Boxing


Barrera - Peden, Mosley-Cruz, Chavez-Johnson September 17th Fights in Vegas

18.09.05 - By Christine Maynard: A stellar cast of famous boxers lined up at weigh in, before the fighters slated for this event appeared. Bernard Hopkins removed his rhinestone studded Cassius Clay shirt and posed for the cameras after someone in the audience shouted “show us your abs.” He joked around with Oscar de la Hoya, who MC’d the event, while promoting Golden Boy in his confident, smooth style. Floyd Mayweather, Sr. also took the stage.

Oscar mentioned that the odds had changed significantly for some of the fights that morning, noting Jesus Chavez had gone from –500 to -575 for his bout with Leavander Johnson.

The fights, a Goossen Tutor and Golden Boy Promotions event touted as the “Parade of Champions,” began at 4:00 p.m. in the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The title unification bout between WBC super featherweight champion Marco Antonio Barrera and Robbie “The Bomber” Peden was telecast live on HBO Pay-Per-View. Mark Taffet, senior vice president, HBO Pay-Per-View, stated that “Marco Antonio Barrera is one of boxing’s most formidable warriors.” The delay broadcast of this fight, along with Shane Mosley meeting Jose Luis Cruz, a special edition of Boxing After Dark, can be seen Friday, September 23rd at 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO2.

Barrera’s team, including top notch trainer, Roberto Diaz, dressed in baby blue warm ups. Barrera appeared confident and focused. The crowd responded with admiration and love for their hero. Before Peden entered, an “aboriginal” was center stage, white palm prints on shoulders, playing an instrument indigenous to Australia. His Dad is Scottish and his mother is Aboriginal. Bag pipes played, as background.

Peden looked sharp and fast in the first round, slamming rights and lefts at Marco Antonio, whose defense was nearly perfect. And his offense. His counter punches were clean and accurate, slipping his right over Peden’s arm, connecting hard. Barrera caught Peden in the face with his fists numerous times in the second and third round, obscuring the audience’s memory of Peden’s Bomber bravado reputation.

In the 4th round, Peden landed some good body shots that were audible, but they did nothing to slow Barrera down. And, neither fighter had a high enough frequency of hits to satisfy the audience, who began booing fluidly. There was too much holding, and the ref’s work was cut out for him, separating the two fighters over and over again. Peden repeatedly held Barrera’s arm in a wrestling lock.

The seventh saw the pace pick up a bit, with lots of shots to the face by Barrera, but in the next round, the boxers kept their distance, to the fans’ discontent. Peden began taking it personally, and his temper flared. He gestured toward Barrera, to bring it on, which was answered by a head butt, by Barrera (which appeared unintentional.)

The 11th round saw the fighters begin to mix it up, but it wasn’t enough to keep the audience in their seats. Of the 10,000 plus attendees, one-fifth exited before the end of the fight. Barrera finished strong in the 12th, as it went to decision. Judges Dave Moretti and Michael Pernick scored it 118-108, while judge John Keane scored it 118-109, all for Barrera. Barrera and his team were ecstatic; he now holds two world championship belts at the same time.

Oscar de la Hoya referred to Robbie Peden as the man with an iron jaw, a tremendous heart, and an incredible fighter. He has named Barrera president of Golden Boy Mexico. Mosley is president of fighter relations for Golden Boy. And, Hopkins is president of Golden Boy East Coast. They all will own five percent of the company. De la Hoya has made business partners of all of those to whom he has lost, except Felix Trinidad.

Dan Goossen, of Goossen Tutor Promotions commented that the fans certainly enjoyed the fights. “The boxers did a great job and gave back to their fans enormously.” He plugged an up and coming boxer, Robert Barrero, who fought and won the night before. He is now 17-0 and Goossen promises he will be a formidable force.

The Shane Mosley and Jose Luis Cruz fight could have gone either way. Cruz had never lost a match before this one, and he fought his heart out. He did get angry. He did hit Mosley twice after the bell. But he held his own very well with Shane, who seemed to never let loose with his full abilities throughout the fight. Winky Wright, who obviously knows Shane’s potential and style, having fought him twice in 2004, remarked that

“ He’s got it, but he just won’t let it go. He’s tight, too tight.” (The sequiter to that comment, by Winky, was for the world to watch out, he (Winky) is about to take over the game. “A lot of guys are pretenders, I’m not. When they get real, and step up, we’ll get some more good fights!”)

Bernard Hopkins’ asides during the match were to watch Shane take the opportunity to get serious punches in, while Cruz was busy punching, leaving himself open. He also thought Shane had a little problem with Cruz’ height.

Bernard keeps himself in stunning physical condition and has the same expectations of fellow fighters. He intimated that Shane hadn’t been in the gym as much as he could have been before this fight. But he still is a strong fighter. (He referred to Eastside Boxing as his site, then clarified the statement “not that I own it, just that I frequent it, I really like it.”)

Round one of the Mosley -Cruz fight was uneventful, as Mosley wasn’t engaging. Cruz, on the other hand was breathing erratically and his corner was working to get him to take deep, slower breaths after the round. I speculated that I’d missed seeing a hard body shot. Not able to confirm that, I decided that Cruz had so much invested in winning that he had difficulty calming down. He looked dejected, as if it were all about to be taken away, something he had never experienced.

Cruz hit the mat after investing in a wild swing that missed, as he tried to take advantage of Mosley’s openness after a hit he’d deflected. Mosley ends up on the ropes with Cruz attacking in the end of round four.

In round five, Mosley worked Cruz over with hard shots to Cruz’ face, followed by more connecting shots to the face and thunderous shots to the stomach. Cruz fought back. His upper cut was almost as stinging as Mosley’s jabs. He worked Mosley’s body and the crowd stomped, clapped and yelled Mex-i-co, repeatedly, which made Mosley fight even harder.

Cruz began making arrogant faces at Mosley; he seemed furious. Moseley danced around the ring, gaining intensity, like a hurricane. Shane is quick, like Floyd Mayweather. It is his strong point. And it appeared that Cruz may be tiring out. The crowd made a deep rumbling sound in support of Mosley, who began to change it up. He jiggled his fists in front of Cruz, and landed a hard right, then three shots. And four more, that counted. The audience issued a collective murmer.

Mosley continued with harder and harder body shots. The referee warned him, but I couldn’t make out what he was referring to. Cruz wasn’t keeping his hands up as well as he was earlier in the fight. Winky said “Shane won.” It was a unanimous decision for Sugar Shane Mosley. This didn’t sit well with many of the onlookers who felt that Cruz fought a valiant fight, a winning fight.

Later, at the press conference, Shane, praised his opponent and said he had to fight hard to make sure he wasn’t added on to Cruz’ list of KO’s. “Cruz seemed very slow (compared to my speed) but he had heavy, heavy hands” Mosley said.

He sidestepped a question about the fact that he could have done more, as well as a question about how far was he from the explosiveness that has previously defined Shane Mosley’s fighting. When asked about his next opponent, he said “If it is Vargas, it is Vargas. If it is Mayweather, it is Mayweather. Whoever pays the most money.” With glasses, a conservative suit and a suave, professional presence, Shane looked like he was attending his own swearing in rather than speaking at a post-fight conference.

Article posted on 19.09.2005



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