Mosley Proves He Still Sweet In Pounding of Margarito

Shane MosleyBy Evan Young - - The boxing world was thrown for a loop yet again when 37 year old Shane Mosley dominated World welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, scoring a stunning 9th round KO over the iron chinned Mexican Saturday night at the staples Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Mosley proved to be the faster guy, although every one already knew that, but not many expected Mosley to be able to escape the punishing Margarito. But Mosley had a brilliant strategy and had the physical strength to pull it off. Mosley simply beat Margarito to the punch, went to his body and clinched hard and walked Margarito to ropes. And this plan worked like a charm because Mosley has become amazingly strong in the upper body over the past few years.

Margarito even stated afterwards that he simply couldn’t squirm out of Mosley’s clutches and once the ref separated them Mosley would land clean, meaningful punches and then hold again. This was basically the blueprint of the fight and it happened every round. Through the first 5 or 6 rounds, Margarito had lost every round but still seemed in the fight. He was moving forward, trying to walk Mosley down. And there were some brief glimpses in the 7th and early in the 8th round where is seemed possible that Margarito just might turn the fight in his favor. Margarito landed a few shots and Mosley backed up and seemed slightly weary.

But Mosley had speed to burn on this night and would always answer back. And in the 8th round the near impossible happened. Mosley dropped Margarito late in the round with a sequence of brutal power shots. Even the great chin and resolve of Margarito can only take getting hit with clean bricks for so long. Mosley had chipped away on the granite known as the Tijuana Tornado until he was ready to crumble. And crumble he did in that 8th round. Margarito opted to come out for the 9th round but he was badly wounded prey and Mosley wasn’t going to let him escape. The pounding continued and Margarito slumped to the floor just as his corner threw in the towel.

This was a shocking event for many, me included, as I just didn’t see Mosley executing such a precision performance this late in his career. Mosley was sloppy and off balance with Ricardo Mayorga in his previous fight and had lost a hard fought but clear decision to Miguel Cotto before that. He decisioned an injured Luis Collazo in a dreary fight and beat a faded Fernando Vargas twice. And before that he looked quite ordinary in 10 round decision wins over Jose Luis Cruz and David Estrada.

Prior to moving back to welterweight against Estrada, Mosley was dominated and ineffectual in 2 losses to Winky Wright. To me, Mosley seemed like a guy that can still give a good effort but that his past glories were ancient history. But Mosley gave a vintage performance that I would have to say tops anything he has done in his career including his first win over Oscar de la Hoya in 2000. With this win Mosley has put himself in a position in this twilight of his career to fight biggest fights in the sport. Two possibilities that come to mind are a fight with retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Filipino pheom Manny Pacquiao. And there a slew of very solid welterweight contenders he could fight or he could move back up to Jr. Middleweight and fight some of the excellent talent there.


Promotional war’s

This fight was loaded story lines and subplots that is worth some discussion. First of all this was a great battle between promotional giants Golden Boy Promotions and Bob Arum’s Top Rank. Top Rank had taken the sting out the Kelly Pavlik’s loss to now 44 year old Bernard Hopkins when “diminutive” Manny Pacquiao mercilessly pounded Oscar de la Hoya for scintillating 8th round stoppage last month. But now Golden Boy Promotions is in celebration over Mosley’s unlikely win over Margarito.

Top Rank will look for payback when Pacquiao defends against Golden Boy client Ricky Hatton in May. And of course, Arum can bring other guys at Mosley and they can go back and forth. But I think it’s great that they do business even if they don’t like each other. There are plenty of compelling fights that can be put together that wouldn’t happen if they refused to do business and both operations are benefitting and making big money for their outfits.

Margarito not above inquiry

A bizarre side story surfaced that was presented by the HBO crew in the opening round. Apparently, Margarito had to have his hands rewrapped because the first wrap may have had a substance that when it becomes wet essentially makes the gloves as hard as plaster of paris which would be like having cement in his gloves. And what will go along with this allegation will be the question “has he ever done this before?” And of course that is a reasonable question that I’m sure will be speculated upon. I’m not stating as fact that Mosley juiced for this fight or Margarito has fought with loaded gloves over the years but the bottom line is that in any big money sport be it baseball, football, Olympic track and Field or even boxing, the stakes are high and it has become highly common for top athletes in those sports to do anything that will given them an edge that is not limited by whatever rules may be in place.

How did this result happen

There are many things to look at after the fact. Here are some things to think about: Margarito had a very long party after his Cotto win and may have had somewhat of a post fight hangover. Also, one can question whether Margarito’s brutal style has simply caught up with him. This fight seems like it was slapped together quickly in the month of December and perhaps that had a poor effect on Margarito. Margarito only weighed 160 when entering the ring on the night of the fight. Why was he so light? I know he weighed over 170 when he entered the ring against Cotto just 6 months ago. All this bouncing up and down in weight can have a very negative effect on a fighter over time.

Perhaps Mosley simply had the right style and attributes to win. Consider Mosley had more upper body strength that Margarito. He was able to clamp down on him and tie him up. And he didn’t just hold, he put a vice grip on Margarito and walked him backwards. That can surely could have taken something out of Margarito since he was resisting but couldn’t do anything about it. Mosley was on his game and was extremely sharp and quick on this night. It appears the trainer Nazim Richardson is a gem and understands how to map a strategy based on all the particulars of a certain fight. He will be highly sought out after this fight. And then of course the possibilities exist that Mosley was “enhanced” and Margarito was naked without loaded gloves - again, I’m not asserting this as a truth or fact but only an opinion or possibility. All these possibilities are things to look at and the answer probably lies somewhere in this section and we can all reasonably speculate on all of it.

Article posted on 27.01.2009

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