Sweet Sugar and the Violent Tornado

Antonio MargaritoBy Paul Strauss: Many experts feel that on paper Sugar Shane Mosley will win in his battle against Antonio Margarito on Jan 24th at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA. But, before you place your bet, read the following exchange.

Sugar is more skilled, faster, hits harder and is just as tough, his fans believe. So he should win, right? But, he's 37 yrs old, and has fought many more rounds than Margarito, plus he's had some tough losses, the opposition contends. That's wear and tear on the body. Antonio's fans point out. Sugar's fans argue that he's always taken good care of himself, and is in excellent shape. He also prepares well for his fights. So does Margarito his fans counter, as they further point out his endurance is legendary.

Yes, but Shane's fans state their hero has had more big fights (21 title fights versus 15), and he is used to being part of the big show, and the accompanying glare of the spotlights and the distractions presented by the media. Margarito's fans dismiss that, and argue that it is Shane who might be distracted, because his testimony in the BALCO trial has recently been made public. In it he allegedly admits to having (unknowingly) injected himself with EPO, an illegal substance. Shane's fans say that's old news, and that he's been through extensive questioning about that before, and remains consistent with his responses.

Margarito's fans gleefully shout their fighter is an animal, and no one can withstand the pressure he applies. Shane's fans laugh away that point, countering with his loss to Paul Williams, and the tough time Joshua Clottey gave him before he hurt his hand(s). But, the Tijuana Tornado's fans explain that Antonio will beat Williams in a rematch, and the only reason he didn't beat him in the first fight was because he didn't start applying the pressure soon enough. He was capable of doing so, and he won't make that mistake again. As far as Clottey is concerned, they simply say Antonio beat him.

Shane's fans believe boxing fans and experts know he will prove to be the most complete package Margarito has ever faced. He will be elusive, but won't run and tire himself out. He will prove to be faster and hit harder than Antonio. Plus, he throws all of the punches well, and will effectively counter Margarito. Margarito's fans respond that almost all of his victims were faster than him, but it made no difference, because he applies too much pressure. He also has the ability to time speedier fighters, and throw counters in anticipation of what they plan to do. Plus, the sheer volume of his punches wilts the opposition.

Shane's fans explain that he will land good body shots early, especially the left hook, which will take some of the wind out of the Tornado. Margarito's fans maintain that Antonio is not that easy to hit. He covers his body well with his arms and elbows, and he turns or rolls properly at the right time. Even when he gets tagged, the power is dissipated.

Shane's just as tough as Margarito, his fans plead. They point out Shane has never been counted out. Margarito's fans say ditto, adding that their fighter has never even been in trouble like Shane was against Vernon Forrest and Ronald Winky Wright.

Shane's fans assert that Margarito is not going to enjoy a physical advantage like he normally does in his fights, and in fact that Sugar will have a slight reach advantage. Margarito's fans explain their fighter is a true welterweight, and on fight night, he will probably enjoy a ten pound or better weight advantage on Shane. They also remind Shane's fans that Shane has had trouble with taller fighters such as Forrest and Wright.

Shane's fans say Margarito takes too many punches, and won't be able to withstand Shane's power. Margarito's fans point out that he took everything Cotto had to offer, and at that time Cotto was undefeated and considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. They also say he handled everything Clottey and Williams had to throw at him, and they are also two of the best. They add that Shane was out jabbed by Cotto, and has taken a lot of right hands over the years from fighters up to and including Mayorga.

Shane's fans say the trump card might be the addition of Nazim Richardson to the training camp. Nazim is highly respected, they point out, and considered one of the better people in the business, who consistently comes up with effective plans to deal with particular styles, tendencies (tells) and flaws in fighters. What flaws or tells might Margarito have his fans ask with incredulity! Shane's fans say he squares up too much, and provides too much of a target. He also makes himself vulnerable by leading with a decoy right, and then sliding to his left, and dropping his left shoulder while leaning down and in to land the left hook and uppercut. Shane's fans say Tony is wide open for the counter right. Margarito's fans claim he releases his shot before the counter right can be fired, and once his left lands, his opponent no longer wants to try the counter and expose himself to another painful shot to the solar plexus or liver.

Shane's fans believe that when he tags Margarito, he will stay on him and drive him back, overwhelming him, so much so that Tony will be pre-occupied with his own defense, and unable to mount his usual attack. Margarito's fans point out he is under-rated as an in-fighter, and that he has the ability to throw very short, but effective punches, including counters. Plus, they claim, he is very accurate. They offer as evidence the physical damage done to Cotto's face with short punches Tony administered when Cotto was sitting on the second strand of the ropes with gloves raised

Margarito's fans make one final argument, explaining that even if Shane proves to be faster, more skilled, and punches harder, it still won't be enough to win. The most talented fighter often does not win. There are numerous examples.

Regardless of who comes away with a victory, HBO has a winner for the fans with this matchup. Plus, they're rewarding their viewers with a non-PPV telecast. I can sense your blood pressure's up and the adrenaline is flowing in anticipation. It's going to be a sweet stormy night!

Article posted on 05.01.2009

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