Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao trade blows in the center of the ring during… (Mark Terrill / Associated…)
Reporting from Las Vegas
Manny Pacquiao wasn't pleased with his third consecutive unanimous decision, but in extending his victory streak to 14 he may have retired another Hall of Famer.
In a dominant destruction of an aged Shane Mosley, Pacquiao rode a third-round knockdown and a steady barrage of left hands to a unanimous decision in his WBO welterweight title defense before 16,412 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Judge Glenn Trowbridge scored the bout 119-108, Dave Moretti had it 120-108, and Duane Ford scored it 120-107.
Pacquiao (53-3-2) afterward blamed left leg cramps from the fourth round on for not being able to finish the 39-year-old Mosley (46-7-1), who was the beneficiary of a wrongly called knockdown by referee Kenny Bayless in the 10th round when replays showed Mosley clearly pushed Pacquiao down.
"I fought the best fighter in the world," Mosley said. "He has exceptional power, I've never been hit like this before. Manny is as fast as I've ever fought."
Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach said the cramps surfaced during training camp, and returned to deprive the world's top pound-for-pound fighter of "leverage to move," Roach said. "It was a gutty performance because of the handicap in his leg."
Pacquiao said, 'I couldn't move because [it] got tight," adding a cornerman massaged it between rounds to no avail.
Nevertheless, it was enough to overwhelm Mosley who after getting belted at the 1:15 mark of the third round, struggled to get up and staggered through the remainder. He was limited to an exercise of muted offensive fundamentals.
Mosley admitted the pain of Pacquiao's punches caused him to pause before taking a more aggressive response. "I wasn't going to take those kinds of risks. I was looking to land my shot."
He never did, instead blaming blood blisters on his foot in the sixth round for further dulling his effort.
By the 11th round, Mosley was clearly in retreat mode, trying to avoid his first knockdown loss, which is the only claim he could salvage Saturday night, along with the $5-million-plus purse.
Mosley trainer Naazim Richardson said he was thinking about stopping the assault in the 12th, but Mosley's other cornerman urged the fighter to "dig in."
"Our problem was we started too late," Richardson said.
Mosley may ultimately opt to join Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton as Pacquiao foes who retired after meeting the dynamo.
"I'll have to think about that later," Mosley said.
On the undercard, Mexico's veteran fighter Jorge Arce won a thrilling 12th-round technical knockout over Miami's Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. to take away Vazquez's WBO super-bantamweight title.
Arce (57-6-2, 44 KOs) unleashed a barrage of blows with Vazquez (20-1-1) backed to the ropes in the 12th, and with the previously unbeaten fighter showing little response, his corner waved furiously to referee Joe Cortez to stop the fight.
Former world middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik returned to the ring for the first time in 13 months after undergoing a stint for alcoholism at the Betty Ford Center and recorded a majority decision over a game Alfonso Lopez.
Denver's unbeaten super-lightweight Mike Alvarado stopped New York's Ray Narh after the third round when Narh quit on his stool.
Jose Benavidez, perhaps the top prospect in Top Rank's stable, recorded a fifth-round technical knockout of South Carolina's James Hope to improve to 11-0 with 10 knockouts.