Dettloff: On Mosley and more
There’s so much going on in our dying little sport these days it doesn’t feel right to dedicate this week’s column to a single subject. For your consideration, then, is a potpourri of ramblings that touches on the big upset Saturday night and other recent goings on in the fight world.
After his magnificent performance against Antonio Margarito on Saturday night, the California commission shouldn’t bother testing Shane Mosley for anabolic steroids. They should test him for jet fuel. He might be main-lining the stuff. ÔÇª
From the first bell, Mosley fought angry, which is the way you want to fight a pressure-fighter like Margarito. I didn’t think that at this stage the 37-year-old millionaire had that in him anymore, but then, if I was in the process of losing half of everything I own, I’d be angry too. ÔÇª
The revelation that Margarito had some illegal material in his hand wraps is profoundly unsettling, primarily because we don’t know how many times he’s gotten away with it in the past or to what degree it has contributed to his success. I have the same lingering questions about Felix Trinidad, and so should you. ÔÇª
Who else thinks it’s time regulators and officials pay more attention to things like that and less to fighters chit-chatting in the center of the ring? Referee Raul Caiz was so offended by Margarito and Mosley talking smack to one another that a warning in the first round wasn’t enough. He had to visit their corners between rounds to make sure they understood he wouldn’t stand for any hurtful name-calling while they tried to dislodge one another’s brain stems. ÔÇª
Who wants to bet that this morning, Margarito has no recollection whatever of his post fight interview with HBO’s Larry Merchant? He seemed to think his corner stopped the fight (which they almost did after the eighth round) and not that Caiz had to pull Mosley off him in the corner. It was reminiscent of Merchant’s interview with Marlon Starling in 1988, when Starling expressed shock at Merchant’s observation that Tomas Molinares had just flattened him with a punch after the bell. ÔÇª
I think we should extend to other televised sports this practice of interviewing concussion victims while they’re still buzzed. Who wouldn’t like to hear what an NFL quarterback has to say moments after staggering off the field following a bone-crunching sack? Next time race officials pluck a NASCAR driver from his crumpled machine, get a mic in his face. Imagine the possibilities from an entertainment perspective. ÔÇª
I’m as happy as anyone that the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton fight is back on, but I have no problem that Pacquaio held out for more cash and that he will get a bigger slice of the pie even though Hatton will generate more money. I look at it this way: Probably thousands of impoverished Filipinos will benefit directly or indirectly from Pacquiao’s windfall. Meanwhile, a big Hatton payday means no more than a boon for beer distributors and pub owners in Manchester. ÔÇª
We all should be happy about Mosley-Margarito selling out the Staples Center. That’s what boxing in America still can do when you make the right fights and put them in the right place. Now imagine what it would be like throughout the sport if you added to that business plan a single, legitimate champion in every division. I can dream, can’t I? ÔÇª
If Wladmir Klitschko thought Sultan Ibragimov was too dangerous to fully engage, how do you think he’s going to approach David Haye when they meet, purportedly in June? Haye’s chin is almost as fragile as Wladimir’s, but he’s fast for a big guy, he can bang and won’t be intimidated. As a result, for the first time in a long time, I’m looking forward to a Klitschko fight. ÔÇª
Speaking of Klitschkos, won’t it be fun to find out once and for all how good Juan Carlos Gomez is at heavyweight? It’s easy to forget that he was a long-reigning cruiserweight belt holder, and his exploits at heavyweight have occurred almost exclusively in Germany. With his fight against Vitali Klitschko apparently set for March 21, we’ll see if he can do any better against the elder of the brothers than did Sam Peter. Granted, “The Nigerian Nightmare” set the bar low; if Gomez can slip a single jab from Klitschko, he’ll have out-performed Peter. ÔÇª
So who stands to gain more financially from Mosley’s recent troubles: soon-to-be ex-wife Jin Mosley, or the WBC following its “investigation” of Mosley’s steroid use?
Bill Dettloff can be contacted at [email protected]