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Fight Night with Jade: HBO PPV--Madison Square Garden

Let me get one thing out on the open right now: I hate Shane Mosley.

I hate Shane Mosley about as much as I hate Duke, Miami, the Dallas Cowboys and the Boston Red Sox, and all more or less for the same reason: because just about everyone else has them on a freaking pedestal, and they are all to some degree overrated.

It's not so much that Mosley isn't talented, it's just that I don't see how he manages to beat some of his opponents. Yes, he has quick hands, and still does even at the ripe old age of 36, but he's not necessarily a power puncher and he isn't always the dominant fighter in a match. In his first fight against Oscar De La Hoya, he took the decision despite the fact that De La Hoya had been the more aggressive and active fighter, and had set the pace throughout the entire match (and considering Oscar's tendency to fade in the late rounds, that's saying a lot). Oscar seems to have forgiven Shane, since Mosley's now one of his "Golden Boy" fighters, but I have not.

Ever since Vernon Forrest crushed him twice in a row, I have been waiting for more fighters to figure out what makes Shane Mosley tick, but other than a couple of losses to Winky Wright, he has been maddeningly successful. Tonight, Mosley challenged undefeated Miguel Cotto for Cotto's WBA welterweight title. Cotto has the power and the speed to beat Mosley, but his chin falls somewhere between glass and granite and he's shown in past fights that despite being unbeaten, he isn't unstoppable. Would Miguel Cotto make me a happy Mosley-hater or would Shane Mosley manage to annoy the hell out of me yet again?

Let's go to the card and find out...
Undercard Match #1: Victor Ortiz vs. Carlos Maussa, 10 rounds, junior welterweights

Blink and you missed this one. It took Ortiz all of 1:47 to have Maussa looking for the truck that hit him. It wasn't so much the strength of the punch that did it as the fact that Maussa was so focused on following up an attempted body shot to Ortiz that he didn't see the left hook coming until it nailed him upside the head. Ortiz is only 20 years old, but the word is that he's got some serious potential. This match did nothing to disprove that, but it didn't exactly give anyone much chance to truly evaluate his skills.

Winner by KO: Victor Ortiz
Jade's Match Grade: I can't really grade this one, much as I'd like to, for the reasons above. I'll be keeping an eye out for young Ortiz, though.

Undercard Match #2: Joel Casamayor vs. Jose Armando Santa Cruz, 12 rounds, for Casamayor's Ring magazine/WBC interim lightweight title

This match was a complete and utter abortion.

Joel Casamayor comes in to defend a title he won 13 months ago from the late Diego Corrales. He hasn't fought once in that 13 months' time--and he didn't exactly fight in this one, either. His ring rust is apparent in the first round, when a blow to his arm knocks him off balance and on his ass. Technically, it is a knockdown, although if Casamayor wasn't so rusty, it would never have happened.

It went downhill from there; Casamayor spent the entire fight either backpedaling, throwing a few mostly ineffective punches (usually while backpedaling) or wrapping up Santa Cruz in enough clinches to make John Ruiz jealous. How he did not get warned, never mind not having points deducted, is beyond me. Apparently the only person who couldn't see that Casamayor was blatantly holding throughout the match was the referee. Santa Cruz did his best to take charge of the fight;he landed some very good shots throughout the match, and he was clearly the more aggressive of the two fighters. To just about everyone watching the match, he was the clear winner.

Everyone, that is, except the judges. One scored the fight 114-113 in favor of Santa Cruz, the other two scored it 114-113 in favor of Casamayor.

Winner by split decision (and still titleholder--I refuse to call him champ): Joel Casamayor
Jade's Match Grade: F-
If any fight deserves to be investigated for possible fixing, this is it. Somewhere, Joel Casamayor is demonstrating his skill at fellatio for two NY fight judges, because they handed him a title defense win he did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to earn. I can understand the rationale of "to be the champ, you have to beat the champ", and most of the time, I support that idea. If you've earned a title, your challenger should either completely defeat you or make a superhuman effort to do so. However, if you're the champion, you're supposed to ACT like a champion, and that means making an active effort to defend your title. Joel Casamayor made absolutely no effort to defend his title, and he should not have been allowed to keep it. I have lost any respect I have had for this fighter.

Undercard Match #3: Antonio Margarito vs. Golden Johnson, 12 rounds, welterweights

After the previous match. Golden Boy and Top Rank (the joint promoters for this ppv) really needed something to get the crowd happy again. Lucky for them, this match, although it was brief, gave them the boost they needed.

Coming off an embarrassing loss to Paul Williams that killed a prospective fight deal against Miguel Cotto (which would have gotten him some serious money), Antonio Margarito was determined to prove that the Williams fight was an anomaly and he was truly qualified to fight with the best.

In 2:48 of the first round, he did just that.

Margarito came out fists-a-blazing ("Tijuana Tornado", indeed) and absolutely pummeled Golden Williams, knocking him down three times before the ref called a halt to the match. This was not due to any flaw in Williams' performance; he did the best he could to defend himself against the onslaught, but it was like trying to use an umbrella in a hurricane. There was no way he was getting out of the first round alive, and everyone knew it.

Winner by KO: Antonio Margarito

Jade's Match Grade: A+
Unlike Victor Ortiz earlier, I've seen Margarito in action and this was Margarito at his best. I've always wanted to see him fight Shane Mosley, because I think his speed and power has the potential to simply overwhelm Mosley. Unfortunately, I think Mosley knows this as well, therefore it's not likely to happen.

Since two out of the three undercard matches ended so early, I have to suffer through what seems like an hour of HBO not only promoting the upcoming Mayweather/Hatton fight, but their pre-fight promotional "reality show", "Mayweather/Hatton 24/7". Apparently they figure they only way to get people to actually pay to see Floyd Mayweather fight is to numb their minds with endless exposure to him. If it wasn't for the fact that my husband insists on getting that ppv because it involves Ricky Hatton, and because I am hoping that Hatton will beat the everloving crap out of Floyd Mayweather, I wouldn't even bother with it, because I hate Floyd Mayweather even more than I hate Shane Mosley.

And as I said, I hate Shane Mosley, which leads us to...

Main Event: Miguel Cotto vs. Sugar Shane Mosley, 12 rounds, for Cotto's WBA welterweight title

As hard as it is for me to admit it, this is probably the best performance I have ever seen from Shane Mosley. Not only did he use Cotto's penchant for body blows against him, but with his speed and ability to adapt, he gave Cotto a better fight than just about anyone else I've seen Cotto fight. Cotto's performance was equally stellar. In the early rounds, he managed to throw Mosley for a loop not only with his power, but with speed that Mosley had clearly underestimated. Mosley recovered and managed to adapt his game plan by Round 5, however, and while Cotto was still getting in plenty of shots, began to take charge of the match. Cotto came back with gusto in the later rounds, but with the exception of an ill-timed and awkward slip by Mosley in the last round, neither man was able to knock down the other. It was one of those matches that could go absolutely either way (and possibly even a draw) and no one would have objected.

In the end, as they say, you've got to beat the champ to be the champ, and while Shane Mosley came so very close, Miguel Cotto did enough to defend his title for the judges to feel justified in letting him keep it. Two judges scored it 115-113, one scored it 116-113, all for Cotto.

Winner by unanimous decision (and still champion): Miguel Cotto

Jade's Match Grade: A+
Overall, a damn good fight--good enough for me to hate Shane Mosley a wee bit less.

But just a wee bit, mind you. :p

Overall PPV Grade: A-/B+
With the exception of the Casamayor fight (which I think everyone should get a partial refund for suffering through), well worth the money spent.
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I hope Ricky mauls him, too. Great recap, Jade!

Posted by Ron at 11/13/07 00:19:05

I care to the sum of zero about boxing.

(And I don't think Red Sox Nation is sweating your overrated critique of them. They've got World Series rings plugging their ears. :P)

Posted by Len at 11/13/07 09:53:10

Then why are you reading the post, ya big goober?

(As to the Nation of Sux, yeah, they've got one for each ear now. As Dmitri Young would say, "Whoopty-doo". The Yankees have one for each ear, each finger, each toe--and four to spare. :p)

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