By Paul Strauss: Sugar Shane Mosley had a lot of trouble with the unorthodox Ricardo Mayorga. In fact, Mayorga took the first few rounds, and then Sugar Shane stepped things up, only to have Mayorga come back again. Mayorga threw many more punches, but Shane still landed two to three times more.
Article posted on 28.09.2008
The "Tale of the Tape" revealed what would become a telling factor, and that was Mayorga put on about 16lbs after the weigh-in, to Sugar Shane's seven. That extra weight and accompanying strength had an effect on the rough housing aspects of the fight, which made up much of the action. Shane's father, Jack Mosley, pleaded with his son to quit making the fight a wrestling match. He wanted Shane to use his jab more, and then punch around Mayorga's glove.
However, Sugar Shane did much more with lead rights, and got wild at times. He did seem to hurt Mayorga several times with body shots, to which Mayorga complained several times to referee David Mendoza about being low, but no points were taken.
The fight started out as do most of Mayorga's fights.......right hand, right hand, right hand, and yet another right hand! Usually some land behind the head, and the first round of this fight was no exception, which resulted in an early warning from Mendoza. Sugar Shane also got warned, as he returned the favor.
Mayorga landed a glancing right, and at the same time Sugar Shane slipped on the canvas painted with an advertising logo, so at first glance it looked like the punch did more damage than was actually the case. The first round was close, but probably was Mayorga's.
Mayorga's corner advised him to go to the body first, and then to the head. Sugar Shane's father told his son, "Relax, and take the shots you see". Both fighters were already in a heavy sweat by the start of the second round. Mayorga continued to be very rough, and Sugar seemed slow to get going. Mayorga landed an uppercut, and Sugar Shane was able to get in one good left hook, but the second round also surprisingly went to Mayorga.
The third round involved a lot of "sumo type" collisions at center ring. Heads banged, shoulders bumped, and elbows came into play with missed wild swings.
After the round ended, Sugar Shane's father told him to throw more body shots, to duck down and unload.
The fourth round started with Shane throwing to the head, Oops, sorry Pops. Then he shot another right, and caught Mayorga rushing in. Then another right lead landed on Mayorga. Sugar Shane looked better and won the round. In the corner, Mayorga's trainer told him, "You're waiting too much". Jack Mosley told his son to get up on his toes and jab, but straight rights are ok too.
In the fifth, Mayorga seemed to be fading a bit, but also still appeared very dangerous. The first hard punch landed was his left. But, moments later Shane landed a picture perfect right. Then he hooked off the jab. Then another good right hand found the target, and finally he put a right uppercut in for good measure. At the end of this round, the two fighters exchanged a few pleasantries.
In between rounds, Jack Mosley told his son the next round was the seventh (actually the sixth). Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward all laughed at Jack's error, saying he frequently did that. Maybe it was a planned strategy, but that seemed doubtful. Regardless, Shane stepped up the pace again, and landed a lot more right hands. There was an accidental head butt, but no damage occurred. Mayorga was being hit a lot, but he pulled his usual false bravado act that no one was buying. Shane notched it up a bit more, and landed some sharp combinations. The round could have been scored 10-8 for Shane.
Shane continued to take over in the seventh, but Mayorga still appeared strong, and in fact landed a few short rights.......yes, incredible as it sounds, Mayorga threw some short punches. Shane still won the round. In between rounds, Jack Mosley told his son to throw more jabs, and then rights to knock his @#!* out!
Shane was landing three times as many punches as Mayorga, but he was still fighting instead of boxing. In other words, he was fighting Mayorga's fight, but the difference was his speed and better defense. Mayorga's corner told him to jab and throw straight punches. Good luck with that advice. Jack Mosley told his son to quit wrestling with Mayorga, which was making it a closer fight than it should be.
In the ninth round, Mayorga's clubbing punches seemed to start having an effect on Shane. Mayorga even beat Shane's left hook with his own good right hand. This round went to Mayorga. Not surprisingly, Mayorga's corner told him to throw more uppercuts. Shane's Dad told him he wasn't boxing.
In the tenth, Shane was still having some difficulty, which was evidenced by his switching temporarily to the southpaw stance. It was a grueling fight. After this round, Jack Mosley told his son he needed to win the last two rounds. Mayorga's people told him to be first, to press, and to get close.
The eleventh started out with Shane landing a good right. Mayorga returned to his brawling tactics. Shane then landed a big right, which was followed by more wrestling and low blows from both combatants. Although Shane didn't manage to get on his toes and box, he still won the round.
Mayorga's corner told him to finish strong, and to jab, and to go to the body. Jack Mosley simply said, "Shut this round out". Shane obliged by landing two good rights, then a left, followed by another right. He followed that up with another three punch combination that put Mayorga down for the first time in the fight. There was only about 15 seconds to go. As soon as Shane had the opportunity, he jumped in with a short left hook to the jaw. Down went Mayorga, seemingly as the bell sounded. He wasn't getting up, and in fact stayed down for several minutes. The official time given by Michael Buffer was 2:59 seconds of the twelfh round.
It was an unbelievable effort on the part of Sugar Shane. He could easily have been content with winning the fight on points, but he wanted to give the fans what they came to see, and that was to score a KO. It's a good thing he pressed on too, as ringside judge Pat Russell had scored the fight for Mayorga!
Larry Merchant asked Shane, "What's next?" He suggested Margarito or Cotto, but Shane said he didn't know, but thought that those two fighters had other fights on their agenda, and at his age he couldn't wait. Merchant brought up the name of Andre Berto, who had fought earlier, and scored a convincing victory over Steve Forbes. Shane complimented Berto on his win, and added that Berto reminds me of a younger me, referring to Berto's blinding speed.
In that fight, Forbes again seemed content to go the distance, but Berto made a good statement for himself by demonstrating tremendous speed, elusiveness, intensity, stamina, and determination, as mentioned by Jim Lampley. The three judges' scored 118-109, 118-109, and 116-111, all for Berto. The fight had a lot of action, but because of the great defensive skill of both fighters, there were very few clean shots landed, unlike the main event between Mosley and Mayorga in which there were bombs landing on the heads and bodies of both fighters. Lesser fighters wouldn't have been able to take the punishment.
It was a hell of a fight.