Mosley vs Margarito Prediction: Mosley Wins!

By John Martinez, - Tomorrow night, “Sugar” Shane Mosley will enter the ring playing the role of a fastly fading, former world champion to the current WBA welterweight king, Antonio “Tijuana Tornado” Margarito in HBO’s World Championship Boxing telecast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Mosley has been written off heading into the marquee match up by numerous boxing “experts” and fans alike largely based on his last outing against Ricardo Mayorga..

In that fight, Mosley went 35 minutes and 59 seconds before vanquishing Mayorga via an “early” stoppage. Shane, at times, looked out of sync and complacent during his battle with the Nicaraguan.

But if one were to view that fight once more, they would recognize that Mayorga did not fight Mosley as most people thought he would, including Mosley himself.

Mosley said to me, “Mayorga fought me differently than he had other guys in the past. He didn’t really open himself up to me. He was using angles and throwing combinations and finishing with a hold. I think he was trying to use his size and weight to wear me down. But you saw what happened when I hit him with that clean left hook; he went down.”

Several fighters have said in the past that Mayorga has a tendency to make them appear as though they have lost a slight edge in the ring. Vernon Forrest, Andrew Lewis, Cory Spinks, and even Tito Trinidad have all claimed this in the past whether they won or not. De la Hoya made mention of this as well enroot to a brutal knockout of the bruiser from Nicaragua.

I believe that Mosley will win by decision. I think this fight will be close and dramatic. In Margarito, what you see is what you get- a warrior. A straightforward hard punching cardio machine that walks his foes down before laying them out for good.

He tends to gain his success from throwing looping punches in bunches while not utilizing the most important punch in a fighter’s arsenal, the jab.

When I visited his training camp for this upcoming fight, his manager, Sergio Diaz, informed me that Margarito had hired additional personnel to teach him how to fire punches straighter than he normally would.

I witnessed “Large Marge” trying to employ more head movement than he had in the past as well.

His jab was direct and clean, but only for a round or two. After that, he was the Margarito of old. Walking forward, no head movement, taking shots, and wind milling combinations.

I like Margarito. I think he is by far the greatest threat in the welterweight division not because of his punching power, but because of his ability to rip the heart and mental toughness out of his opponent by taking their best shots and still barreling forward.

Letting them know that their best wasn’t good enough and when they have brought out their “A” game and it still doesn’t work, where do they go from there? In that one moment, they realize that they are done and hopeless. That is an assassin.

All that being said, I still choose Mosley. Mosley has the mental toughness and will not be deterred when plan A or B isn’t working. He will mount a strategic attack behind a double left jab followed by what I believe will be the perfect weapon against Margarito, the uppercut.

Unlike Cotto, Mosley will not allow himself to move backwards while throwing combinations. Shane understands that in order for those shots to have any “snap” on them, he must move side to side and forward. I also think that Mosley will stay off the ropes as well.

By reclining on the ropes, Mosley would be left to taking body shots from Margarito while trying to fend off Margarito from using his size and strength to wear down Shane’s legs and back.

The other factor that comes into play is the kitchen table angle. If Shane were to lose this fight, his stature as one of the elite fighters in the sport would take a serious hit. Like his former rival and current business partner, Oscar De La Hoya, Mosley would be subjected to numerous articles and calls for his tenure in boxing to come to an immediate halt.

There wouldn’t be any more big name fights. No more shining lights. The purses would be smaller and he would be left to fighting young up and comers wanting to make a name for themselves off beating the former champion on a card being held in West Virginia somewhere.

This is why I deem Shane Mosley the winner of the fight tomorrow night. He is fighting for a title. Sure. But more importantly, he is fighting for food on his table. And there is nothing more dangerous than a man that believes his pride and lifestyle might take a major blow should they lose it all.

Margarito is telling him in a round about way that he is going to take that food from Shane’s table. He is going to leave Mosley to be regulated by small time promoters and fight cards on ESPN.

I say that Shane is still hungry and not a former shell of himself. He will prevail and he will turn the clock back to June 17, 2000 when he became the new boss of the welterweight division.

On that day, he showed the world something special. He outgunned, out manned, out thought, and out speeded the “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya even though he was considered the underdog in the fight.

So tomorrow night, live from the Los Angeles’s Staple Center on HBO’s World Championship Boxing, get ready to “meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

Article posted on 23.01.2009

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