Sunday, May 8, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
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- Live! Color! From Pacquiao-Mosley at MGM Grand Garden Arena
- Live Blog: Pacquiao dominates from start to finish, wins unanimous decision
- Juan Manuel Marquez likely to get next crack at slowing down Manny Pacquiao
- Pacquiao vs. Mosley section
For the first time since his matchup with Shane Mosley was announced months ago, Manny Pacquiao had something negative to say about his opponent.
Although Pacquiao dominated Mosley Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena —scoring a unanimous decision victory by scores of 120-108, 120-107 and 119-108 — he wasn’t happy with the way the fight went. Pacquiao (53-3-2) couldn’t hide his frustration at the beginning of his post-fight press conference.
“He didn’t want to stand toe-to-toe,” Pacquiao said of Mosley. “He wanted to run every time I threw a lot of punches.”
Mosley, the 39-year-old, three-time world champion, said afterward he didn’t know if the Pacquiao bout would be his last. If Mosley does opt to retire, Saturday’s performance wouldn’t come close to counting as going out on top.
Mosley (46-7-1) managed to go the full 36 minutes with the world’s best boxer, and that appeared to be his primary objective. He never threatened to win the fight.
Mosley spent the majority of the bout backpedaling and retreating from Pacquiao's punches. He countered Pacquiao’s aggressive advances with passivity.
After a third-round knockdown from what he described as one of the hardest hits he’s taken, Mosley was unwilling to stand and trade shots with Pacquiao.
“He felt my power,” Pacquiao said, “so he didn’t want to fight with me.”
Mosley didn’t necessarily agree with any of this. He mentioned that a major part of his game plan was waiting for a Pacquiao mistake and capitalizing on it.
Mosley thought he’d have at least one opportunity to spot an opening and land “a big shot” to knock out the champion. That chance never presented itself, Mosley said.
He felt he had nothing to apologize about.
“Losing to Manny Pacquiao is not a big deal,” Mosley said. “He’s a pound-for-pound king and he’s a pound-for-pound king for a reason.”
As the contest went on and it became clear a war wasn’t going to ensue, the sellout crowd of 16,412 fans began to boo Mosley’s cautious temperament. The verbal indication of disapproval reached its peak in the 10th round when Mosley looked like he pushed Pacquiao to the ground, but the referee counted it as a knockdown.
Mosley said he didn’t hear the boos but understood why they came. He said he would come at Pacquiao while promoting the fight, but it turned out to be more complicated than that.
“Usually, I can just go in there and punch with these guys, but he had a little something different,” Mosley said. “I had to watch out.”
The card’s promoter, Top Rank President Bob Arum, relayed a conversation he had with Mosley moments after the fight. Arum said Mosley told him it wasn’t so much Pacquiao’s trademark speed that stunned him, but the power of his punches.
Arum defended Mosley. He argued the performance was more indicative of Pacquiao’s brilliance than Mosley’s tentativeness.
“You’ve got to understand what you’re watching there,” Arum said. “You’re watching a phenomenon. You’re watching, at least since I’ve been around for 45 years, the greatest fighter that I’ve ever seen. Nobody can compete with him. He will take every fighter out of his game — every single one.”
Arum said he had no strong feelings about whether Mosley should retire. The future Hall of Famer is only 2-3-1 over the last four years.
Mosley hasn’t won a fight since a January 2009 bout with Antonio Margarito, though his last two losses have come to Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But a part of Mosley sounded like he wasn’t ready to put away the gloves for good. He partially blamed his Saturday performance on blisters on his right foot, which he said limited his mobility for more than half of the fight.
Excuses weren’t something Pacquiao wanted to hear. He said he thought Mosley would attack him more.
“I was expecting him to fight me for at least five rounds out of 12,” Pacquiao said.