Boxing > Pacquiao Dominates Again, Mosley Disappoints Again, Fans Wait For Mayweather … Again.

 

 ~ I debated long and hard before ordering the Shane Mosley-Manny Pacquiao fight. It was one of those deals where  you know what the outcome is going to be, yet you still want to see if an upset occurs. Well, the upset didn’t occur. However what did occur was the necessary. Manny Pacquiao completely dismantled Sugar Shane in  route to a 12 round decision. Boxing fans worldwide are now left wondering again if they’ll ever see Pac-Man take on Floyd Mayweather. One thing is for sure and that’s Mosley’s once great boxing career is now at it’s end. At least it should be.

It was a methodical beating and sometimes when that occurs, it’s better to just hope for the knockout to take place. Pac-Man didn’t get the knockout, he did however get a 3rd round knockdown that started the punishment for Mosley. After that knockdown, Mosley wanted no part of trading punches with the powerful Pacquiao. After the fight, he told reporters it was the hardest he’s been hit in a long time. His biggest moment on this night came when referee Kenny Bayless mistakenly ruled that Mosley knocked Pacquiao down in the 10th round when he hadn’t even hit him with a punch. All that did was make Manny mad and even though Mosley may never admit it, he must have known at that point that he was going to lose the fight. The bottom line is Manny was the agressive one throughout the fight, attacking like a hungry fighter. Mosley was in defense mode from the opening bell and as it got worst for him, defense mode turned into panic mode.

I was looking to see if Mosley might surprise the crowd and his critics, instead he gave them exactly what they expected of him. None of us know what was going on in Sugar Shane’s mind during the fight. He may have indeed been game to stand toe to toe with Pac-Man. The mind may have wanted to and the body just would not allow it. The way boxing has been going lately, the case could be made that it was the other way around. Mosley came into the fight appearing to look in great physical condition. Boxing is just as mental as it is physical though and reality may have hit him while getting up from that 3rd round knockdown.

While Mosley goes back to the drawing board to figure out what’s next (retirement hopefully), what’s next for Manny Pacquiao? It has to be Floyd Mayweather.

 

 Showtime’s James Brown said it best during the post fight wrap up … It has to happen. It’s the only logical fight that makes sense right now.

At 34 years old and only 2 fights in the last 2 years, Mayweather’s clock has to be ticking as well. He does not come off as the type of fighter to compete well past his prime. He’s business savy enough to know that if the major payday with Pacquiao is to happen, it has to happen sooner than later. Time will tell. The boxing world needs it now more than ever. As good as Pacquiao has been for the sport, he’s simply out of top tier opponents to face him. It’s time to get the deal done.

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Memphis-OKC / NBA Playoffs > Why The Memphis Grizzlies Could Win The West

 

~ While watching Game 1 of the 2nd round series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Oklahoma City Thunder, I came away with this conclusion… the Grizzlies are the real deal. This isn’t exactly news anymore to basketball fans. They took it to the top seeded San Antonio Spurs in round 1, taking them out in 6 games. This is the 8th seeded team in the west doing this. Every now and then in the NBA Playoffs, a low seeded team will come along and steal a 1st round series and some headlines. I’m always curious to see how they come out to play in the next round. I look to see if that team comes out flat after riding the high of a 1st round victory that some didn’t think they’d get. Quite frankly, the Grizzlies came out against the Thunder ready to play and  punched them right in the mouth. This isn’t just a 8th seeded team that is making a little noise in the playoffs. The way things are shaping up this year, Memphis could find themselves playing in June for an NBA Championship.

 Many considered what the Grizzlies did to the Spurs as an upset. I didn’t share that same thought process. Memphis wanted the Spurs in the 1st round, they knew how well they matched up with them. The Spurs were just an example of why you can’t really hold stock in regular season win-loss records. What we are also seeing right now is that if you look at the Grizzlies as a team, they are built for a strong playoff run. They matched up well with the Spurs and they match up just as well with the Thunder. It’s an old school Eastern Conference Playoff team playing in the west. Defense and big time play from the go-to guys wins championships. They beat you with big time play in the frontcourt with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. They get leadership from players like Tony Allen and Shane Battier. OJ Mayo is maturing before our eyes and they almost traded him away this year. This is not the team you want to lose Game 1 to on your home court.

A sub plot has emerged in the playoff run of the Thunder and that is the inconsistent play of Russell Westbrook at the point guard position. His shot selection and decision making throughout the post season so far has been borderline at best. What is even more troublesome is Westbrook’s dominating of the ball has come at the expense of more shots for Kevin Durant. Westbrook is an explosive offensive weapon for OKC and the 1-2 punch with Durant is why the Thunder are strong contenders for the Finals this year. However Westbrook is also the point guard. Durant is the franchise player and Westbrook has to do a better job of making that clear on the court. The reality is that if Durant is option 1, Westbrook is option 1A, and it remains to be seen if Westbrook is really okay with that. While the Thunder continue to build their playoff resume’s, it will be a point of interest to see if the Durant-Westbrook combo becomes just as good or better as Stocton-Malone of Utah. It has the potential to also become Marbury-Garnett of Minnesota. That would be a major problem for the Thunder.

 Charles Barkley recently made a great point on the overall outlook of the Grizzlies. They are a deep team. Denver became a deep team after the Carmelo Anthony trade. However they didn’t have a go-to closer and that cost them in the playoffs. The Grizzlies are a deep team … with a closer. Randolph is playing the best ball of his career right now and the Gizzlies in the frontcourt are having their way in these games.

 It’s also hurting the Thunder that they don’t have that third scorer right now. There is no Jeff Green this year and maybe that has contributed to the Westbrook’s poor shot selection at times. It might be a good time to get Nate Robinson involved in this series. Robinson may provide that extra shot of energy that might be missing from the Thunder right now. What is apparent right now though is that major adjustments will have to be made by OKC to beat the Grizzlies in Game 2. It’s a statement game in every sense of the word for the Thunder if they want to win this series. 

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