With EA Sports rolling out a "Fight Night" video simulation featuring Manny Pacquiao against a pound-for-pound great each day this week, we asked a panel of ESPN boxing experts to weigh in on the results. Here's what they had to say:
Manny Pacquiao versus Shane Mosley
Rafael: OK, so Pacquiao and Mosley are fighting on May 7 for Pacquiao's welterweight title. This version of Mosley is 39, near the end of his career and coming off two horrible performances. Mosley is a proud fighter who still possesses heart, a great chin and good power (in his one moment of note against Floyd Mayweather Jr., he almost knocked him out in the second round). It is not inconceivable that he can land a punch on Pacquiao, who gets hit quite a bit, the way he did against Mayweather and change the fight. But this version of Mosley is slower and simply can't pull the trigger with authority on his punches.
Now, if we're talking about the prime welterweight Mosley of around 2000, or even the supreme lightweight champion Mosley of the late 1990s -- who had concussive power (eight knockouts in eight defenses) and insane speed (hands and feet) -- it would undoubtedly be a different, and far more competitive, fight. I could see the lightweight version of Mosley or the Mosley who outfought a prime Oscar De La Hoya for the welterweight title in 2000 having a great chance to defeat Pacquiao, be it by knockout or decision. That would be one helluva fight to watch.
Mulvaney: Mosley does a lot of things very, very well. He doesn't do any of them better than Pacquiao -- with the possible exception of carrying greater one-punch power. He has a longer reach, but he fails to utilize it effectively, deploying a jab that is little more than a range-finder and loading up on big right hands. Those right hands loop in from the side instead of coming straight down the middle, where they would be more effective against Pacquiao's high guard. Pacquiao will see them coming, slide to his right, duck under them and unleash his left. It'll be close and exciting for a few rounds until Pacquiao takes over, pounding Mosley down the stretch en route to a unanimous decision.
Tessitore: Pacquaio is faster than this older edition of Shane Mosley. He's viper-like with his quick-striking left cross and right hook. He will land with ease against Mosley. There will be moments when Shane makes Manny think about his ability to mix it up with him, and he could even hurt PacMan with a body shot or uppercut. In the end, I see very few scenarios that include Mosley pulling off the upset. Pacquiao by late TKO.
Kenny: Against Mosley in his prime? I'll say it would be Pacquaio by decision. Unfortunately, Manny isn't even facing a prime Mosley this spring.