Mosley-Berto: The Cure For Boxing's Black Eye?

Tim HarrisonContributor IJanuary 5, 2010

The fallout from the negative press surrounding the Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations has left boxing with a bit of a shiner.  The fight seemed destined to be made, both fighters seemed to be on a collision course.  Now we await decision on the moderation that is taking place as I write.  Having written about Mayweather-Pacquiao endlessly over the last few weeks, I've come to the conclusion that I'm sick of both of them.  I'd rather talk about the sure thing that is the Welterweight title unification between "Sugar" Shane Mosley (WBA), and Andre Berto (WBC).

The aforementioned combatants had their little war of words in the Twitter-verse, and through back-and-forth interviews on  In the end, they both nutted up and signed on the dotted line.  Somehow, Golden Boy Promotions, the promoter for Mosley, and Lou DiBella (Berto), let the promotion fly by without the fanfare and attention that should be paid to a fight of this magnitude. 

Mosley is a sure-fire hall of famer.  Andre Berto may have the fastest hands in the divisioin, but may have snagged up a title too soon.  The intrigue factor is high.

In the past, Mosley has shown his age when fighting after a long layoff.  When he was thoroughly outclassed by Miguel Cotto, it was nine months since he beat Luis Collazo.  When he struggled for eleven rounds and two minutes and fifty-nine seconds with Ricardo Mayorga, it had been nine months after the loss to Cotto.

When Mosley steps into the ring at the Mandalay Bay events center, one year and six days will have passed since he knocked out Antonio Margarito, sans plaster of paris.  If Andre Berto is smart he is training for the young, fresh Shane Mosley, while hoping for the old, sluggish Mosley.

Berto, on the other hand, has shown flashes of absolute brilliance.  The argument against these flashes of brilliance is that they were shown against Miguel Rodriguez, and police officer in Mexico, and Steve Forbes, who had his best days as a Jr. Lightweight. 

One of the flaws in Berto's game is that he tends to admire his lightning-fast combination punching, and is wide open to a good counter-puncher.  When Berto does retreat properly, he does so by going straight back with his chin exposed.  Expect Brother Nazeem to have Shane Mosley prepared to counter Berto's combos before he resets.

Both men have had long layoffs since their respective last fights.  Berto has had plenty of time to iron out thekinks in his game, while Mosley should be well-prepared to take advantage if those mistakes are still made. 

Mosley's lay off has been considerably longer than Berto's, which is why I'm betting on the old Shane Mosley showing up and losing a close decision to the young lion.