Mosley - Vargas Preview: A Better Fight than People Think!

15.02.06 - By Geoffrey Ciani: Saturday, February 25, ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley will square off against Fernando Vargas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Vegas. This is a rather intriguing match-up, despite the fact both fighters are clearly passed their primes. In fact, this fight will likely act as a crossroads for both boxers; whoever wins will likely get at least one more nice payday before all is said and done, whereas the loser may not be afforded that opportunity.

Conventional knowledge suggests that Mosley should probably win this bout. After all, in recent years, Mosley has looked better against superior competition. However, this does have the potential to be a very competitive match-up. Perhaps this fight won’t be as interesting as it may have been back in 2000/2001, but still, there’s an interesting style match-up at play here. And beyond that, it should be a good indicator of exactly how much each pugilist has left in the tank.

It wasn’t too long ago when Shane Mosley was considered to be an elite amongst the elite. Indeed, Shane was once dubbed by many as the top dog in the fight game, and the prestigious pound-for-pound label was often attached to his name.. However, that was until Mosley suffered back-to-back losses at the hands of Vernon Forrest; he’s never been the same fighter since. It’s as if everything that made Shane Mosley great had evaporated into thin air as a direct consequence of his encounters with Forrest. Simply put, he had lost his edge. He no longer appeared to have the same level of confidence and he became rather gun-shy.

Likewise, it wasn’t that long ago when Vargas was considered one of the most promising prospects on the scene. He was a technically sound fighter, with a nice jab and good power to compliment his arsenal. However, much in the same way Mosley was never the same after having fought Forrest, Vargas was never the same after his encounter with Felix Trinidad. After the Trinidad bout, Vargas had lost his edge much in the same way Mosley had lost his edge; similarly, Vargas’s level of confidence seemed to have deteriorated in the same fashion as had Mosley’s.

At his best, Mosley was an absolute marvel to watch. He had a superb combination of speed, strength, and quickness that enabled him to unleash lightning-fast combinations which would often leave his opponents in disarray. Although no longer at his best, Mosley is still widely regarded as having more left in the tank than Vargas. But the thing most people seem to be forgetting is that — at his best — Vargas possessed a style that had the potential to cause a lot of problems for Mosley. In fact, one could argue that his style fits the mold of a Vernon Forrest and a Winky Wright, both of whom caused Mosley a great deal of trouble inside the ring. This is what makes this match-up so interesting.

That said, people still tend to favor Mosley in this bout, and for the most part, I’m apt to agree with that. Based on recent performances, it seems reasonable to believe that Mosley’s superior athleticism should carry the fight for him. However, I’d not be the least bit surprised to see Vargas using the jab to help nullify many of Mosley’s advantages, which could give him a good chance of winning this fight. I tend to believe that the hungrier fighter will reign triumphant. This is one of those bouts where the slightest edge in confidence can propel one of these pugilists to victory. It may very well turn out that having the more minatory glare will enable one of the two to pave his way to victory.

Remember, these are two fighters who’ve been plagued by mental issues more than anything else. Confidence will be a huge factor in this one, and it may just turn out that whoever has an edge in this department will obtain a huge advantage. How things pan out in the first two rounds of this fight may very well help dictate the pace. I, for one, look forward to this most intriguing fight with eager anticipation.

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Article posted on 15.02.2006

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