Mosley Sweet As Sugar Again and The Hand Wrap Controversy

Shane MosleyBy Samuel Rivera: I predicted a Margarito UD win in a competitive match against Sugar Shane Mosley (chucks I am 0-1 for the year so far), while at the same time I stated that Mosley had to hit and hold in order to have a chance to win, and Mosley did just that.

Mosley came into the fight with a perfect gameplan. He had studied the Cotto fight, and had seen what had worked and what hadn’t. Cotto didn’t hold after hitting and didn’t establish a body attack throughout the fight; Mosley implemented those two things with great measures of success.

Perhaps most telling of all was that Mosley was the stronger of the two, and you could see that from the moment they first clinched. Mosley stayed off the ropes, all night, and when he held, he pushed Margarito back, rendering Margarito’s shots ineffective for the most part. Simply put Margarito got hit and before he could muster any kind offensive reply Mosley was in his chest, negating anything the Mexican was trying to do.. It wasn’t competitive at all, and Mosley put the finishing touches in a hall of fame bound career while validating his “Sugar” moniker in the process.

Now of course in hindsight many will call Margarito an ‘overrated’ pug whose only big victory came on a fighter that had dominated him before running out of steam. However, calling Margarito overrated only takes away from Mosley’s great victory over him..

Margarito came in to do what he always he does, everyone who picked him to win(including myself) knew that Antonio was a one dimensional fighter that relied on his unnatural chin and pressure to win fights. Margarito is what he is, is not a case of him being overrated, it’s a case of Mosley being much better than previously thought.

I congratulate Shane on his brilliant victory and while I was not shocked that he won, I was shocked that he KO’d Margarito, even though after the second round I figured Margarito wasn’t going to go twelve absorbing those brutal shots, no matter how good his chin is he is only human.

The Welterweight Division now suddenly becomes wide open with the once seemly invincible Margarito toppled; we are left with Mosley, Berto and Clottey as the lone title holders in the division, with the winner of Cotto-Jennings joining the trio in the title picture.

It will be interesting to see what efforts are made by the promoters and the fighters to unify the division. Assuming that Cotto wins against Jennings (not a sure thing) Cotto has the prospect of facing Mosley rather than Margarito.. Though it would seem right that he defeats Margarito before going on to Mosley, he already defeated Mosley once and in terms of legacy it would matter a lot of he beats the only man to have defeated him professionally, a task that seemed possible before the Mosley fight if Cotto made some adjustments.

Now after the beating Antonio absorbed it seems even more plausible that Cotto can win the rematch if he follows Mosley’s blue print (which was modified version of his blue print to begin with). I sincerely think that after absorbing the punches he has taken against Mosley and Cotto, Margarito’s chin might not offer as much resistance as when Cotto met him last July. In fact I am not sure Margarito will be physically ready for a June fight against Miguel, he took some of the most monstrous shots a man can take.

The X-factor here is Clottey, who might get a fight with Shane Mosley if Cotto goes through the proposed Margarito rematch and Mayweather doesn’t come out of retirement to face him. Clottey is perfectly capable of upsetting the apple cart; Mosley looked 25 again against Margarito, but Margarito being slow and predictable, had a lot to do with that, Mosley will still have all he can handle with Cotto or Clottey. Styles make fights!

On the Hand Wraps…

The Hand wrap controversy, which ironically was discovered by the same man who caught Trinidad's father in the practice, suddenly casts a shadow over Margarito’s career (a well as it did with Tito) because in theory every one (including their past opponents) will have the doubt in their minds of whether or not in this case Margarito was cheating with loaded gloves when he defeated them.

But the embarrassment for boxing in this situation is that it was Richardson and not the commission officers who discovered the alleged hardening substance in the wrapping, while according to HBO it was later confirmed by the commission that they did find the substance, it is ridiculous that the trainer of the opposing fighter has to be the one to see it before the commission people did.

The question is: What is the purpose of commission officers’ presence on a fighter’s dressing room? Are they there just for show purposes? Are they even properly trained in what a legal hand wrapping practice is and what is not?

It is possible Margarito’s people had done this before, and no one caught them on the act until wise Richardson had the foresight to look for it. This is a message to boxing commissions all over the country, they need to look for this and they need to train their officials on what is legal and what is not on a fighter’s hands.

Some people have criticized Lampley for going “overboard” and bringing up a question mark on Margarito’s win over Cotto. I personally think he did the right thing; it was certainly what a lot of viewers were pondering themselves and will ponder for months to come.

Hopefully the controversy made public by HBO’s own commentators, will influence enough the boxing commissions to be more cautious in all future fights when inspecting a fighter’s hand wraps and that a full investigation will take place to clear things up regarding the Margarito incident.

Article posted on 28.01.2009

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