Sharkie’s Machine: Margarito/Mosley Preview; Margarito Video Interview

By Frank Gonzalez Jr., Antonio Margarito Video Interview courtesy of John Martinez, This coming Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California, 30 year old Welterweight titlist Antonio Margarito (37-5, 27 KO’s) will defend his WBA strap against 37 year old Shane Mosley (45-5, 38 KO’s). While this fight may have some draw power due to the big name thing, based on recent events, I can’t imagine Mosley has enough left in him to beat a big, strong fighter like Margarito. But anything CAN happen—just ask Kelly Pavlik..

Mosley struggled mightily in a 12 rounder against the very washed up Ricardo Mayorga last September, where with one click left in the 12th round Mosley scored an uppercut that knocked Mayorga out. It was a sloppy fight where neither man was very impressive. Mosley didn’t look as fit as usual in that fight and both guys appeared on the brink of total exhaustion after ten rounds. I can see Mayorga running out of gas after five or six rounds but Mosley has always come to fight in great shape. No man escapes Father Time though and Mosley is no exception.

At 37, Mosley has had a great pro career that spanned 15 years. In all that time, he’s never been knocked out and has lost only five times. Those losses were against Vernon Forrest (twice), Winky Wright (twice) and once to Miguel Cotto, who was unbeaten when they fought. PS…I also thought Oscar beat Mosley in their rematch but who cares about that? Against mediocre fighters, Mosley is excellent. Margarito is a mediocre fighter with tremendous stamina and will. That changes the parameters in a big way.

In Margarito’s last fight (July 2008), he scored a TKO 11 win over (then unbeaten) Miguel Cotto in a fight that saw Cotto winning most of the rounds with his superior mobility and boxing skills but losing the war after running low on gas in the late rounds and tasting some strong punches from Margarito, which proved too much for Cotto to handle. Margarito continually pressured Cotto throughout, and in the championship rounds, Cotto took a pounding and was bloodied and spent. Cotto surrendered on a knee right before Margarito was about to lay into him in the corner. The rest is history.

If their last common opponent is any indicator, Mosley is rightly an underdog going into the Margarito fight. Margarito destroyed Cotto. Mosley lost to Cotto in a fairly close fight. Some argued that Mosley won the last few rounds…and the fight. I thought Cotto won the most rounds. We’ve not seen Miguel Cotto since, but he is scheduled to return in February to fight a tune up match against Michael Jennings, who for being 34-1, 16 KO’s, typically hasn’t fought anyone of significance yet. Cotto’s handlers have shown no interest in a rematch with Margarito—like Margarito’s camp shows zero interest in a rematch with Paul Williams, who beat him convincingly by Unanimous Decision in July of 2007.

In spite of all the unchecked corruption, bogus rankings and decisions, Boxing remains the theater of the unexpected. It is possible that Mosley could pull off a Bernard Hopkins style win over the highly touted Margarito. I expect Margarito will be too strong in the long run for Shane Mosley and will probably win by Unanimous Decision. Of course, if it goes the distance, which I suspect it may, there’s always the X factor—the Judges, who are unaccountable to anyone and can make a loser out of a winner with a few strokes of their pencils on their score cards. We saw it last Saturday when WBC titlist Andre Berto got the undeserved win over Luis Collazo, who won the most rounds in a fight that saw Berto out boxed by the smaller man, banged up early on and even lost a point for excessive holding. One Judge (Bill Clancy) gave it to Berto by an unjustifiable score of 116-111.

There is the possibility that Mosley sits on his punches during close exchanges and lands a shot on the button that will put Margarito into siesta mode—but Margarito has shown a very durable chin and Mosley hasn’t knocked anyone out since little known Adrian Stone, way back in 2001.

If Mosley wins, he will take the WBA title and should fight Andre Berto. Should Mosley lose badly, he should retire from boxing and go enjoy all that money he’s made over the years with his family. If Margarito loses, he should rematch Mosley within six months. If Margarito wins, his handlers should man up and challenge Paul Williams to a rematch. Since boxing is all about money and the big purse, what could be more commercially viable than Williams vs. Margarito II?

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Article posted on 21.01.2009

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