By James Slater – Whether you like his fighting style or not, and whether you like his propensity to talk trash or not, you have to admit Ricardo Mayorga was a lot of fun to watch back in the early-to-mid 2000s. Never in a dull fight, “El Matador” always gave the paying fans something worth seeing. Even getting as far as winning world titles at not one, but two weights, Mayorga rumbled with the best..
But that was quite a long timer ago now. Not since his dramatic, last-second KO loss to “Sugar” Shane Mosley has the 37-year-old fought, and that amazing battle was over two years ago. Mayorga, who was looked at as a fighter who was on the downside even before the loss to Mosley, returns to the ring on December 17th, on the big Don King card in Miami, Florida (topped by Odlanier Solis-Ray Austin, also featuring Tavoris Cloud-Fulgencio Zuniga). Set to return as a middleweight, and to face a TBA over a scheduled ten rounds, Mayorga will be hoping he has enough fire left in his belly to be able to thrill the fans again.
Mayorga has fought at middleweight before – in fact he’s been all over the scale – and he should be able to get down to 160 well enough, even at age 37 and after being out for so long. At one point it looked like the Nicaraguan who won titles at 147 and 154 would try his hand at MMA, but for one reason or another that adventure went unfulfilled. Now set to give it one more go in the boxing ring, the wild yet exciting warrior with the 28-7-1(22) pro record might just feature in another big fight yet.
Still looked after by King, Mayorga could possibly make a good dance partner for an elite middleweight. Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez (who have their catch-weight rematch next month) would both be way too good for the ageing Mayorga, as would WBA champ Felix Sturm. But guys like Sebastian Sylvester, Peter Manfredo Junior, Dmitriy Pirog and others might have their hands full against the old battler. And if he gets himself a couple of decent, impressive-looking KO wins, Mayorga would perhaps be in with a shout when it comes to landing a fight with one of these guys.
We’ll know more come Dec. 17th, when Mayorga has his fight back. But if he still has his power, if he’s still as aggressive-minded and tough as he once was, Mayorga could conceivably work his way back into contention. Stranger things have happened, after all. It’s doubtful, very doubtful, that Mayorga will once again scale the heights he did back when he was upsetting the talented Vernon Forrest, but he could still have it in him to give some of the contenders a rough time.
And, win or lose in his attempt at getting back up there, Mayorga will not be boring. In or out of the ring. Let’s get ready to see if the beer-drinking, cigar-smoking hell-raiser can rock and roll like he used to!