Mosley Defeats Collazo To Win WBC Welterweight Title
By Jeff Bastasini
Shane Mosley (44-4, 37 KOs) had few problems tonight in winning a 12-round decision over Luis Collazo (26-3, 12 KO's) to win the WBC interim welterweight title at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight was supposed to be youth of Collazo, 25, vs. the advanced age of Mosley, now 35, but it turned out that Mosley was not only the faster fighter, but also the much harder puncher of the two, surprizing many. Just as in his bout with Hatton, Collazo was able to land well on occasion, however, his selective, counter-punching style was no match for Mosley's constant attacks.
Collazo, for the most part, was limited in the shots that he landed, throwing few combinations during the course of the bout. He did, however, throw a lot of jabs, perhaps hoping to mimic the success he had with Hatton where he was able to catch him often as he was coming in.
Mosley, though, merely ducked under many of the jabs, quickly getting inside where he ripped three punch combinations to Collazo's body and head. It seemed as if Collazo adopted the strategy of holding back with his punches in the first half of the fight, seeming to hope that Mosley would tire out in the later rounds due to his age.
If that was Collazo's plan, it failed miserably. Mosley simply piled up the points in the early rounds, while wearing Collazo down with huge shots.
By the mid fight, Collazo attempted to become more offensive minded, but he found only limited success. More often than not, when Collazo came forward, he was met with Mosley now turning into the counter puncher and landing hard shots that appeared to make Collazo back off, turning back into a defensive fighter to avoid the punishment he was receiving. As the rounds progressed, the fight become even more one-sided with Mosley totally dominating Collazo, who looked frustrated and tired, seeming not to know what to do. In the 11th round, Mosley knocked Collazo down with a huge shot. However, Collazo got up and was able to finish the round without going down again.
The final judges' scores were 118-109, 118-109 and 119-108 for Mosley.
Shane Mosley and the Fountain of Youth!
By Geoffrey Ciani
Saturday night witnessed a battle between former champions when 35-year-old Shane Mosley squared off against 25-year-old Luis Collazo. This bout was for the interim WBC welterweight crown, which is being temporarily abandoned by Floyd Maytweather, Jr. while he pursues a career payday against Oscar De La Hoya at super-welterweight.
Mosley was coming off of back-to-back wins against Fernando Vargas in bouts that seemed to help rejuvenate his career. Despite this fact, many boxing analysts prefigured that the younger opponent would prove too much for Mosley. Aside from the ten year age difference, Mosley was also moving back down in weight. In fact, this would be only Mosley’s third bout at welterweight since July 2002, and historically speaking, fighters moving down in weight at this late stage in their careers has often proved disastrous.
The first half of the fight was mostly competitive. Mosley was the busier fighter whereas Collazo seemed to be landing the flusher shots. In part, it didn’t seem as if Mosley was fully committing to his punches, but even still, he was landing and throwing at a much higher rate. From the opening bell, Mosley was throwing fluid combinations whilst mixing in the occasional body shot for good measure. Although his combinations weren’t as precise as Mosley would’ve liked, they seemed effective nonetheless, often forcing Collazo into a defensive posture. After six, I had Mosley up 58-56, having given Collazo two rounds.
By the eighth round, Mosley was clearly in control of the bout as he began opening up more. He started committing to his punches with full force, and his combos remained fluid whilst becoming more precise. He did a fine job mixing his punches both upstairs and downstairs, and late in the fight it looked as if Collazo didn’t really want to be there as Mosley’s body attack started to take its toll on his younger foe. Mosley floored Collazo in round eleven with a short right hook that sent Collzao wobbling to the canvas. To his credit, Collazo exhibited heart and courage by rising to his feet, and he managed to make it to the final bell even though Shane appeared to be going for the knockout in the final stanza.
With victory, Mosley positions himself for many intriguing potential match-ups. With names like Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, and Kermit Cintron floating around, the welterweight division has suddenly become interesting again. Furthermore, win, lose or draw, there’s a strong likelihood that Mayweather will be returning to this weight after his scheduled bout with The Golden Boy. With all of these big names fighting in the same division, there’s bound to be some great showdowns in the not-too-distant future.
Mosley looked really good. What impressed me most wasn’t that he was able to outwork and out-hustle his younger opponent (although, no doubt, this was impressive). Rather, I was more impressed with the fact that Mosley was able to maintain a high punch output fairly consistently over the entire twelve rounds, especially considering he looked tired early in the bout. Mosley still possesses outstanding speed, even at age 35, and he appears to be returning to prior form with his new dedication to combination punching.
“Sugar” Shane Mosley was once amongst the pound-for-pound greats in the sport; some even considered him to be tops in that rarified air. Clearly, Mosley is no longer that same type of elite pugilist, however, he’s still one hell of a fighter. Even at age 35, Mosley presents a tough challenge for anyone in the welterweight division, and that includes Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Although Shane is clearly in the twilight of his career, he still has enough time to enhance his legacy. What could enhance his legacy more than a win over the reigning pound-for-pound king? Especially if Mayweather beats De La Hoya?
If Mayweather does beat De La Hoya on Cinco de Mayo, don’t be surprised if we see a mega-bout between Mosley and Mayweather later this year. And if that happens, don’t be surprised when Mosley wins. At this point in time, I’d favor Mosley over any pugilist in the rejuvenated welterweight division. Having seemingly taken drink from the Fountain that long eluded Ponce de Leon, “Sugar” Shane Mosley is back!
Boxing's Mosley & Collazo KO's MMA's Gracie & Shamrock
By Wray Edwards: Well…that was interesting. Switching back-and-forth between HBO's Boxing and Showtime's "Elite Xtreme Combat" last night, gave one an opportunity to contrast and compare the two entertainment forms. Don King and Gary Shaw, who were together for last weekend's "Super Saturday" in Kissimmee, Florida, went their separate ways as HBO and Showtime again went head-to-head in the fight game. I was very surprised by the emotional contrasts and the differentials in pace and form between the two styles.
There were several very clear differences which, IMO, proved that the Marquis of Queensbury understood what would be necessary in form and content to ensure the longevity and popularity of prizefighting. First, pace and rhythm, within a formal context of posture as the fighters square off, are essential to maintain interest. Second, strike weapon (fist only) and target surface limitations are crucial to keep the contest from introducing dynamics which might damage pace and rhythm. In my opinion, Boxing was far-and-away the better entertainment last night. Here's why:
Last night's Showtime MMA presentation clearly demonstrated that it is a "sport" which allows at least one too many assault choices to the fighters. That "one" is the grappler's takedown and subsequent squirming around on the floor. From the time that the combatants tangle on the floor, to the time that they are ordered to their feet, the pace and rhythm of the match are almost totally interrupted. Almost like allowing horses in a race to stop on the back stretch for a drink. It got so bad during one of the matches, that the commentators began making excuses and uttered statements in and attempt to palliate what might be restlessness in the minds of new viewers.
In fact, it was during one of those sordid episodes when the fighters were squirming around on the floor which totally ruined the Main Event. Gracie had Shamrock pinned on the floor for the umpteenth time, when Shamrock began to strike Gracie in the head with his knee. The strikes were compared to rabbit punches by the ref and they are illegal in MMA. Critical body functions such as heart rate, breathing and other mission critical neurology are centered in the medulla. When Shamrock struck Gracie with his knee for the second time, Gracie rolled off in agony with an apparent concussion. Frank must have realized he had done a bad thing as he knelt over Gracie to check him out. Shamrock was subsequently DQ'd for the infraction.
Meanwhile, HBO had not only the "Hustle and Flow" of Boxing, but added advantage of covering one of its most fluid and professional practitioners. The rhythm and pace of Shane Mosley's contest with Luis Collazo was classical pugilism at its best. In fact, the best moments during the MMA event occurred when the fighters stayed on their feet and kicked and punched each other. One of the best examples of that was the women's fight between Julie Kedzie and Gina Carano. These two women were on the floor several times, but when they got up it was bombs away and they seemed to love the contact.
Why does Boxing potentially have better pace and rhythm than MMA? For openers, if one is allowed to kick, this increases the distance at which the fighters have to stand because of the greater range of the leg strikes. This distance (as long as it is maintained) reduces the likelihood of quick fist strikes unless the fighter is willing to lunge into range. Also, switching from kicking to hand strikes is inherently awkward. It may look glamorous and clever in a well choreographed sockie-choppie movie, but in a real fight it's a bit inconvenient.
There were other dynamics from a media point of view which were quite interesting. In some ways the advertisements for the MMA event had higher production values than the actual fights.Also, Showtime made a curious choice of an opening act for their first MMA event. They showed the unrelentingly violent and bloody movie "Saw II" just before their MMA extravaganza. I thought that seemed counterproductive, from one perspective, as the violent intensity of that movie might make the MMA event seem tame by comparison…perhaps even a letdown.
On the other hand, perhaps they thought, or were hoping, that the movie might provide coattails for people who like such violent and bloody movies to ride right into the MMA presentation. This possibility might have stemmed from the opinions of many who consider MMA to be more brutal and few holds barred bloody. Recent statistics seem to indicate that MMA is safer than Boxing, as less overall sustained trauma is necessary to reach a decision in MMA.
Neither fighting style is perfect. MMA is too sporadic because of the long episodes of groveling on the floor. It is also herky-jerky because of the switches from kicking to hitting. Boxing would do well to limit weigh-shifting (a la Florida), have uneven rounds to get rid of the stupid draws, and invoke at least a national commission.
The aesthetics of Boxing as a result of its limitations on form and target are, overall, more even and dependable. Its three minute framing is well suited to human attention spans. MMA introduces so much random activity that it leaves itself open to the mess caused by the Shamrock "rabbit knees".
Given a choice, I would opt for a Boxing show if it were opposite an MMA event. It was unfortunate that the wheels came off during their main event, but their sport's form was mostly to blame. In parallel with this comparison, there was a movie playing opposite "SAW II" entitled "Hustle and Flow" about some Memphis men trying to break into the rap recording industry. Personally, I do not enjoy rap "music," but the production values, evenly paced, great acting and coherent plot were completely captivating and authentic. In total contrast was the bloody, stop-and-go violence of "Saw II" with its uneven plotline and contrived violent vignettes, "Hustle and Flow" was terrific.
This is going to be a pretty good year for Boxing what with John's Duddy and Murray, Chad Dawson, Mayweather/DLH and some real resolution and unification in the Heavyweight Division coming up. See you at the fights.