Boxing


'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's Mailbag featuring Mosley, Margarito, Campbell, Pacquiao, and more!

Antonio MargaritoBy Vivek Wallace: In wake of the stunning events that took place this weekend in Los Angeles, needless to say, this weeks 'Left-Hook Lounge' mailbag will shine the spotlight almost squarely on the Mosley/Margarito showdown, as well as the unfortunate circumstances which ow surround it. With the unexpected results taking center stage, many of the questions today also take a glimpse into the future of the fighters, as well as the future of the sports deepest division, the welterweight class. Other fighters to make this weeks mailbag are the dangerous Nate Campbell, as well as Filipino phenom Manny Pacquiao. So with no further ado, we jump right into the mix, starting with a question from Los Angeles, California where a fight fan wanted to know the following.....

Clarence T. (Los Angeles, CA): What do you think of Shane Mosley's performance and where do you think it puts him as it relates to the welterweight division?

Vivek W. (ESB): I think Mosley's performance against Margarito was easily the best performance I've personally seen from him since his first encounter against Oscar De La Hoya. Whether it was the personal issues in his life or other things, it was very clear from very early on that Mosley had a chip on his shoulder and as I put in my "keys to victory" for him, he would need to assert his power and make it clear he wouldn't be bullied and that's exactly what he did. His speed, his power, his combinations; everything was in sync. Few people mention it, but there's a great reason why Shane's career KO percentage is as high as it is (75%). He's a master boxer and his ring intelligence is by far greater than anyone in the welterweight division, and comparable to anyone in the sport. Relative to where I think it puts him in the welterweight division, I'd like to say on top, but truth is, he has unfinished business that may remain that way. A rematch with Miguel Cotto would be amazing, but Cotto, as we all know, is scheduled to face off against Margarito again in the summer, and Mosley's team is currently attempting to open dialogue with the Mayweather camp for a Fall showdown. With Margarito in potential 'trouble' after this whole glove padding scenario, who knows? I'm not sure that I see Mayweather jumping to face Mosley any time soon, so a Mosley/Cotto fight may be closer to fruition than many think. That being said, I can't jump on the 'Mosley is the best' bandwagon until he squares off against Cotto and does to him what he did to Margarito. I think he'd also need to defeat Paul Williams before he can be deemed the undisputed best because they're now the only two men to defeat Margo in recent years.

Hector Sanchez (Miami Lakes, FL): How well do you think Antonio Margarito will respond after this loss and where does he go from here?

Vivek W. (ESB): It was very humbling for me to watch Margarito lose the way he did. Perhaps equally as humbling as it was when I witnessed him do the same thing to Miguel Cotto - which was near tear evoking despite me predicting it to happen that way. The point I'm getting at here is that similar to what I stated in the case of Miguel Cotto, Margarito is now in a situation where we get to see what he's made of. From Ali and Leonard, and Klitschko and Lewis, all of the great ones (except Marciano) experienced this moment where they were forced to climb from a basement level low back to the top of the mountain. To put it all in perspective, not too long ago, even Mosley had to walk this same path after a tough loss against the fighter Margarito humbled (Cotto), so just like they had to overcome those odds, it's now his turn. He's been a very determined fighter and has always shown nothing but heart, so there's no question in my mind that he has the ability to rise to the top again. You're talking about a fighter who was hungry enough to step in the ring with men twice his age as a 15 year old teenager, simply for the fact that he had seen enough of the poverty stricken streets of Tijuana and wanted better for his family. My heart goes out to the 'Tijuana Tornado', but as master motivator and former NBA head coach Pat Riley once stated, "in every setback or tribulation there's a seed of benefit equivalence". In other words, there's a given opportunity to turn a bad situation into a major triumphant moment when you can finally overcome. Margarito has received that setback and developed the seed....it's now his time to water it and develop it. Hope he's ready to "make it rain" (no pun intended).

Shawn Moses (Bronx, NY): How would you see a fight between Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao playing out?

Vivek W. (ESB): Personally, I don't think this is a fight that we'll ever see. Roach, Arum, and everyone in shouting distance knew that ODH was very much a 'dead man walking' and as they all stated, "could no longer pull the trigger". You can't take away from Pacquiao because that victory was nothing short of brilliant, but that being said, Mayweather, Mosley, Margarito, Cotto, and some of these other names I hear mentioned are the polar opposite. Personally, Pacquiao is one of, if not thee most exciting fighter to watch in the sport right now, but I think barking up any of those trees could very well be a bad move. To answer your question, if the two met, there's no one in their right mind that could tell me that a man powerful enough to KO Margarito within the distance would not be powerful enough to stop Pacquiao. I love Pacquiao to no end, but I see through the 'clear' lenses, not the cloudy ones. Mosley is too strong, too fast, and too powerful to be stopped by Pacquiao, or even to lose a close decision. Just my opinion, but Mosley is no ODH, and Pacquiao is no 'Winky' Wright or Vernon Forrest. It would be entertaining, but I see Mosley winning that fight.

Carl R. (Washington, DC): Of all the champions in the sport, who would you view as the most underrated?

Vivek W. (ESB): I think this is a very easy question to answer, and I think when analyzed correctly, few could dispute the answer I would give. The person I'd fill in that slot would be Nate Campbell. When you look at what he did against a very talented Juan Diaz, and how he's basically reinvented himself in many ways, using what I consider to be one of the most intelligent boxing minds in the business (which he does possess), there's no way you can deny this dude his just dues. He has a heart of champion and the hunger of a lion. He's the real deal! What bothers me is that for whatever reason, people have never really given him the respect he deserves. Some may argue he wasn't always the fighter we see now, and I can't completely argue with that perspective, but hey, what in life is what it once was? His evolution may have taken a less desirable path early on, but hey, it ain't where you're from it's where you're at. And right now, he's at a point where few can deny him. If he's successful against Ali Funeka in February, I hope the marquee fights fall from the sky because the guy deserves them all. One personal choice I'd like to see is him in the ring against Pacquiao. That would arguably go down as one of the best fights in the history of the game. Two warriors, two big hearts, and only one winner in the end. With or without the fight, the guy is clearly underrated and deserves far more media support than he gets.

Xavier Soto (Pompano Beach, FL): Is there any possibility that Antonio Margarito can face criminal charges for the alleged hand-wrapping scheme that Nasim Richardson pointed out prior to the Mosley fight?

Vivek W. (ESB): Personally, I don't think it makes sense to even entertain that type of dialogue at this point. Many may remember years ago prior to the Hopkins/Trinidad fight when Richardson witnessed what he felt was illegal hand-wrapping prior the fight. After extensive research was done, the findings produced nothing out of the ordinary. One thing I will say was that to my knowledge, in the case with Trinidad, it was simply excessive gauze, which I believe is legal to a small degree in certain states. With Margarito, it was a hardening effect which suggest something more serious. I don't know what the findings will be but if there was wrongful intent, and if it is proven to be a willful act, sure, a criminal prosecution could take place. I just hope that isn't the case because I really have a heart for Margarito and wife Michelle. Cheating is never encouraged, but you'd hate to see a guy lose his career over one bad mistake. Especially one who's worked so hard and had to overcome so much.

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

Article posted on 26.01.2009



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