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MOSLEY VS. PACQUIAO: CAN SHANE SHOCK THE WORLD?

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The biggest boxing event of the year so far will take place in Las Vegas on Saturday night as Manny Pacquiao takes on 'Sugar' Shane Mosley. The hugely popular and likable Pacquiao—considered by many to be the best 'pound for pound' fighter in the world—is a huge favorite and the expectation of the 'casual fan' is that he'll knock out the skillful but 'long in the tooth' Mosley   Pacquiao hasn't lost since a 2005 unanimous decision setback to the double tough Erik 'El Terrible' Morales and is coming off dominating wins over Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto. Mosley's last two fights haven't been particularly impressive—a listless draw against Sergio Mora and a one-sided annihilation by Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

 
Pacquiao isn't quite as precise of a fighter as Mayweather—though his accuracy has improved under the guidance of trainer Freddy Roach—and no one is as good of a defensive pugilist as “Pretty Boy”. Based on Pacquiao's recent fights, however, it's very likely that this one will take a similar path as Mosley’s bout against Mayweather. We expect Mosley to be competitive early, but as the fight progresses we look for Pacquiao's improving precision, handspeed and workrate to start to overwhelm the 39 year old Mosley. Ultimately, we look for 'Pac Man' to pile up the rounds en route to a comfortable unanimous decision victory.
 
We don't, however, see a knockout. As Pacquiao has moved up in weight he's become less of a knockout artist as Roach has transformed him into a more complete and technically sound fighter. In addition, there's the obvious effect of facing naturally larger opponents—power that is devastating at 120 pounds isn't quite as formidable 20 pounds higher. Furthermore, the double tough Mosley has never been knocked out. It's tough to take a position on a fighter to be knocked out when he has no prior stoppage losses on his resume.
 
In terms of the moneyline play, it's tough to justify laying a huge price on Pacquiao though we expect him to win. We're more inclined to take a big underdog price with the gutsy and experienced Mosley but there's an even better wagering position on the rounds prop. Since the public looks for a knockout there's good value on the 'Over 11.5 Rounds'. We don't see Pacquiao stopping Mosley inside the distance and based on our projection of how the fight we'll go we look for a lopsided decision for the Filipino sensation but that will cash a ticket on the 'Over' rounds proposition.