The Question of the New Year: Sugar Shane Mosely vs. Antonio Margarito
At age 37, the question for Sugar Shane Mosely is not when his career will end but, how. Will Mosely have a slow waltz toward retirement with a few big paydays like Bernard Hopkins or will his career end with one dramatic loss, forcing a hasty exit from boxing (like Ricardo Mayorga or Fernando Vargas). The answer to that question will be in the fists of Antonio Margartio.
Shane Mosley's victory over Ricardo Mayorga fight showed his current form. Though that fight ended in dramatic fashion with a big Mosely knockout it also showed that Mosley's skills are not what they once were. There used to be an ebb and flow to Mosely's punches that we haven't seen from him in several fights.
Margarito's style matches his nickname: the Tijuana Tornado. He storms after his opponents with powerful punches until they are simply blown away in the later rounds. The consensus amongst boxing fans is that Margarito will knockout Mosley by slowly breaking him down.
Indeed this has been Margarito's style in his biggest win (versus Miguel Cotto) and his biggest loss (versus Paul Williams). It's hard to imagine him radically changing his tactis in this one so expect this same strategy against Sugar Shane.
Conversely, this is also very similar to the style of Sugar Shane Mosley who heats up also heats over the later rounds. He knocked out Ricardo Mayorga in the 12th round and he knocked out Fernando Vargas in their first fight in the 10th. Mosely has been training hard for this fight and has been in Big Bear, CA since before the first press conference on this event.
Mosley comes to every fight in excellent condition and there is little doubt that he will also be in great shape for this one. Also, Mosley has never been knocked out. For these reasons, while I think Margarito will win, I also don't think Mosely will be knocked out in this one. I'm prepared to be wrong, boxers get old over night.
Instead I see Mosely winning the first few rounds cleanly and then Margarito will start to break him down in the second half of the fight and start piling on points with those mean left hooks. Mosely may even kiss the canvas, unlike other fighters though he won't simply jump up and try to put Margarito there.
He will adjust and go back to boxing and try to win the fight on points. Such is the caliber of fighter Mosely is that he will avoid becoming another Margarito knockout victim. Mosely despite the recent steroid allegations is a classy guy both in and outside the ring.
His skills and speed have allowed him to weather many great fighters and come out on top. Simply put though at age 37, he is no match for the Tijuana Tornado. Expect Margarito to win a unanimous 12 round decision.*****
Joe Nixon is also a staff writer for thefightcountdown.com and for Latin Boxing Magazine
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