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Weekend Review: Mayweather-Mosley

31
Jan

Jose Nieves (right) simply couldn't stand up to the powerful punches of Chris Avalos on Friday night in Albuquerque. N.M. Photo / Tom Casino-Showtime

BEST NEWS

Mayweather-Mosley: We didn’t get the fight we wanted, Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Instead, we get TWO good fights. First, Pacquiao signed to fight capable Joshua Clottey on March 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That matchup that isn’t thrilling but it is competitive, perhaps the most-competitive since Pacquiao last fought Juan Manuel Marquez. And, now, Mayweather and Shane Mosley have agreed to fight on May 1. The fans have wanted to see Mayweather face a legitimate challenge for a long time and this, it seems, is it. And the best part of all this? We could still see Pacquiao-Mayweather within a year and it would be bigger than ever.

BEST OPPORTUNITY



Mosley: Mosley sat down at a restaurant in Las Vegas shortly after he knocked out Antonio Margarito and said without seeming boastful: “I think I can be the best pound-for-pound fighter again. That's my goal now.” Mosley had to wonder whether an opportunity to realize the goal would ever come. He lobbied aggressively most of 2009 to fight either Pacquaio or Mayweather but appeared to come up empty. Then, after unforeseen events, he suddenly had his big chance. He'll have a legitimate claim on the pound-for-pound title if he upsets Mayweather. Then, if he fights and beats Pacquiao, he would be considered the best fighter on earth at an age (38) when most of his peers are retired.

BEST DRUG TESTING

Mayweather-Mosley: Mosley had to agree to Olympic-style testing for performance-enhancing drugs to begin negotiations, which presumably means this fight will have the most-effective testing in history. That doesn't mean it's impossible to beat the system; no program is infallible. However, this form of random testing — which includes both blood and urine samples — is superior to any typically used in boxing. In an ideal world, this would only be a first step toward cracking down on PEDs in the sport. However, cost and oversight would be tough obstacles to overcome in efforts to introduce such testing on a large scale.

BEST MATCHUP

Mosley-Pacquiao: If we can’t have Mayweather-Pacquiao right away, I’m pleased that we get Mayweather-Mosley. But the fight I really would like to see is Mosley-Pacquiao. Any fight with Mayweather in it can be a stinker, even against Mosley. That’s what you often get with a defense-first boxer who isn’t interested in satisfying the fans’ blood lust. Mosley and Pacquaio are different; they actually take risks in the ring. That fight would be an absolute war. And who knows? We might see it if Pacquiao gets past Clottey and Mosley upsets Mayweather, which isn’t far fetched. And Mosley wouldn’t have to go down to junior welterweight, as he said he’d do last year. The fight would be at 147.

BEST CHANCE AT UPSET?

Eddie Chambers: I don’t think Chambers will “shock the world,” as he predicted he’d do against Wladimir Klitschko on March 20 in Dusseldorf, Germany. He’s too small to handle a giant with a fine-tuned fighting system. I expect Klitschko to score a knockout, as I do every time he or his brother fight. That said, Chambers might be slick enough to frustrate Klitschko at times. The Philadelphian is the best athlete-boxer in the heavyweight division. He’s also extremely confident and has experience fighting in Europe, losing to Alexander Povetkin in 2008 and beating Alexander Dimitrenko in his last fight. Dimitrenko isn’t the fighter Klitschko is but he’s 6-7 — and half inch taller than Klitschko — and Chambers handled him fairly easily.

STRANGEST SCORING

Shumenov over Campillo: The Beibut Shumenov-Gabriel Campillo light heavyweight title fight Friday in Las Vegas was difficult to score. Shumenov, the aggressor, did well early in the fight and in the first half of most rounds. Campillo, the better boxer, controlled the later rounds and second half of most rounds. I thought it was a close fight but I leaned toward Campillo, who was the busier, more-accurate puncher. I’m not sure what judge Patricia Morse Jarman — 117-111 for Shumenov — was watching. That means she had Shumenov winning nine rounds. I’m almost as perplexed by Levi Martinez — 117-111 for Campillo. Jerry Roth had it 115-113 for Shumenov, with which I disagree but can accept. Three judges, three completely different scores.

MOST EXCITING

Chris Avalos: The bantamweight prospect was expected to receive a stiff challenge from slick, experienced Jose Nieves on Friday night in Albuquerque, N.M. And, for one round, it appeared he would. Nieves, who had lost only once going into the fight, outboxed his younger foe for three minutes. Then the fierce, hard-punching Southern Californian let loose. He put Nieves down twice in both the second and fourth rounds, prompting the referee to end the slaughter at 2:20 of the fourth. Avalos (15-0, 12 KOs) will need to be tested against top competition before we can anoint him a legitimate title contender but he appears to be an exciting prospect. He certainly is fun to watch.

BEST MATCHMAKING

Amir Khan vs. Juan Manuel Marquez: Khan has received permission to pursue a fight with Marquez before he defends his 140-pound title against Maidana and probably will meet the Mexican star on the Mayweather-Mosley undercard. Marquez is the perfect opponent for Khan — big name, good money, probably a minimal threat. Marquez is still capable of giving anyone not named Mayweather trouble. However, I suspect that his weight gain, wear and tear and age (36) will have begun to take a toll on him. Khan will prove to be too quick and athletic for Marquez at this point, although I wouldn’t be shocked to see Marquez find a way to win. It should be noted that this is a great undercard fight.

WORST PREDICTION

Curtis Stevens: The slugger from Brownsville, N.Y., predicted he would take out veteran Jesse Brinkley in the first round on the Friday Night Fights card in Reno, Nev. When he failed to score an early KO, he lost both his bravado and confidence and ended up losing a one-sided decision. Stevens’ inability to back up his words should serve as an example for other fighters: Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It’s embarrassing. Brinkley turned in a terrific performance against a pretty good opponent but I don’t think he has the talent to compete with 168-pound titleholder Lucian Bute, with whom he is negotiating to meet on April 17 in Montreal. Brinkley’s tough, though; one never knows.

NICEST TO SEE

Jorge Arce over Angky Angkota: The little Mexican star said beforehand that he’d retire if he lost to Angkota on Saturday night in Mexico City, which isn’t the best frame of mind going into a big fight. However, once the opening bell rang, Arce proved he has plenty left by winning a seventh-round technical decision and his second major title after Angkota was cut by an accidental headbutt. Arce has brought fans countless thrills over his 14-year career, which no one would dispute, but let’s step back and look at his record. The man is 53-6-1 (40 knockouts) with many fights against elite opponents. Those numbers might earn him Hall of Fame consideration one day.

BEST YOUNG ANALYST

Doug Fischer: I’m biased because he’s my colleague but Fischer is one of the most-underrated television analysts in the business. The RingTV.com co-editor, who worked the Shumenov-Campillo card with Colonel Bob Sheridan on Fox Sports Net, understands the technical side of boxing as well as anyone outside of fighters and trainers themselves and certainly can articulate it better than those inside the ropes. His uncanny ability to remember details of past fights and a passion for the sport that is infectious serves him well both at RingTV.com and in front of the camera. Prediction: His will become one of the most-recognizable voices in the sport in the near future.

BEST QUOTE

Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s advisor: “Floyd tried to fight the guy everyone thought was the best guy available and we couldn’t get that fight done, so we went to the next guy on the list. As I’ve said many times, when Floyd decided to come back to boxing, he did it to be in major events. He’s going to face all of the top welterweights and one by one, knock them all off.”

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]

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