Mosley the Magnificent!

By Geoffrey Ciani: The main reason I picked Shane Mosley to beat Antonio Margarito was because I did not believe Margarito would be able to break Mosley’s will in the same fashion he broke Miguel Cotto’s. I was certain Mosley’s superior durability and stamina would help see him to the final bell. Moreover, I thought Mosley’s stronger punching power and faster hand speed would give Margarito a lot to think about, and I figured Mosley would have better success in attacking Margarito’s body than Cotto. What I never envisioned, however, was a scenario which saw Mosley break Margarito’s will, and that is exactly what happened.

Mosley looked absolutely magnificent. From the opening round, he began hitting Margarito with stiff shots to the midsection. In relying on his body attack early and often, he would ultimately soften Margarito up for what many deemed impossible before the match took place—a knockout victory for Mosley! In what was arguably the greatest performance of his long and illustrious career, Mosley looked more like a rising star than an aging warrior entering his twilight. Indeed, it was a vintage performance from Sugar.

Everything he did was absolutely marvelous. He was doubling up the jab beautifully, landing booming lead rights at will, and throwing fast fluid combinations reminiscent of his younger days, often ending flurries with powerful left hooks to the head and body. Confused and bamboozled, Margarito was never able to get going. Anything he tried, Mosley had an answer for. By the middle rounds, when Margarito is usually overcoming his slow start and beginning to wear down his opponent, it was Mosley who began turning up the heat.

One of the keys for Mosley was that he never allowed Margarito to successfully cut off the ring the way Cotto did. Whenever Margarito tried to corner him, Mosley would pop the left hand in his face and move out of harm’s way. If there was no room to move away, he would move in close, smothering Margarito’s punches and rendering him impotent. When that did not work, Mosley would strategically tie him up and break his rhythm, but for the most part, though, Mosley was in complete control. The relentless pressure Margarito is best known for never became a factor in this fight.

With his biggest victory since his first win against Oscar De La Hoya, Mosley now finds himself in the driver’s seat of the most talented division in the sport today. Potential mega-bouts with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao now become distinct possibilities. If neither of those comes to fruition, unification bouts with Andre Berto and Joshua Clottey are also viable options. Still, other possibilities exist in the form of Zab Judah, Kermit Cintron, and Carlos Quintana, and of course, a potential rematch with Miguel Cotto also looms.

Frankly, of all the potential match-ups, the showdown I would be most interested in seeing is one between Mosley and Mayweather. This is a fight I’ve longed to see for quite some time, and with Mosley’s spectacular victory over Margarito corresponding with rumors about a possible return to the squared circle for Mayweather, the timing couldn’t be better. If Mosley is unable to lure the former pound for pound king out of retirement, perhaps he can coax the reigning pound for pound king to fight him. Personally, I feel that potential bouts with Mayweather or Pacquiao represent very favorable match-ups for Mosley, and I believe that is the direction he ought to take. Regardless, whoever he fights next, the world will be watching.

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To read more by Ciani please visit The Mushroom Mag:

Article posted on 26.01.2009

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