DECLARING Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao at his sharpest, renowned trainer Freddie Roach boldly predicted that the Filipino ring icon will be the first to stop former five-time world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley in their big-money title fight May 7 in Las Vegas.
Roach made his fearless forecast after watching Pacquiao spar for 12 four rounds Thursday at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.
Roach told Boxingscene.com that although Mosley (46-6-1, 39 knockouts) was known to be a very durable fighter, Pacquiao had the speed and explosiveness to decisively deal with the former three-division world champion.
Roach wants KO
“I’m really urging and encouraging Manny to fight at an even faster pace and to push [Mosley]. That’s because I want Manny to make a statement,” Roach said.
“I want Manny to become the first person to ever stop Shane Mosley, and I really believe that he can do it. I think that Manny can be the first one to knock out Shane Mosley,” added Roach, a four-time Trainer of the Year awardee of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Pacquiao, 32, is currently a 1-8 favorite among Las Vegas odds makers to beat Mosley, a former world titlist in three different weight divisions.
Pacquiao is guaranteed to $20 million for this fight plus an upside on the pay-per-view revenues, assuring him his record payday, Bob Arum told The Manila Times by phone on Friday.
Arum said Mosley is guaranteed $5 million plus a share of the PPV income, which could earn him another $5 million to $8 million.
“Manny and Shane will be making record paydays in this fight,” Arum said from Las Vegas. “The fight has long been sold out and there is every indication that the pay-per-view sales are going to be tremendous,” he said.
Mosley’s highly respected head trainer Naazim Richardson acknowledged the long odds confronting his 39-year-old warrior, who has been unimpressive in his last two fights.
Mosley lost a lopsided unanimous decision to Floyd May¬weather Jr. in May 2009 after Mosley came close to knocking out Mayweather in the second round, only to wilt for the remainder of their big-money showdown at the MGM Grand Arena.
In September, Mosley was just as uninspiring in a split decision draw against light-hitting former champion Sergio Mora of The Con¬tender fame.
In contrast, the 32-year-old Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts) has not lost since March of 2005 in a 13-fight winning streak that includes eight knockouts.
On November 13, Pacquiao dominated Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 knockouts) in a near shut-out unanimous decision for the vacant World Boxing Council junior middleweight (154 pounds) title to earn his record eighth championship in as many weight divisions.
Richardson sees upset
Still, Richardson said Mosley, a hard-hitting former five-time world champion, is capable of beating the odds and “smashing” Pacquiao.
“Shane’s got a chance to shock the world. You don’t get these opportunities. Very seldom do you get these opportunities. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Richardson told Chris Robinson of Examiner.com.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and even surpasses the Mayweather opportunity. Shane has to rise to the occasion,” the trainer added.
Pacquiao typically refuses to predict the outcome the fight and described his coming title defense as “very tough” and “dangerous” because of Mosley’s experience, size and overall ring ability.
Pacquiao’s utmost respect for Mosley, who has held his own against middleweights, like a prime Oscar De La Hoya, Winky Wright and the late Vernon Forrest, by the way he has focused in training.
“This is by far Manny’s best training camp,” said Alex Ariza, Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach by phone.
“Unlike his two or three previous fights, Manny is quite focused and there’s none of the distractions of previous training camps,” Ariza said.