Its the first boxing mega-event of the year with Manny Pacquiao defending his WBO Welterweight Title against ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley. The Pound for Pound King is the overwhelming favorite against the veteran American who failed to impress against either Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Sergio Mora. However Mosley is the naturally bigger man and his knockout power could pose a real threat to the smaller Filipino. To underline the point Pacquiao only weighed in at 145Ibs while Mosley cut to 147Ibs. Also on the Top Rank/Showtime card also features the return of Kelly Pavlik and a WBO Super Bantamweight Title match between Wilfredo Vazquez Jr and Jorge Arce. Join Will Cooling at 9pmET for all the action from tonight’s televised card!
Our first sight of Jimmy Lennon Jr. to begin proceedings on this Showtime PPV…well for Americans. We’re getting it for free on Sky Sports here in the UK. We begin with a match in the light welterweight division.
Light Welterweight Match: Mike Alvarado vs. Raymond Narh
They feel each other out to begin with, with Alvarado coming forward. Alvarado hits despite Narh holding, throwing a nice overhand right. Alvarado comes in with some shots. Narh is the taller man but is too quick to hold. Narh throws a tentative jab, while Alvarado looks to throw power punches. Narh holding again. Alvarado looking the more dynamic on the feet, rushes in with a left hand that just misses and connects with several punches to the body. 10-9 Alvarado.
Alvarado looking to push the action but Narh is able to stifle and hold. Alvarado rushing in with looping and wild punches. Narh trying to get the jab working, but it lacks conviction. Alvarado has some success on the inside despite Narh again holding. Alvarado connects with a solid left hand that snaps Narh’s head back. Alvarado tries to follow up but Narh is able to frustrate him. Narh holds Alvarado again – he really is doing that way too often. Alvarado is pushing the action and catching Narh with the occasional power punch although missing more than he’s landing. Not a great round but its Alvarado’s. 20-18.
Narh coming forward more but quickly stops to complain about being hit on the back of the head. Alvarado rushes in at the restart and once again Narh holds! This is really frustrating. Alvarado is putting Narh under pressure and midway through lands a couple of really good right hand. Alvarado showing more paitent and setting down on his punches better. Alvarado certainly looks far less wild than in the opening two rounds. Nice left hand from Alvarado. Narh is doing nothing off the back foot and Alvarado punishes him with a nice left hand. Narh was nowhere in that round, terrible performance. 30-27
And Raymond Narh quits on his stool in between rounds. A disappointing end to a disappointing fight, with Narh just throwing away the fight after offering absolutely nothing in the preceeding 9minutes. A waste of everybody’s time.
Mike Alvarado defeated Raymond Narh via fighter retirement at 3:00 of the third round.
Next up is the return of Kelly Pavlik, back in the ring after battling with alcoholism and erratic form. He is fighting at 168Ibs against Alfonso Lopez III. Before the fight starts and in a classy move, the bell is rung ten times to commerate the passing of former British heavyweight champion Sir Henry Cooper. Cooper was best known for his two bouts against one Muhammad Ali, who of course was managed by one Bob Arum at the time.
Super Middleweight Match: Alfonso López III vs. Kelly Pavlik
Kelly Pavlik is apparently WBC Number One Contender at a weight he’s never fought at. Whatever you say Jose. Lopez comes in with fast hands and gets a couple of punches in. Pavlik takes the center of the ring, pawing the jab out while Lopez circles on the outside. They clinch up a couple of times. Pavlik lands a nice left hand. Follows up with some jabs and a right hand.Pavlik landing the crisper blows. Blatant rabbit punch attract the boos of the crowd. Both let their hands flow in the final exchanges. Good round. Difficult one to score as very even – probably very slightly Pavlik’s who seemed to land the harder punches. 10-9 to Pavlik
Scrappy exchanges to begin with as they both rush to hold each other at the first opportunity. Lopez uses his handspeed to sneak some punches in but as the round progresses Pavlik imposes himself on his opponent. Pavlik taking his time to set up his power punches with the jab and body shots. The round hasn’t lived up to the first with both holding too often and the referee isn’t exactly rushing to break it up. Really good flurry towards the end of the round by Lopez seems to have Pavlik going a little bit. Probably not enough to take the round but enough to make it interesting. 20-18 to Pavlik
The round begins with Pavlik forcing Lopez up against the rope and working the body. Pavlik looking to impose himself with shots to the body and the straight jab. Lopez is struggling to stay competive as he’s forced on the defensive. Pavlik lands some some good punches on the ropes. Fight is getting a bit stuck with Lopez looking to hold as Pavlik comes forward. Pavlik’s round. 30-27.
Lopez comes out more aggressive at the start of the fourth and now its Pavik’s turn to hold. Pavlik is cut as a result of a headbutt by Lopez. Lopez is trying to force the action but neither man really has the quality to open the other up. Its all rather messy as Lopez tries to push around Pavlik, while Pavlik is starting to wilt under the pressure of the spoiler. Lopez getting some fast left-right combinations to Pavlik’s upper torso. Not a good round, with Lopez’s ugly tactics successfully stifiling Pavlik. 39-37
Pavlik is far too slow to get his punchers off which is making him easy prey to Lopez’s stifiling tactics. To pierce through Lopez’s strategy of clinching up whenever Pavlik is close he needs to lead in with big punches that stun his opponent and create the space for work on the inside. Instead he’s just walking forward and being tied up. Pavlik does land a nice left hand, that allows him to put some good punches together. Pavlik seems to take heart and ups his game and starts landing the better shots in the second half of the round. 49-46
Lopez spends much of the round on his bike, circling around Pavlik in an attempt avoid taking damage and create the opportunity for a flurry. Pavlik catches him with a great right hand that clearly hurts Lopez. Pavlik shows a lack of wit in making the most of the opening, allowing Lopez to tie him up again. Pavlik does a land a couple of hard shots to the body but isn’t able to put together the combination that he needs to even come close to putting his opponent away. 59-55
Nice couple of flurries from Lopez at the beginning but it soon descends into yet more mauling. Pavlik misses with an overhand right as Pavlik tries to force the issue. Lopez responds with some really good combinations that opens up a cut above Pavlik’s right eye. Pavlik catches Lopez with another lowblow. Lopez puts together another flurry as Pavlik seems to have really slowed down. Pavlik looks very flat now. Lopez’s round. 68-65
Pavlik clearly breathing heavy and has slowed right down. Lopez coming on strong with move of his darting flurries that open up the inside of Pavlik. Pavlik responds by walking Lopez down and connecting with single shots, only for Lopez to respond with another flurry. Pavlik looks very, very tired and his output has lessened and now lacks any dynamism. Lopez ends with another flurry. 77-75.
They start with another clinch, surprise surprise. Lopez looks to get some combinations off to begin with but soon looks to push Pavlik around while holding. Pavlik lets a whole load of popping right hand, left hand combinations slip through his defenses. They’re mauling again and Pavlik doesn’t seem to be showing any real strength. Pavlik gets a right hand through but doesn’t have the energy to follow it up with anything. Pavlik begins to reassert himself with some solid shots only for Lopez to take the final exchanges with several popping flurries that take the round for the underdog. 86-85. All to play for with the final round.
Lopez starts aggressively, walking through Pavlik’s jab to unload some combinations to the body of Pavlik. Lopez really puts together some great shots, digging in punches to the body and the occassional shot to the head that really seems to hurt Pavlik. Pavlik lands a great straight left and hook that hurts Lopez and derails his early momentum. Lopez falling back again now. Lopez putting together his usual flurries but Pavlik is catching him with big punches. Pavlik catches Lopez with a couple of big right hands and Lopez is a sitting duck. All he can do is wait for the bell. He’s now cut as well. Lopez holding trying to see the distance. Lopez sees out the round but Pavlik should take the victory. On my scorecard its 96-94 to Kelly Pavlik.
The judges have it as a majority decision victory for Kelly Pavlik on scores of 95-95, 98-92, 99-91. Slightly more lopsided than I would have it but Pavlik just about deserved to win. He will have to improve if he’s to be competitive.
Kelly Pavlik defeated Alfonso Lopez III via majority decision
WBO Super Bantamweight Championship Match: Wilfredo Vázquez, Jr. vs. Jorge Arce
Tentative opening from the super-bantamweights, Vazquez lands the first telling blow with a short uppercut. Arce connects with a couple of straight punches. Vazquez comes in with a big right hand, follows up with a left to the body. Arce tries to mount some offensive, but Vazquez comes in with some heavy shots on the inside. The round ends with Vazquez pushing Arce up against the ropes and unloading some hard shots. Arce walks forward but Vazquez lands the quality shots. 10-9 to Vazquez.
Vazquez trying to push the action in the second but Arce lands some really quality punches in return. Arce forces Vazquez up against the ropes and starts landing some heavy shots on the inside. Arce looking the stronger and getting his punches off quickly. Arce goes close with a wild swing. Vazquez moving well but Arce is landing the better work. Arce lands a lunging punch. Arce lands a big left hand that Vazquez takes flush. Arce follows up with several shots to the body. Arce looking the stronger as the round ends. 19-19.
Arce bullying Vazquez at the beginning of the third, bullying the champion on the inside with Vazquez reduced to complaining about the use of the head. Arce coming forward and really let his hands go, Vazquez did well to take the punches in the corner and land a right of his own in response. Arce puts together some good combinations against a slightly befuddled Vazquez who is allowing himself to be outworked. 29-28 to Arce.
Arce’s face is certainly the worse for wear but he’s still the one pushing forward and trying to make the fight. However Vazquez work is smart as he gets his punches off quickly. He’s also increasingly keeping Arce at bay with improved defense. Arce however tests that with a rally in the final minute as he puts together several good combinations and a powerful right hand. That seems to have taken the round off Vazquez but the champion lands a powerful left-hand that drops the challenger at the very end of the round. Arce is forced to take an eight count and that was a 10-8 round. 38-37 to Vazquez
Arce is coming forward despite the last-gasp knockdown at the end of the previous round. For the second time in successive round Arce pushes Vazquez down to the mat. Vazquez is fighting Arce’s fight, standing on the inside and trading for large proportions of the round. Arce is throwing wild shots that open hims up to Vazquez’s cute power punches. Arce trying for a grandstand finish but doesn’t quite get going enough to take the round. 48-46 to Vazquez.
Vazquez trying to hit and move to begin with, only for Arce to ruin that plan by moving forward with heavy punches. Vazquez seems to be struggling to respond in kind to Arce’s latest onslaught, standing in the pocket without getting any meaningful punches off. In many ways Vazquez has been buillied in the sixth with even a late rally from the champion not enough to save the round. 57-56
Arce cutting Vazquez up to begin with but Vazquez knocks Arce back with a big right hand. Vazquez moves in to try to finish Arce. They trade big blows on the ropes. Arce is landing volume punches but Vazquez is landing quality punches. Vazquez is trying to regain the offensive intiative but Arce’s Mexican warrior spirit surely makes such a strategy almost impossible to achieve. Big punches being thrown towards the end but Vazquez showing his quality, particularly a sharp left hand. Vazquez regain his two point advantage. 67-65
Arce forces Vazquez up against the ropes, trying to bully the champion with body shots. The referee calls for a break. Arce is looking tired and is just pushing the champion back repeatedly without getting any punches off. The referee repeatedly has to call for the break as the fight seemingly gets stuck after seven great rounds of action. Neither fighter is getting much off due to the mauling tactics of Arce. Final minute sees Arce get some punches off as Vazquez seems increasingly ragged. 76-75
Both fighters are very tired now. Arce is again opening up Vazquez with quick combinations. Arce pushes Vazquez over with his left hand. The third push from Arce in the fight. Vazquez looks a shadow of his former self, very tired and uncomfortable. The fight is becoming slightly ugly but the ugly tactics are benefited Arce. Vazquez is punching and missing, with Arce’s volume telling in a round that lacked quality. 85-85
Far slower pace being set by these two after nine furious rounds. Arce now looks the tireder of the two, just walking forward onto superior counterpunching of the champion. Vazquez clearly hurts the challenger with a short uppercut. Vazquez touches the ground again although for the fourth time its rightly ruled not a knockdown, this time it was a slip. Vazquez getting his punches off against a tired challenger who offered little in the tenth other than aggression itself. 95-94.
Vazquez clearly looks the more energetic but Arce digs deep to charge forward with early on but his work lacks the dynamism of his earlier on. Arce lands a clean one-two, and lands several punches while mauling the champion. Arce lands a straight right that knocks Vazquez back onto the ropes and Arce digs deep to press the advantage. Incredibly gutsy performance from the Mexican who is just throwing big punch after big punch. Where he is getting the energy from I have no idea. After he looked absolutely done in the tenth Arce bring it level 104-104.
In an astonishing grandstand finish, Arce pours forward from the start and hurts Vazquez early in the round. Vazquez is trapped on the ropes and Arce is just unloading on the prone body of the champion. Vazquez is showing tremendous heart to not go down under a sustained barrage from the veteran challenger. It is surely only a matter of time before this onslaught tells and with less than a minute of the final round gone the corner of the champion throw in the towel! What an incredible finish to a great fight. Wonderful performance from both fighters and an incredible gutsy finish from Arce who looked spent in the tenth. Great fight.
Wilfredo Vázquez, Jr. vs. Jorge Arce defeated Wilfredo Vazquez Jr via corner stoppage at 0:55 of the twelfth round to win the WBO Super Bantamweight Title.
WBO Welterweight Title Match: Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley
Really impressive entrances for the two fighters…Bob Arum wasn’t joking when he said he had learnt lessons from UFC and the likes of the Klitschko brothers in Europe. Live music – including a live rendition of Eye of the Tiger! Awesome!
Its the first mega-fight of 2011 in boxing. They spend most of the first round feeling each other out, with Pacquiao using his speed to get the odd shot off quickly. Pacquiao digs in a big punch to the body. Mosley responds with a body shot of his own. Pacquiao lands a quick jab. Both fighters clearly respect the other’s power. Mosley gets a right hand through clean but misses with a body punch. Pacquiao threatens with a left hook. Close round as both fighters were tentative. Difficult to score due to so little happening. Pacquiao probably took it with all round ringmanship, his speed clearly making Mosley uncomfortable. 10-9 Pacquiao
Pacquiao is certainly far more tentative than in previous fights. Mosley talking to Pacquiao trying to goad him into a wild lunge. Both fighters are trying to hit while staying out of range. Both successfully connecting with long range punches. Mosley doing well to avoid having Pacquiao dictate where the fight takes place. Pacquiao backs Mosley up with several quick punches to the body. Pacquiao flicking out the jab. Mosley fires out one of his one. Pacquiao goes for a flurry of punches late on but Mosley seems to have it covered. Another even round with Pacquiao clearly concerned about the threat posed by the bigger man. Another difficult round to score but Pacquiao probably took it just. 20-18
Pacquiao starting to pushes the pace in an attempt to use his speed to take the fight away from Mosley. Pacquiao getting more punches in. Pacquiao floors Mosley with a big right hand after a straight jab and Mosley is on glass legs. Pacquiao has a minute to get what could be the telling blow. Pacquiao pushing for the finish but Mosley doing well to avoid taking a clean shot. A big round for Pacquiao. 30-26
Pacquiao threathening Mosley as the challenger is allowing himself to be pushed around the ring. They engage on the inside and Mosley takes a tumble after a slip. Pacquiao connects with the jab and this looks like the mismatch we were all expecting. Mosley tries to find success with body shots but Pacquiao walks through with a hard one-two combo. Mosley falling backwards as Pacquiao is dominanting. Mosley comes back with a nice little combination, although the hook landson Pacquiao’s gloves. 40-35
Pacquiao is trying to connect with big hooks to the head of Mosley. Mosley complains about a clash of heads. Pacquiao flicking out the jab. Mosley doing better in standing his ground and got some tidy little body punches off. Pacquiao is starting to miss slightly and his decision to just go for power punches seems ill-judged given Mosley’s clear discomfort when Pacquiao punches in bunches. Instead Mosley doing a good job of avoiding taking anything too powerful cleanly. Pacquiao’s round but the fight has stablised after it seemed on the brink of being over in the third. 50-44
Pacquiao turns up the pace midway through the round and Mosley clearly struggling to match fire with fire. But Pacquiao clearly can’t sustain the pace for anything more than the occassional burst. And its when he slows down that Mosley is able to reestablish himself and claw his way back into the fight. Mosley is doing a good job of avoiding taking too much damage and is clearly trying to fight off the back foot and counterpunch Pacquiao. Pacquiao is clearly frustrated but he’s 60-53 ahead.
Mosley controlling the beginning of the round with his jab, as the crowd gets restless at the slow paced fight. Pacquiao is trying to get inside of Mosley but the defensive tactics are confounding the champion. Pacquiao puts together a flurry that has Mosley on his bike but he never comes close to landing a telling blow. Mosley flicking out the jab and is really showing superior ringmanship in this round. Pacquiao puts together some good combinations. Crowd boos that round, not very happy at all. Difficult round to score with little action. Pacquiao was the aggressive but he landed nothing of any quality so I’ll give that to Mosley for superior ringmanship. 69-63
Pacquiao clearly struggling to box his way inside Mosley. Mosley landed a right hand that spurred Pacquiao to put together a nice looking flurry that was ended by another right hand from the American. Pacquiao looking very flat here, struggling to force the openings to really punish Mosley. Pacquiao lands a couple of odd punches throughout the round but could never put them together in a telling sequence. Mosley lands a good right hand on the gloves of Pacquiao towards the end. Another close round that but Pacquiao was more active than in the seventh. 79-72
Pacquiao is struggling like we have not seen for awhile, with Mosley’s disciplined counterpunching perfectly pitched to play the spoiler against the fast moving champion. Regardless Pacquiao’s performance is baffling as its all power punches and single shots when the third round should have gave him the template as to how he would secure a quick victory against Mosley. He does show better work towards the end and snaps Mosley’s head back with a straight punch. 89-81
More action in the the tenth than the previous than in the past few combined. Pacquiao tries to push the action by once again increasing the speed and his punching volume. A Pacquiao flurry is cut shut by Mosley complaining of a clash of heads. Pacquiao resumes the flurry but isn’t quite landing the telling blow. Mosley pushes him down to the canvass with his right and incredibly the referee gives it as a knockdown. A furious Pacquiao comes forward and clips Mosley with a strong left that hurts the challenger. Best action of the fight but terrible officiating. 10-9 to Mosley based on the fact that Pacquiao took almost all the round save the ‘knockdown’. 98-91
Crowd is pumped, chanting ‘Manny’. Pacquiao is clearly angry and pouring forward, catches Mosley with a right hand that stiffens the veteran’s legs. Pacquiao is showing real quality to put his punches together and attack Mosley with fast combinations. Mosley again complaining about the clash of heads. Pacquiao really turning it up a notch, catches Mosley with a big right hand. Pacquiao slows down towards the end. Pacquiao’s round but it looks like Mosley is going to see this fight out. 108-100
Pacquiao starts fastly but Mosley is the one who needs to attack in this final round. Mosley forces Pacquiao up against the ropes but the punches he gets off don’t seem to hurt the champion. Pacquiao guilty of holding and punching, goes hunting for the knockout. Setting a furious pace in the final minute with a right hook and a left hook hurting Mosley. But he can’t finish a fight that was expected to end early. 118-109 on my scorecard.
Pacquiao of course wins on all three judges scorecards in lopsided fashion, with of them going as far as to ignore the knockdown that the referee incorrectly called. The scores are 119-108, 120-108, 120-107. Despite those scores it was a disappointing performance from the Pound for Pound King,
Manny Pacquiao defeated Shane Mosley via unanimous decision to retain the WBO Welterweight Title