Margarito gets plastered: weekend commentary
Howdy, boxing fans! It is a joyful Sunday afternoon and I come to you to offer my humble perspective of the weekend that was.
Boxing celebrated an unofficial holiday of sorts last night. The albatross-sized irony of that is the event was a free network-based subscription presentation. The venue was electric, truly the purest boxing scene I have seen since Mr. Money’s tilt with Ricky Hatton.
I said it last week, and I will say it again. When you place an American pastime like boxing in an extravagant venue like the Staples Center, one could see that it’s a glamour event. It brings out the people of noble blood as well the casual sports fan.
I spoke to someone who was at the fight ringside, and they told me that the celebrity toll was as a fever pitch. I had some questions that were raised in wake of the shift that occurred last night, and I will try my best to answer those questions.
1.Why was Sugar able to slay Godzilla in a way that no one has during this three-title run?
The answer is simple yet complex. The simple answer is he had a fabulous game plan mixed with pinpoint accuracy. He also displayed the proper mix of mauling and boxing, doing just enough to keep the Tornado Express from getting the momentum he needs to start smokin'.
Shane also did something that no one has really asked of Tony in his recent fights. Shane made a sustained investment to the body. He attacked the body on several different platforms: Jab to the body, left hook to the body, looping right to the body.
I noticed in the middle rounds that Tony kept fixing his trunks, and to the trained eye that tells me that the investment is starting to make cents.
Once Shane got Marg to favor the rib cage, the super highway express opened for every type of right hand the pugilistic craft has to offer: Straight right hand, Looping right hand, throwing it over the jab.
Once Tony's body gave up, the head was sure to follow and the manner in which Shane finished him was shocking. I never thought I would see Shane decimate Tony like I did last night, but if you look at the game plan, it was inevitable.
2.What was wrong with Tony last night?
When Tony took off his robe I remarked to my buddy that he looked thin. Almost parched. He reminded me of Oscar and how sapped he looked last month. He also did not seem to have the punching power that he displayed in June.
We will get to that in a second, but his punches were not snippy snappy. I had heard rumors that Tony was overweight in the lead up to the fight but slimmed down in the last three weeks to make the weight. That type of fluctuation would affect anyone and I can help but think that maybe that was a factor.
The other thing that could have been wrong was his mental state. Again, I will address this shortly but if you watched him last night he almost fought like a man who was going to jail after the final bell. Almost like he was guilty of something.
3.How did HBO do?
Great. Tremendous. Truly the best piece of Boxing programming I have seen since Taylor vs. Pavlik. They re-did the basic visual platform of the program and added some highlight elements to the introductions that had a very nice touch.
They also bit the bullet and manned up on Shane/BALCO/Victor Conte fiasco and covered it without restraint. I applaud them for informing the viewers but not really passing any significant judgment against any of the involved parties.
The one thing I did not understand was Larry Merchant not posing the question to Tony concerning pre-fight indulgences that he is accused of. My question is thus…if Floyd Mayweather Jr. had been even accused of the same thing would Larry have asked the question??? YES.
4. What is the f***ing deal with the “plaster-like substance?”
WOW. When this broke in the first round I was in shock. I was busy texting everyone buzzing about what this could do to Tony’s legacy.
When he came out to the roar of thousands, I noticed that he had a strange almost apprehensive look about him. I liken it to the way Kobe looked during the whole Colorado debacle. He looked so tentative that I thought he was sick or hurt.
But as more comes out about this situation, it seems that Tony knew that he was going to face the fire when the lights went out.
After his loss to Paul Williams, I noticed that his power grew in large measure. He knocked out Golden Johnson in the first round in his very next fight, which was out of character because he has never been a one-punch puncher.
He shut down Kermit Citron brutally with almost death bringing power and fury. And then finally if you look at Cotto’s face at the end of their classic...that is the most beaten up I have ever seen a prize fighter and if Marg would be DUMB enough to do this on the biggest of stages what’s to stop him from doing it when his career and legacy are stake.
I am done judging until more comes out, but if this is true at the very least it is an actionable offense. Civil and criminal.
5. What now for Shane?
Sunny beaches and good laughs. Shane does not have to do anything. He can sit back and let the fight scene play itself out over the next couple of months. He turned in his greatest performance last night and I could not be happier for the guy.
As many of you know, I interviewed Shane in October and besides being such a nice guy he also was very eloquent in his answers and took more than enough time for my team and me.
During the interview, he told me about his plan to take this fight and in my heart I was concerned because of what Tony had done to Cotto. I didn’t want to see the same thing happen to Shane and to watch him last night, with black clouds thicker then Daytona swirling around him…wow.
He has entered himself in the Floyd Mayweather sweepstakes, and I can assure you that Hatton or Pac wants nothing to do with the sweetest of them all. I am going to include a link to my interview with Shane for those of you that missed it.
Thank you for joining me boxing fans I will be back soon to present Part 2 of Boxing’s state of the union, take care and go Redskins.
P.S.: Here is the link to my interview with Sugar: