Most boxing experts have champion Manny Pacquiao beating challenger Sugar Shane Mosley on Saturday night, diregarding Mosley experience as as he steps into the ring with arguably the best pound-for-pound best boxer on the planet.
But make no mistake, Mosley is not washed up, and the threat of an upset is definitely looming in Las Vegas for the bout at MGM Grand on Saturday night.
Never one to make over-confident statements, Mosley sounds sure of himself in the weeks building up to May 7, 2011. He has already said that he'd grant Pacquiao a rematch before moving on to other fighters.
No matter what the outcome is, this won't be Mosely last fight, so he isn't just showing up to get a paycheck.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao has been distracted by his singing career, as well as his congressional duties in the Philippines.
Though Mosley has lacked success over the past years, he's still a fine boxer. Some fighters show a sharp decline in skill, but Mosley has not. His losses were to quality opponents, so he has maintained the mindset of a fighter that still thinks like a contender.
Mosley has a chance, but lets not kid ourselves -- Pacquiao still deserves to be favored. The champion has not shown signs of slipping, but this fight won't be as easy previous ones.
Pacquiao is coming off four major victories against Antonio Margarito, Josh Clottey, Miguel Cotto, and Ricky Hatton. He knows big fights, and even if he makes mistakes, he has knows how to make adjustments.
Mosley has nearly a three-inch height advantage on Pacquiao, and will use it to land some harder punches. But those punches may not be very effective with Pacquiao's strong chin.
More than likely, Pacquiao will be the aggressor, and this will be good for Mosley. The California-native will respond with counter punches and is good at defending himself. However, Pacquiao is good at keeping the pressure on his opponent, and Mosley may not be able to handle multiple rounds of strong combinations.
Pacquiao has power, and one solid combination by the 32-year-old puncher might be all it takes for Mosley to suffer on the scorecards, and hurt his confidence.
Expect Mosley to come on late in the fight, but then burn out. At 39 years old, Mosley may be overall fatigued, while Pacquiao continues to show he's capable of being effective over 12 rounds.
PREDICTION: It will be a Pacquiao victory, but he won't look good doing it. Mosley will show signs of life in rounds six through 10, but by the time he gets to the 11th, Pacquiao will do his damage by landing some punishing blows. Pacquiao will seize on a vulnerable and tired Mosley, and should finish with a hard-hitting barrage that will result in a technical knock out in the 11th.