Calzaghes looking in fighting shape.
Ill do my best to track the Welshman down and get to the bottom of it. It wont be easy; we are in Vegas and Joe is known to party hard. Who knows how many clubs hell hit up tonight!
Mayweather-Mosley is live May 1 on HBO PPV at 9PM. Tonights airing of 24/7 Mayweather-Mosley is the final episode.