Boxing


'Call Em Out Fridays': Margarito/Mosley - Armed and Dangerous versus Aged and Dangerous

Shane MosleyBy Vivek Wallace: In this weeks 'Call Em Out Fridays' segment we take a look at two fighters who many consider to be walking in two vastly different directions at this point in their careers. One coming off of the biggest fight in his career with an upside the size of Mexico; the other, presumably facing that proverbial 'westside' of his career in a fight that could very well serve as the curtain pulling culprit. As we examine this spectacle between these two brave warriors, like any other 'Call Em Out Fridays' segment, we'll decipher all angles. A 'Supportive' perspective on the fight, a 'Critics' perspective on the fight, and in the end, a more 'Neutral' perspective to tie all the loose ends. So with no further ado.....

Mosley/Margarito (Supportive Perspective): From the moment this fight was announced the buzz on the streets reached scintillating heights. Not too often in today's era of boxing do fight fans get a chance to see the best of the old school face the best of the new school while both are still close enough to their prime to create a true thriller when the bell finally sounds.. Both men have only suffered one loss since 2004, and both have been known to bring their A-game and never back down, regardless of the opposition standing across from them on any given night. Mosley, a seasoned veteran of the ring, is well known for his epic battles over the last 14 plus years against some of the best of his era. His deeply etched resume boast everyone from the highly skilled 'Winky' Wright, to the dangerous Vernon Forrest, to Mexican great Fernando Vargas, to Nicaraguan wildman Ricardo Mayorga. With a history as rich and defined as his, there are few styles in the ring that remain a secret to the man simply known as 'Sugar'. Across from him stands a man who recently proved to the sport that flying under the radar doesn't mean that you can't play above the rim. Antonio Margarito's trip to supremacy came on a vastly different trail. Absent was the glitz and glamour, present was the rugged terrain that shaped him to be that hard-nosed take-no-prisoners type warrior that we know and love today. Once labeled the "most feared man on the planet", making his way up the ranks was no easy task for Margarito, as many reluctantly placed him in that high risk/low reward category, making it tough for him to advance. After years of letdowns, slip ups, and missed opportunities, his shot against Top Rank stablemate Miguel Cotto would change his fate forever. In what went down as arguably the best fight of 2008, Antonio Margarito left everyone around the sport with a precise understanding for why he developed that high risk/low reward mantra in the first place. Not only did he defeat the man most viewed as the best welterweight in the world, but he stopped him like a bad habit, taking everything he had to offer in return. Considering Shane Mosley's dominance of the late 90's and the early 2000's, as well as Margarito's current grasp on the division, one could only imagine how amazing it would be to see them finally square off. But as we know, there are two sides to every coin, and eager to be heard is the voice of the critics who feel this fight will be noting other than a publicized sparring match where an old lion falls prey to the younger, hungrier bull. In an effort to understand the critical position of this fight, we now shift the focus their views.....

Mosley/Margarito (Critics Perspective): When listening to the critics, it seems that for every good reason to see this fight, there's a downside to parallel. The most audible criticism of this matchup is found in the fact that despite both men still having a certain level of youth, one is clearly in the midst of a surge while the other in some ways appears to be slowing down. Even at the height of his dominance at '47, Mosley has always had a tough time against lanky contenders who possessed enough strength and durability to pair with their skill set, so coming off of a sluggish fight and a loss to precede it, many wonder what can he really accomplish against a beast like Antonio Margarito? Perhaps the most telling subplot of them all is the fact that Mosley has failed to knockout anyone on the welterweight level since 2001, and the only knockout he did register in that span - even above that limit - was against two fighters many viewed as simply 'shot'. That gives many reason to question how much (if at all) can he really hurt the granite chinned warrior, Antonio Margarito. There's a huge shadow of doubt to cast on Mosley, but Margarito doesn't quite escape the fire either, as many wonder why did he so conveniently sign the dotted line to face the older Shane Mosley when he could have easily taken the rematch against the last guy to defeat him, (Paul Williams), and make more money while doing it as well. Some believe that after finally scaling the mountain and reaching epic heights in the sport, Margarito has become the same type of divo that Oscar, Mayweather, and recently Pacquiao have become, only looking to seize the big money sweepstakes while forgetting this sport is as much about entertainment for the fans as it is duckets in the bucket! Granted, it's understandable that Margarito may want to cash in on his efforts, but there's still a wide contingent out there who feel that targeting an aging contender who hasn't looked brilliant in this weight class in some time isn't quite the move. There can be many angles to target in both fighters to detract from the significance of this fight, but to look at things down the middle, we now shift our focus to a more neutral perspective....

Mosley/Margarito - (Neutral Perspective): When you cut this baby down the middle, it's pretty apparent that like anything else in life, it's not perfect, but it sure is hell is worth living for. As the aforementioned title states, one may be armed and dangerous and the other aged and dangerous, but all that tells me is that when they finally collide, there's bound to be a big bang! Some don't feel this fight pairs the two best men in the welterweight division and it may not, but at the end of the day, both men have something to prove so it won't be a laydown for either man. Margarito knows that a loss would leave questions hovering over his career, and despite a lucrative rematch scheduled with Cotto for the Summer, there really wouldn't be much else on the slate for him, as many would categorically tie him back to that high risk and low reward means no chance category. For Mosley, he has to know that his absolute future in the sport hinges on the outcome of this fight. A loss, paired with a potential divorce and steroid accusations would represent the start of the end for him, while a victory would mean a big money payday, either with Cotto, or potentially at '54 with Paul Williams if he escapes 'Winky' Wright. Both men are hungry, both come to fight, neither fight backwards, and neither will back down. How can anyone not like this matchup? Mosley may not be in his prime, and Margarito may not be most celebrated figure in the sport, but hey, there's no such thing as a bad time for a good fight! Put Margarito against a durable warrior and you're automatically in the hunt for a "fight of the year" type showcase. The critics have some valid points and I respect them, but I'm afraid I fall in line with the supporters on this topic! This should be a helluva fight, and I can't wait to watch the fellas get down! I end this piece with four words.....Get ya popcorn ready!

(Got questions or feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at vivexemail@yahoo.com and 954-292-7346, follow his work at 8CountNews and The Examiner, or show him some love at Myspace).

Article posted on 23.01.2009



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