Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mosley-Berto: Shane needs this win to get to Mayweather or Pacquiao

By Jim Dower: At 38-years-old, this may be World Boxing Association welterweight champion Shane Mosley’s last chance to get a big money fight against either Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao. But for Mosley to get to a big money fight, he will have to get by WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto (25-0, 19 KO’s), a fighter that is 12 years younger than Shane and who’s fought half as many pro fights during his young six year career.

Mosley, 38, has been in against the much better competition during his career, facing the likes of Winky Wright, Fernando Vargas, Oscar De La Hoya, Vernon Forrest, Ricardo Mayorga, Luis Collazo, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Raul Marquez. For Berto’s part, the biggest names on his resume are Collazo, Juan Urango and Steve Forbes. As you can see, Berto’s level of competition pales compared to that of Mosley (46-5, 39 KO’s).

It would be fair to say that Berto has been brought along very carefully during his pro career and not put in with too many risky fights. That could be a blessing or a course come January 30th when he faces Mosley at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. It could work for Berto because he’s taken very little punishment because of the relative softness of his opposition.

But it could hurt him big time because he’s going to be in for a bit of a shock when he steps into the ring against Mosley, because Shane is so much better than any fighter that Berto has ever faced before. Berto went life and death with Collazo in January 2009, beating him by a narrow controversial 12 round decision. In contrast, Mosley totally dominated Collazo in beating him by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision in February 2007.

This could be meaningless, as styles make fights, but it also could so show that Mosley is a much better fighter than Berto. We’ll see on January 30th. However, Mosley has a lot of pressure on him to win this fight. At 38, soon to be 39, Mosley doesn’t have time to rebuild from a loss to Berto and still get a shot against Pacquiao or Mayweather. It’s now or never for Mosley. He’s been waiting a long time for a fight with Mayweather, years in fact. If he blows it now by losing to Berto, you can forget about Shane ever fighting him in the future.

Berto won’t make it easy for Mosley. He has blazing fast hand speed and good power. Berto is dangerous when he’s putting his punches together when he’s at his best. He can be quite good when he throws a lot of punches. However, Berto can look really poor as well, especially lately with his habit of punching and then grabbing his opponents in a tight clinch. That style won’t work against Mosley. Berto has to do better than that if he wants to beat a world class fighter like Shane.

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