Most people have Manny Pacquiao beating Sugar Shane Mosley on Saturday night, discounting the older fighter as not in the same class as the widely accepted pound-for-pound best boxer in the world.
But Mosley should make this a more competitive fight than many think, and has a chance to pull off the upset.
First, Mosley is not one to make over-confident statements, and he has been making them recently. He has already said that he would grant Pacquiao a rematch, before moving on to other fighters. Mosley has more fights ahead, so he will give this fight his all, and isn't showing up just for the payday.
Second, Pacquiao has been distracted by his singing career, and has been doing his congressional duties in the Philippines.
Third, Mosley isn't done. Some fighters show a dramatic drop off in skill, but Mosley has not. His losses were to quality opponents, so he has the mindset of a fighter who still competes against the best.
Even with that in mind, Pacquiao still deserves to be favored, but won't win easily.
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 the ability to recover.
Mosley has almost 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 should the 32-year-old puncher connect if Mosley lowers his guard, the fight may be over quick.
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: Pacquiao wins, but doesn't look good doing it. Mosley stays into the fight into the 11th round before Pacquiao connects on a right hand directly on Mosley's cheek, which staggers him. Pacquiao will seize on a vulnerable Mosley, and finish the round with a flurry that will result in a technical knock out.