Floyd Mayweather (47-0) and Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2) have combined for 111 professional fights, and although they’ve never crossed paths in the ring, their opponents form a litany of boxing’s best from the past two decades. Five of those opponents have had the “pleasure” squaring off against both Mayweather and Pacquiao, and despite all the analysis, opinions and predictions flying around in advance of the May 2 mega-fight, those shared foes are the only people in the world with first-hand ring experience against the two greatest pound-for-pound fighters of this generation.
Former champion Shane Mosley is one of the five. “Sugar” Shane lost a unanimous decision to Mayweather in May 2010, then lost another unanimous decision to Pacquiao almost exactly a year later. That makes him one of only two fighters to go the distance against both Mayweather and Pacquiao (the other being Juan Manuel Márquez). We recently caught up with Mosley to get his unique perspective on the historic matchup.
How do you see this fight playing out? It’s going to be very interesting. It can be a very boring fight, with Mayweather just picking at [Pacquiao], or it could be a very exciting fight if Mayweather is standing more flat-footed. It depends on the dynamics and the direction that the fight takes.
Does one fighter have the upper hand? In the beginning, I thought Mayweather had better technique, better skills and better strength, but Pacquiao does have good power. Pacquiao can challenge him with his power, so that’s a definite plus. They both have the ability to win; that’s the thing that makes this fight so dynamic.
Is there an underplayed storyline surrounding this matchup? You can start talking about the changing of strength coaches, and how that is going to affect the fighters. For a long time Manny had [Alex] Ariza as his strength coach, and that seemed to work pretty well for him; he even knocked me down when he had Ariza. But now that Ariza has switched corners, is that going to add more power to Mayweather? Manny hasn’t knocked anyone out since Ariza left, so there are questions there.