Filipino congressman and pound-for-pound boxing champ Manny Pacquiao successfully defended his WBO welterweight title against Sugar Shane Mosley in what spectators felt was a lopsided fight on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.Manny Pacquiao>

There was none of the heart-stopping punches that sent so many of Pacquiao’s previous opponents to the canvas. Mosley gave a boring fight, ducking for cover so often that some critics described the whole match as Manny going after Mosley for most of the 12 rounds. At the beginning of the fight, Mosley was careful, tentatively stepping around the Filipino powerhouse as if unwilling to start trading punches. To his credit, Mosley’s evasive tactics were effective and were probably the reason why he lasted up to the last round, avoiding a taint in his record of no knock outs in his professional career. It was only in the third round that Pacquiao managed to sneak in a left hook that connected and sent Mosley sprawling to the canvas for the third time in his professional boxing career. However, playing it safe didn’t save Mosley from the crowd, who booed him in the later rounds. Pacquiao, although clearly the aggressor in the match, was also a safer, more tentative version of himself, which coach Freddie Roach attributed to the cramp in his legs which has been bothering the Filipino fighter since his fight with Antonio Margarito in November.

“I couldn’t move because my left leg got tight. It’s a problem I’ve been having lately. I’m going to work on my legs in future training camps,” Pacquiao explained after the match.

Bob Arum also defended the fight, despite some rumors that it was a lopsided match, seeing Mosley’s lackluster performance in his last two fights.Shane Mosley>

“Nobody can really perform against him,” the promoter said. “Some of these guys are pretty good fighters, but nobody in their whole experience has ever faced somebody like (Pacquiao). Everybody is going to look the same way.”

The third round punch that sent Mosley down seemed to slow him down even more, and it was Pacquiao who went after Mosley for the remaining rounds. A mistaken ruling by referee Kenny Bayless that Mosley knocked Pacquiao out in the tenth round, when he didn’t even land a single punch, seemed to spur Pacquiao to come stronger, but bothered by his cramp, Pacquiao only managed a few well-placed shots without any KOs. In the end, Mosley remained standing.

“It wasn’t my best performance,” Pacquiao said. “I did my best. I did not expect this result.”

Mosley didn’t blame his lackluster performance on his age, and said that he thought he fought a good fight, considering his opponent.

“I fought the best fighter in the world,” he said. “He has exceptional power, power that I’ve never been hit like this before.”

The judges ruled the match for Pacquiao 120-108, 120-107, and 119-108. The Associated Press ruled a win for Pacquiao at 118-110. This is his 14th consecutive victory over the last six years and makes the Filipino champ $20 million richer while Mosley goes home with a guaranteed $5 million.

Maree cartujano
Sports Pundit staff writer
Sports writer and editor....

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