By Larry Tornambe
Allow me to begin by saying because Margarito beat Miguel Cotto, and Cotto defeated Mosely, that does not automatically mean Margarito will defeat Mosely. Margarito is defending his WBA Welterweight championship against Shane Mosely on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Mosely (45 wins-38 by KO, five losses) was a stellar welterweight but lost some luster and speed when he moved to the junior middleweight division in 2003. Wisely, he came back to 147 pounds to beat Luis Collazo but lost to the champ, Cotto. Mosely went back up to 153 lbs for his knockout win in September over Ricardo Mayorga.
Shane is a professional and will meet the 147 pound requirement for this welterweight fight, but what will be the cost of weight loss at 37 years of age. Will he lose any speed and sharpness on his punches? Will he be strong enough to deter the constant pressure Margarito will surely bring to the ring. I do believe that speed will be sacrificed in the later rounds.
Antonio Margarito holds the WBA and IBF Welterweight belts; however only the WBA strap will be up for grabs in this bout. To win this title Margarito stopped then-WBA champ Miguel Cotto in July with relentless pressure and accurate punching. No reason for Margarito (37 wins-27 by KO, five losses) to change anything in this upcoming fight. He sometimes will start slow but settle into a steady pace and continue to attack his opponent.
Early in this bout you’ll see Mosely’s speed garnering him the first two or three rounds on the scorecards, but Margarito’s counter-punches will be effective in slowing Mosely’s attack in the middle rounds. Shane will have a reach deficit in this bout and will be caught at the end of sharp jabs from the champ.
Shane will sometimes lunge with his jab or spread his legs far and reach down to jab toward the body, this is when I see Margarito unloading combinations-jab-right hand-left hook and move forward, forcing Mosely back. If Mosely retreats straight, he’ll hit the ropes and Margarito will catch him, if he takes one step back and another to either side, Antonio will be ready to fire his right or his left.
Margarito is rarely off-balance or caught with his hands down, they’re in chamber ready to seek their target. Mosely’s best "out" will be to bend at the knees and spin to Margarito’s side. For example, if Margarito is advancing with a jab, Mosely will want to bend at the knees to duck under the jab and slide to his right and then counter-punch to the champ’s body and head.
Antonio is 30 years old and has several years of boxing in front of him. Shane is 37 with limited time remaining in the ring.
This will be a good fight because Shane will give it his all, as he always has; while Margarito wants to hold that belt in order to earn more high pay days in a division full of talent.
Margarito’s key to victory is pressure, accurate punches and cutting down the speed and available ring space for Mosely. Shane must look at winning those early rounds and continuing with the speedy counter-punching and being in the right position to do so, without getting hit and pinned on the ropes. With all due respect to the challenger, in the end I see Margarito winning a decision because he will have fought closest to the game plan.
In the photo: Larry with Shane Mosely. See more about Larry Tornambe at AnnouncerLarry.freeservers.com