Mayorga vs Mosley, Berto vs Forbes: Fight Strategies And Predictions

mosley vs mayorga27.09.08 - By Vivek Wallace: This evening in Carson City, California, fight fans will get the chance to watch as a few major players in the boxing landscape fall under the microscope. In the preliminary bout, the young and highly touted WBC Champion Andre Berto gets the opportunity to prove his mettle against experienced veteran Steve Forbes. Some see this fight as a stepping stone for Berto with little chance of an upset. Others around the boxing world openly view this as perhaps the best glimpse we've ever seen into the true skill level of Berto, who will find himself in against a fighter who is naturally smaller, yet larger in talent than any of his past opponents..

In the main event, 'Sugar' Shane Mosley gets a chance to show his relevance to the world of boxing as he squares off against Nicaraguan, 'El Matador' Ricardo Mayorga. With Shane Mosley losing to Miguel Cotto last year and Cotto subsequently losing to Margarito, the official Margarito sweepstakes are officially underway and it can be safely analyzed that Mosley's decision to face Mayorga is nothing other than a chance to test his skills against a fighter he views on the same symmetrical landscape (as Margarito). How it all pans out in the end, none of us know for sure, but in an effort to see who has the best chance to walk away with the win, we examine things a bit closer......


Andre Berto will need to execute in this fight far better than he ever has. Not too long ago we saw Berto under the national spotlight on Friday Night Fights as he faced another fighter who was regarded as a minimal threat -- Cosme Rivera -- and later found his at times inconsistent defensive posture tested as he touched the canvas for the first time in his young career. Some also view this opponent as a 'stepping stone', but I love to remind them that we all train in life to overcome the big obstacles, yet typically it's those less visible 'stepping stones' we don't see that often cause us to trip up the most. Berto is clearly a talented fighter, but some of his strengths will be nullified against a fighter like Forbes. Case in point, Forbes just went a full 12 rounds with Oscar De La Hoya. Granted, the Oscar that we see now days is not the vintage Oscar we once knew, but he's still very capable of knocking a fighter out. The fact that Oscar KO'd Mayorga, but failed to KO Forbes is a very telling statistic. The reason that Oscar could not KO Forbes is because as Roger Mayweather once stated, "you can't hurt what you can't hit"! Not only will Forbes be a very mobile target, but for a guy known for better than average defense, he has a very keen ability to pick and choose his shots accurately as well. I think stylistically, the fight is actually more even than most believe. With that in mind, I think now that Berto has proven he can punch, and has also proven that he has speed and better than average skills, the fight for him will come down to two things: Defense and patience. Forbes has a certain craftiness about him that will make it easy to score points in spurts. Berto will need to defend himself against those spurts and more importantly, he will need to remain patient, avoiding the wild fire moments, settling instead for the slow-but-simmering effect. If Berto can harness his emotions and not let the spotlights of Vegas blind his view of the big vision like many in the past have, I think this is his fight to lose. A KO victory would be a huge feat because few have been able to land flush on Forbes, let alone flush enough to knock him out.



This is a fight that I think will be far more interesting than the oddsmakers have it for the simple fact that you have two fighters that are capable of producing vastly different fights than the past has indicated. In Shane Mosley, you have a fighter that has been seen as very credible, highly talented, and if nothing else, a staunch competitor that comes to fight. In Shane Mosley you also have a fighter that has began to show signs of decline as age and awareness have seemed to become the key contributing factors. In Ricardo Mayorga, you have a fighter that has previously seemed a bit aloof in the ring with an abundance of fight night and pre fight antics. In Ricardo Mayorga you also have a fighter who has been able to distract many from seeing his true talent based on those antics. In an era of the sport where KO's are the premium, few fighters utilize text book boxing skills. As bizarre as it may seem, I'll go out on a limb publicly and tell anyone objective enough to perform their own research and 'man up' when proven wrong, that Mayorga has one of the best pure combination assaults in the sport. In a conference call earlier this week I raised the notion that it appeared Mayorga used some very fundamental boxing in his last outing against Fernando Vargas. As I reviewed what amounted to a little over 2 hours of fight footage in preparation of this fight, it became obvious to me that this guy has always used fundamental boxing skills, and only fell short in the past when he strayed from that path. If you look at the Andrew '6 Heads' Lewis showdown, it was a brutal 7 punch combination that set up and ultimately ended the fight. Against Forrest, it was a brutal assault that he utilized once again, which in this case came after he slipped a shot using what I view as a pretty underrated and rarely used defense of his. He lost against Oscar, but if you review the tape you'll see one of the purest combinations that culminated with a neck-snappin' uppercut out of this world with :26 left in the 3rd round. Yeah, the guy is oozin' with machismo but when he puts it all together, he has better talent than you think. Don't be fooled by the antics and his famous 'punch-my-face-let-me-bust-your-ass' tactics. The guy can actually box. For those that don't have access to a Mayorga fight catalogue, I'm sure you can find most of this same stuff on his specs. In the end, I think this is Shane's fight to lose, but Mosley has always been known as a fighter who likes to eat leather to land leather. If he comes with that mentality and stands in the pocket and goes toe to toe, I don't doubt that we'll see him hurt badly at some point. Remember, Mayorga took everything Forrest had (twice), and Mosley failed to do so (twice). Forrest failed to take Mayorga's assault (twice), while Mosley failed to handle Forrests' assault (twice). All these things are relative. I'll go out on a limb and say that if this fight goes beyond 9 rounds, I like "El Matador". Somehow, I just don't think it will. There's no such thing as a double prediction so I'll stick to Shane, but anything beyond - all bets are off....I like Mayorga beyond that point.


(Got Questions Or Feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at and 954*292*7346, or show some love at

Article posted on 27.09.2008

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