Mosley Cotto: Sugar Shane Still Sweet

shane mosley22.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley: As Shane Mosley continues his preparations for his fight with Miguel Cotto on November 10th at Madison Square Garden he is reveling in the fact that he is back on top of the boxing world and once again finding himself in a position to leapfrog back into the pound for pound rankings.

Should he defeat Cotto he will have not only cemented his Hall of Fame status but he will again be an important player in boxing. The sport now centers on the junior lightweight to middleweight divisions as it usually does when the heavyweight ranks are in a shambles. Mosley has been here before at the start of the decade and he’s happy to be back.

His promotional firm, Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) of which he has a vested interest, is also reaping the benefits of this fight and are banking on a Mosley victory because despite it’s growing influence in the sport, thanks to a truce with Bob Arum and Top Rank, the firm has not been able to market its young and up and coming stable of fighters. If there is one aspect of the company where President Oscar De La Hoya has failed and failed miserably it is promoting new talent and finding them an audience. Instead GBP has hitched its wagon to a group of aging fighters that helped get the company off the ground – De La Hoya, Mosley, Bernard Hopkins and Marco Antonio Barerra. Barerra lost his last two fights and retired, De La Hoya lost his super fight to Floyd Mayweather and Hopkins, despite his recent victories, continues to defy his age (42) but his run can’t go on for ever. So there remains an invigorated Mosley who is coming off two exciting victories over Fernando Vargas and a clear cut decision victory over tough Luis Collazo.

Mosley has quite a lot going for him in his challenge of WBA welterweight champion Cotto. At 147 he remains a remarkably fast fighter with quick, heavy hands. He’s also proven in the past that his chin is sturdy and his work ethic in training camp is second to none so going the distance has never been a problem for him. On top of that he’s a fighter who is always thinking ahead when he engages his opponent.

“When I was in the ring with Vargas the second time,” he recalls, “I remembered watching Oscar fight Vargas, and he threw that perfect left hook. I was bouncing around, remembered how successful that punch was, saw the opportunity and threw the perfect left hook.”

Vargas crashed to the canvas and the bout was all but over.

Shane is also back in the comfort embrace of his father who reconnected with his son for the Vargas fights and is now head trainer for probably the rest of his son’s career. Couple all this with Shane’s crowd pleasing style and you have the total package – a fighter you can’t help but appreciate and love to watch.

“I like to get in there and fight,” he says. “I’m a boxer / puncher. And I’m a good body puncher. I don’t use it as much as I should but I probably will for this fight.”

Indeed it was wicked body blows that allowed Mosley to close the show in his rematch with Oscar De La Hoya. One crushing left hook to the rib cage late in the fight nearly folded De La Hoya in half and it forced him to retreat until the final bell. Although the decision was close and disputed, it was those body punches that got Mosley the victory.

Body punches are what Cotto is known for but Mosley is of the mind that body punchers don’t like it to the body. When he says he’ll “probably” establish a body attack he means that his game plan will slowly revolve around just such an attack.

Mosley’s approach will be to test Cotto early. Cotto has proven to be the type of fighter who needs a few rounds to warm up and establish his rhythm. He’s been hurt and floored before early and Mosley will use his speed and strength to test the champion in the early going. But Cotto has always gotten up, dusted himself off and soldiered on, applying constant pressure until he breaks his opponent’s will. Mosley has been there before on numerous occasions so all that could truly surprise “Sugar” Shane will be Cotto’s tenacity and fighting spirit. And those two attributes have allowed Cotto to fight at a higher level. He’s also getting better and more confident with each bout.

All of this makes Cotto versus Mosley arguably the most anticipated fight of the year. And in a year that has been giving fans one tantalizing bout after another, that is saying quite a lot.

Article posted on 22.10.2007

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