Just four months after losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr., the 39-year-old Mosley seeks another dose of Staples magic against Sergio Mora, a "Latin Snake" who is three inches taller, 10 years younger and eager to sink his fangs into another high-profile hide. Mosley is a 3-1 favorite.
Who will win this crossroads encounter? Their CompuBox histories offer clues on their objectives.
Mora must borrow a common rival's playbook - Sporting a six-foot frame and a 73-inch reach, Mora boasts the exact dimensions of Vernon Forrest, who not only split two fights with Mora but also went 2-for-2 against Mosley. Forrest used his length and underrated power to curb Mosley's output.
In six welterweight fights before meeting Forrest, Mosley averaged 49.9 punches, 35.5 percent jab accuracy and 56.9 percent power precision. During Forrest I, Mosley's numbers plummeted to 33.4, 13.9 and 29.4. A second round knockdown forced Mosley to think twice before throwing his punches, which curbed his output. By controlling pace and distance, Forrest out-did Mosley 684-401 (total attempts), 164-103 (total connects), 317-197 (power attempts) and 113-58 (power connects).
The rematch saw plenty of grappling, but while Mosley's power accuracy improved (48 percent) his output plummeted (21.6 per round). While the totals were close for Forrest (120-114 total connects, 35-34 jab connects and 85-60 power connects), the decisive statistic was Forrest's 456-259 gulf in output. Activity - effective or not - usually sways judges.
Mayweather achieved similar success by maximizing his weapons. His economical precision (39.8 punches per round and 43.6 percent accuracy) kept Mosley to 37.7 punches per round and 20.4 percent marksmanship. Moreover, "Money's" 46 percent power rate limited Mosley to 27.2 percent and built advantages of 208-92 (total connects) and 123-46 (power connects).
Mora has the anatomy, speed and quirky style to keep Mosley guessing. Applying Forrest's blueprint could net Mora another high-value scalp.
Mosley must force the pace and make his power count - When Mosley sets the tempo, the numbers usually follow.
Against Margarito Mosley sliced inside his rival's reach and whaled away. Mosley landed 49 percent of 240 power punches while limiting Margarito's vaunted output to 54 per round and 26 percent power precision. Mosley's inspired assault forced Margarito to bend to his will.
This strategy was effective for Forrest in his rematch with Mora, the "Latin Snake's" only defeat. Averaging 52.8 punches per round (up from 46 in fight one), Forrest limited Mora's output to 39.8 (down from 49.2) and his power accuracy to 19 percent (from 42.7) while landing 41.7 percent of his own power punches.
Mosley's success is dependent on his power punching. While the athletically awkward Ricardo Mayorga frustrated Mosley - Mosley averaged just 33.1 punches per round - he couldn't stem Mosley's power flow as he landed 46.3 percent to Mayorga's 15.9. The result: KO 12 Mosley.
In Mosley's 24 CompuBox-tracked wins, he averaged 41.5 percent of 52.4 punches and landed 53.5 percent of his 27.4 power shots. In five losses, those figures were 26.5 percent of 39.5 punches and 33.2 percent of his 20.5 power shots - a marked drop-off.
The equation is simple. Mora will win if he can control distance and limit Mosley's offense. Mosley will prevail if he attacks early and rides a wave of momentum.