Boxing

Shane Mosley Sets The Last Brick As Fernando Vargas Hits The Wall

shane mosley17.07.06 - By Wray Edwards: About two years ago while visiting Joel Casamayor at Buddy McGirt's Elite training facility in Vero Beach, ESB changed the subject from El Cepillo's pending fight with Daniel Seda to a question about the future of Fernando Vargas. Buddy answered that he was spending time with his family and had no immediate boxing plans. Vargas was already known to have back problems and his future was in doubt.

Soon though, Vargas revived his career as he matched with Raymond Joval (03/26/05) and 38 year old Javier Castillejo (08/20/05). These contests seemed to indicate that Fernando was ready for bigger and better things, which brought him into the clutches of Shane Mosley for their first contest on 07/15/06. Vargas held his own through much of that fight until Mosley's relentless rights turned Fernando's left eye into a party balloon which convinced Joe Cortez to stop the fight in the tenth.

The fight was close and Vargas was catching Shane pretty good throughout. It was close enough for those involved to consider a rematch.. So last night Fernando Vargas hauled his seemingly young, 28 year old body into the ring to take on the sugar man again. Right from the get-go it looked like Vargas was fighting in slow-mo while Mosley was live. On several occasions he would cautiously bend over to his right and try to sneak in body shots just like Roy did in Jones/Tarver three. It looked very tentative and was not a good sign.

For the first four rounds there was a lot of clinching and Kenny Bayless was kept very busy forcing the two out of their embraces. On two occasions when Vargas finally stood back and boxed, Shane centered up and winged brutal, sweeping, outside punches. These powerful flurries, for which Vargas had no answer, were ominous indicators of Fernando's peril.

Finally, after being scolded by his corner, Vargas stayed back in the fifth round and actually popped Sugar with punches reminiscent of their first meeting. This was, however, a two-edged decision as it gave Mosley the opportunity to swing more freely without causing Vargas to close and clinch as he had done in the first four frames. It was, in fact, his only chance to return to the nearly competitive effort he showed in their first fight, but he seemed to have lost a step (his footwork was insufficient) and some hand speed. On the other hand, Mosley appeared to have gone to school on their first encounter and had a tactical plan which bore fruit in the sixth round.

As Vargas attempted to throw a left hook, Shane was simultaneously about half-way into a swing of his own left. Mosley lent to his right as part of the power development of his gathering left punch. This caused the Vargas left to pass just between Shane's left ear and shoulder to little effect. Meanwhile Fernando's right was dropping away from the guard position to about mid-chest, leaving his head completely exposed.

This left Vargas looking right down at Mosley's on-rushing glove as it arced around and upward towards his defenseless mug. Mosley's strike collided with Fernando's face between his nose and upper lip then careened towards Vargas' left, lower jaw. As Mosley's glove slipped towards Vargas' neck Fernando's head rotated smartly to his right. From some angles it actually looked to be a glancing blow.that is, Mosley's punch did not appear to stop abruptly as if making full, energy transferring contact. From other angles it clearly did knock Vargas back and down.

Fernando beat the count, and just did convince Bayless to let him continue. He was, however, unable to fight or defend himself effectively as he was still traumatized. Kenny saw this as Mosley moved in for the finish and stopped the fight. Though only 28, Vargas looks to have taken quite enough from Tito, DLH, Mosley and others. It looks like he should work the other side of the ropes from now on, or we may see something we would rather not.

Thank you, Mr. Vargas, for all those great moments. Go do something else.

JUAN DIAZ DEFEATS YET ANOTHER CANNON FODDER OPPONENT

In a preliminary bout between Houston's Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz and Filipino Randy Suico for the WBA Lightweight Championship of the world, we saw yet another in a long line of hand-picked pseudo-credible opponents which have upholstered the career of this IMO protected fighter. Though Diaz has a flashy and scoring style, he seemed to lack KO power in this fight as he made numerous, clean, unhindered punches to Randy's head. Suico was tough enough to give it a good go, but a professional watching his style and speed could easily see that he was tailor-made for Juan.

The guy stood stood right in front of Juan and even did Diaz the favor of fighting short even though he was much taller. He also gifted Diaz by leaning into many of his punches.

The HBO broadcast crew fawned over Diaz' performance not once mentioning that Suico's deficiencies might be an important factor in making Diaz look so good. The fight was a mismatch and the one time Randy rattled Juan, he could not follow up because of Diaz' advantages. At about 0:55 to go in the ninth Diaz was wearing Randy down to a point that Joe Cortez stepped in.

Earlier in the fight Cortez had stepped into Randy's corner to warn him to do more. The HBO crew rightly questioned that warning as Randy was quite active from a general perspective. More likely, even though Suico was quite active for a puncher, it was very obvious (especially to such a practiced eye as that of Cortez) that he was no match for Diaz, and Cortez was just laying the groundwork for that which he already knew he would have to do.

I was not impressed in the least by watching Diaz totally thrash what appeared to be a hand-picked sparring partner. Diaz needs to have more confrontations with the likes of Lavka Sim, Santa Cruz or Diego Corrales to validate his career. He's young and already very experienced albeit on a possibly too carefully chosen path. If he's as great as HBO would have us believe, let's see some unification action.

The under-card fights were entertaining with one absolutely, stunning KO when WBO junior featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon (29-1, 27 KOs) obliterated Sod Looknongyangtoy (27-2, 10 KOs) in just 52 seconds. Mexican fighter Ponce De Leon crushed Looknongyangtoy with a straight left which felled him on his face like a dynamited tree. He was completely unconscious as he laid there like a piece of freshly cut sod. But wait.that's his name isn't it. How ironic. He awoke with a classic "Where am I?" expression as an oxygen mask was pressed to his face. Come to think of it Daniel and Juan would be a corker.

As a PPV event it was great to watch Mosley and his dad back in tune. PBF sounds good to me. See you at the fights.

Article posted on 17.07.2006



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