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Antonio Margarito-Shane Mosley Will Not Be Happening, "Tony" Says No To "Sugar Shane!"

Antonio Margaritoby James Slater - In a surprising development, WBA welterweight champion Antonio Margarito has changed his mind about facing former champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley in January, with the Mexican great apparently deciding to "pass on the fight" that was scheduled for January 24th 2009. This news has been widely reported on the web today, and originally came from an article in the LA Times.

Top Rank president, Todd duBoef told the paper on Tuesday that Margarito let yesterday's deadline for the fight come and go, and that he decided against fighting Mosley after it appeared the bout was an all but done deal. duBoef explained why he thinks Margarito and his team made the decision they did.

"Part of their thinking, I'm sure, is that the Cotto fight did good numbers and that's the fight they want, more than a guy Cotto beat," duBoef said to the LA Times. "Shane Mosley was a big name seven years ago, but they [Team Margarito] weighed the consequences and decided it was onward and upward."

So, will Margarito now go straight into a rematch with Cotto (tentatively set for June 2009)? It's not clear if this will be the case, but it looks like it. Is this such a good move on the Mexican's part? In choosing not to box again until next June, Margarito will have been out of action for eleven months. Will this inactivity affect him unduly? Who knows. One thing that does seem out of the question, however, is the possibility that Margarito is in any way scared of or avoiding Mosley. No-one would ever level such an accusation at the rock-chinned warrior, surely? Guess again, because this is exactly what Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer has done.

Understandably angry now that his fighter will not be getting the big fight, Schaefer has verbally attacked the reigning welterweight champion.

"Margarito should shut up and not call out people anymore after this, when they accept and then he chickens out," Schaefer said. "Margarito says he is the most feared fighter in the world. Well, he's now lost that title."

While Margarito's move is somewhat puzzling, it's doubtful too many fans will agree with Schaefer. Margarito fears NO-ONE, least of all a faded, though still classy, Shane Mosley. To this writer's way of thinking, January 24th's bout not happening is a blessing in disguise for the 37-year-old who failed to look good (until the dying seconds) against another man who has seen better days, in Ricardo Mayorga last time out. Had Margarito-Mosley gone ahead, there would have been a good chance we'd have seen "Sugar" stopped for the first time in his long career.

According to the latest word on the street, there is a good chance Mosley will now face WBC 147-pound champ Andre Berto, keeping the same January date.

Article posted on 19.11.2008



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