LAS VEGAS – Delivering as promised, Floyd Mayweather Jr. put on a boxing clinic at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last Saturday night, unleashing an array of weapons against Shane Mosley in their non-title welterweight bout, and in the process took home a unanimous decision.
There was extreme high drama in the second round, when Mosley landed two clean hard-right hands that actually buckled Mayweather’s legs. In seconds, the opportunity closed, because Mosley couldn’t find enough punches to put him away.
As 15,117 fans looked on, and a star-studded crowd that included Jay-Z, Will Smith, Paris Hilton, Jamie Fox, Eva Longoria, Michael J. Fox, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Ricky Hatton, Roberto Duran, and Mike Tyson, Mayweather stood in the middle of the ring and jabbed Mosley, then landed powerful shots that rocked the five-time world champion.
Mosley, older by five years at 38, found the mark on 20 percent of his total punches thrown, compared to 44 percent for Mayweather, exhibited heart and clarity at the post-fight press conference.
“I tried, it was a good fight, it was that close,’’ he said.”He’s a great fighter. He did what he needed to do to win the fight. I think after I caught him with that big right hand, I opened up too much and played into his hands.”
Mayweather, a six-time world champ, was proud of the victory. “I’ve got the will to win under the lights,’’ he said.”At one point, I thought he was going to cough it up, but he held on valiantly.”
What about early on? “Even in the second round, I knew I was the strongest guy from the beginning,’’ said Mayweather, who raised his record to 41 consecutive wins with 25 knockouts. “Zab Judah hit me with a better shot and Demarcus ‘Chop Chop’ Corley hit me with a better shot. I think he tried, but it’s just me being able to show my versatility to adapt and adjust. My game plan was going to work, break him down in every way.”
Oscar De La Hoya, who co-promoted the bout along with Mayweather, was also duly impressed.
“We have to really respect what we have just witnessed,’’ he said.”The best boxer on the planet is Mayweather, in my mind, in Mosley’s mind, in everybody’s mind. He is the best. Tonight he convinced me that he is the best. Special boxers like Mayweather, we talk about them forever.”
Judge Robert Hoyle scored it 118-110, after giving the first two rounds to Mosley (46-6-0 and 39 KO’s), but Adalaide Byrd and Dave Moretti each had it 119-109.
Mayweather’s hands are lightning fast, and his 40 percent jabs landing are proof. “Going over the game plan with my father (Floyd Sr.) and my uncle (Roger, his trainer), because I don’t watch tapes,’’ he said. “Box early and start pressing later in the fight.”
Mosley’s trainer Naazim Richardson, was also effusive with praise. “It was a great ride. The outcome wasn’t what we anticipated,’’ he said. “I just got back from cursing out Shane. He was mad, saying that he didn’t listen to his trainer, and that he didn’t follow his training. I had to tell him that nobody talks badly about my fighter, not even him.”
And so it went for Mayweather on this night that he was nearly perfect.
Rick Assad has been a sportswriter for more than two decades. He has a political science degree from UCLA, a journalism degree from CSUN, and is a staff writer for diamondboxing.com, and is a contributor to trufanboxing.com. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.