Ricardo Mayorga: The Comeback!
02.10.07 - By Jack Presscot: He has been described as a caveman with boxing gloves. Or a throwback to the era of fighters like Dempsey and Marciano, who would take three punches to give one. The last time we saw him was May of 2006, when Oscar de la Hoya, pre-contraversial photos, gave him a savage beating in the ring. It started in the first round, when Oscar simply timed his wide, looping punches, and shot a quick left hook that crashed against Mayorga's once iron jaw..
Article posted on 01.10.2007
But too many Trinidad hooks may have loosened it years earlier, and Mayorga found himself on his behind, staring up in disbelief at a boxer who would soon be caught up in a mess concerning some photos of himself wearing women's underwear in a hotel room.
A few painful rounds later, the referee mercifully stopped Oscar's flurries and saved Mayorga in the ring, near blasphemous to the hardcore Mayorga fan, it was a hard night, watching the Nicaraguan Warrior humbled while Oscar was prancing around the ring with a new World Boxing Council belt.
And so we thought, was the end of Ricardo Mayorga. What he did in the ring that Cinco de Mayo was two-fold. On the one hand, he disappointed many of his fans, and especially Don King, with what can only be described as a pathetic performance. But it "prepared" Oscar for a title fight against the Pretty Boy of Boxing, by making him once again, a titleholder, and I can think of no other fighter, I as a Mayweather fan, would have wanted Oscar to face before Floyd, than Ricardo. Talk about a contrast of styles. I tried in vain to explain to the hardcore Oscar fans, that Oscar was now going to be in the ring with an elusive defensive master, instead of Mayorga, who generally blocks shots with his face, as his defense. Also, Ricardo set a precedent for other fighters facing Oscar, by slapping him, during one of the press conferences, much the way Vargas had.
And Floyd Jr. took heed, and did everything he could to insult and degrade the Golden Boy during the Train Tour, including stealing his gymbag, and this time it worked, as Oscar lost his temper/game plan in the first five rounds on Cinco de Mayo, trying desperatley to find the left hook that put down Mayorga in the first. He never found it, and abandoned his jab as well, and that meant that the Mayweather fans were going to collect at the Sportsbook.
Meanwhile, we all thought Mayorga was headed for retirement. He did have a hell of a run, first by signing with Don King Productions, and then landing a World Boxing Association welterweight title shot against Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis, and did what many thought was impossible. In March of 02' for their rematch, he scored a brutal 5th round knockout, and was a World Champion. Then he signed to fight Vernon Forrest for a unification bout, and shocked the world by kayoing the man many thought was too experienced and too much of a master boxer for the Nicaraguan Caveman, but Mayorga, as Duran before him, proved that might makes right, and swarmed the helpless master technician and forced a brawl, and this meant that Forrest was in for a bad night.
Forrest looked like somebody shot him as the referee saved him on the ropes, and Mayorga strapped two belts to his chest as he lit up a Marlboro while Vernon was busy complaining to anyone who would listen about premature stoppages. An instant rematch was signed, and this time the Caveman outboxed Vernon. He also stuck his chin out to Forrest and offered him several shots. This, in addition to his hilarious smacktalking during Larry Merchant's interview (talking about Forrest being "his little son") made Mayorga a hero to many, and someone to be reviled by other boxing fans.
After this, a huge unification bout was made with Cory Spinks, and Spinks, taking a page out of de la Hoya's blueprints for survival ran for 12 rounds, and escaped with his life, and all three belts. The fight was interesting from my vantage point as a fan. I was at a fight party, and there were nearly 30 people packed in a living room for the Mayorga fight. After the boring decision, a total of three fans stuck around for the Hopkins main event title defense.
And then, after a tune up fight, the fearless Mayorga signed against powerpuncher Felix "Tito" Trinidad in what many deemed the Fight of the 21st Century, and the fireworks that came out of this war of fearless Warriors could have lit an entire city for weeks. Trinidad was dropped early, and soon returned the favor, and incredibly, Ricardo Mayorga did something that would cost him his World Boxing Council belt against Oscar some time later. He offered his chin to Tito Trinidad. This was a reckless act of complete fearlessness and disdain for his opponent.
It can be likened to hand-feeding some raw meat an 18 foot great white shark in the Great Barrier Reef. Mayorga, miraculously took the shots, but the damage was done, as footage of that fight shows him staggering to his corner after the carnage. Mayorga's chin was never the same.
Now, enter Fernando Vargas. Vargas is coming off of two ugly losses to Sugar Shane Mosley, and is fighting at this point, stricly for pride. He handpicked Mayorga, probably after watching footage of the 1st round against Oscar. But this is deceiving. Fernando is going to be in the ring with a man who is double tough, well conditioned, and a decent boxer, as well as a natural streetfighter. The mayhem started early, with Mayorga, unable to resist slapping Feroz, starting a wild brawl at the first press conference. Fernando then developed a mystery disease, postponing the fight. Many in the boxing websites theorized that Fernando may have been overweight, but the fight was quicky re-signed by Fernando, after he watched some internet footage of Mayorga calling him effeminate names, and generally degrading the Vargas name.
Now we, the fans have a terrific brawl to look forward to in November. This writer thinks Mayorga is going to win, and win big. I also forsee a return to jr. welterweight, and a rematch against Cory Spinks, and at either welter or superwelter, a rubber match against the Forrest. Either way, for better or for worse, the Nicaraguan Caveman is back,and this time, he's really mad.
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