LAS VEGAS (AP)—Manny Pacquiao caught Shane Mosley early, then chased him the rest of the night. Not much more he could do against an aging fighter who seemed only to want to survive.
Pacquiao won a lopsided 12-round decision Saturday night, retaining his version of the welterweight title in a fight that was roundly booed over the late rounds because Mosley refused to trade punches. He won every round on two ringside scorecards in extending the remarkable run that has made him the most exciting fighter in the sport.
Pacquiao knocked Mosley down with a left hook in the third round, a punch that seemed to sap Mosley’s willingness to engage. Pacquiao ran after Mosley the rest of the fight, but the former champion who has never been stopped in 18 years in the ring managed to stay away enough to finish the 12th round upright.
For Mosley, the fight was strikingly similar to his bout a year ago against Floyd Mayweather Jr.—except this time he didn’t even land a big punch like he did early on against Mayweather. His biggest moment on this night came when referee Kenny Bayless mistakenly ruled that Mosley knocked Pacquiao down in the 10th round when he didn’t even hit him with a punch.
The knockout that wasn’t seemed to spur Pacquiao on as he went after Mosley the rest of the round and again in the 11th. By then the crowd was cheering “Knock him out, knock him out” but Pacquiao—bothered by a cramp in his left leg since the fourth round—didn’t have enough to finish him off.
“It wasn’t my best performance,” Pacquiao had. “I did my best. I did not expect this result.”
Mosley said he thought he did a good job despite losing round after round, and wouldn’t blame his bad performance on the fact he is 39 and has been fighting ever since he was a child.
“I fought the best fighter in the world,” Mosley said. “He has exceptional power, power that I’ve never been hit like this before.”
Mosley was tentative from the opening bell, moving backward and seemingly unwilling to engage Pacquiao. With good reason, because a left hook by Pacquiao found its mark with a minute left in the third round and put Mosley on the canvas for only the third time in his 18-year pro career.
Pacquiao pressed the fight most of the night, but he too seemed unwilling to take many chances, which trainer Freddie Roach said was because of the muscle cramp that his corner tried to massage between rounds.
“He had no leverage to move after that,” Roach said. “It was a very gutty performance in my mind.”
Perhaps, but the sellout crowd of 16,412 came to see more, and booed repeatedly in the late rounds. The boos were directed at Mosley, not Pacquiao, but it was clear early on this would not be a classic fight.
Mosley fought as if trying to protect his legacy of having never been knocked out and, if that was his strategy, it succeeded. But it made for a lackluster fight and did nothing to burnish the legacy that the Filipino champion has built with 14 straight wins over the last six years—including some over some of the biggest names in the game.
Pacquiao made a minimum of $20 million for the fight, while Mosley was guaranteed $5 million.
'복싱영웅' 파퀴아오, 모슬리에 판정승
WBO 웰터급 타이틀 방어 성공
필리핀의 '복싱 영웅' 매니 파퀴아오(33)가 미국의 베테랑 복서인 셰인 모슬리(40)를 제압하고 세계복싱기구(WBO) 웰터급 타이틀을 지켰다.
파퀴아오는 8일(한국시간) 미국 라스베이거스 MGM가든 아레나에서 열린 모슬리와의 WBO 웰터급 타이틀 방어전(12라운드)에서 3-0 심판 전원 일치 판정으로 승리를 거뒀다.
2009년 11월 미겔 코토를 물리치고 이 체급의 챔피언이 된 파퀴아오는 지난해 3월 조슈아 클로티(푸에르토리코)에 이어 이날 모슬리를 이기면서 연이은 타이틀 방어전을 성공적으로 치렀다.
이번 승리로 14연승을 달린 파퀴아오의 통산 전적은 53승(38KO)2무3패가 됐고, 모슬리는 46승(39KO)1무7패1무효의 기록을 작성했다.
세 체급에서 세계 타이틀을 따내고 단 한 차례의 KO패도 허용하지 않았던 모슬리는 이날 경기에서 초반부터 밀리는 등 나이의 무게를 이기지 못하고 강펀치를 날리는 파퀴아오에 무릎을 꿇었다.
파퀴아오는 3라운드에서 오른손-왼손 연속 펀치를 정확하게 적중시켜 다운을 뺏기도 했다.
지난해 11월 세계복싱평의회(WBC) 슈퍼 웰터급 챔피언 결정전에서 안토니오 마가리토를 제압하고 7체급을 석권한 파퀴아오는 복싱 전문잡지 '링'이 준 것까지 포함하면 보유한 챔피언 타이틀이 8개나 된다.
파퀴아오는 지난해 5월 필리핀 하원의원으로 당선해 정치인으로도 활약하고 있다.
한편, '프로복싱의 전설'인 에반더 홀리필드(49·미국)는 이날 덴마크 코펜하겐에서 열린 브라이언 니엘센(덴마크)과의 논타이틀매치에서 10라운드 TKO승을 거뒀다.
1회부터 거칠게 상대를 몰아붙여 승리를 따낸 홀리필드는 프로 통산 44승(29KO)10무2패1무효를 작성했다. (연합뉴스)