Recap Of the Big Action This Weekend in Boxing, Headlined by Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley
Another sizzling weekend of boxing action is in the books. Legacies were cemented and tainted, while the eyes of the sporting world were on boxing.
The weekend got off to an early beginning, as Fernando Montiel blitzed Hozumi Hasegawa in four rounds in Tokyo to become the de facto #1 bantamweight in the world. Western fight fans didn’t get to see the fight, which took place early Friday. What they missed was one of the more emphatic conclusions to a fight involving two top guys that has been seen in a while.
Hasegawa had things his own way for the first 3 rounds with his speed advantage and use of angles. With only 7 seconds left in the 4th, Montiel landed a clean left hook that caused Hasegawa to dip and wobble back to the ropes—his legs completely gone. Montiel seized the opportunity and unleashed a series of blows. One left hook appeared to almost rip Hasegawa’s head off.
With Hasegawa’s arm draped over the rope, he took several flush punches, bringing Laurence Cole to the rescue. I give the Texas ref a lot of flack normally, but hats off to him for a decisive and somewhat gutsy stoppage on his part. There was only 1 second left on the clock, but Cole determined that Hasegawa was unable to defend himself. It was the right call.
The suddenness in which Montiel won was jaw dropping. Having heard it was a 4th round knockout, I watched the replay and with 8 seconds left on the clock, I surmised that I heard the result wrong. It seemed inconceivable that with a few ticks on the clock, Montiel could render Hasegawa semi-conscious, but that’s just what he did. It was truly one of the quickest beatdowns you’ll ever see.
It was encouraging to see this West vs. East battle involving top fighters. A more competitive match would have given way to the possibility that Hasegawa could come over to the States or Mexico for a rematch. The decisive nature of the outcome probably throws a wrench into that plan, but true lighter-weight enthusiasts should hope that Montiel-Hasegawa signals the beginning of more of these kind of great matches.
Fernando Montiel not only became the top guy in a stacked division, but also added a hallmark win to his ledger that wasn’t there previously. If he is able to put together another big win or two—a distinct possibility given the depth of the division—he could be on his way toward making a Hall of Fame case for himself. Either way, hats off to this great little fighter who traveled halfway around the world to upset the odds in style against a fighter many thought he wouldn’t beat.
From Germany: Marco Huck defended his title against Brian Minto….
in his second consecutive match against an unaccomplished American heavyweight dropping in weight. Unlike Adam “Swamp Donkey” Richards, Minto actually gave Huck a good fight. He wasn’t competitive, but he at least made Huck work hard. Huck continually strafed Minto with lefts and rights, but the American underdog never gave up, despite getting dropped a few times. His corner finally ran up the white flag in the 10th round. Huck deserves credit for appearing to improve, adding more variety to his repertoire and fighting in a less-robotic manner. He is also one of the more active titleholders in the game, as this was his second defense in less than two months. How about a rematch with Steve Cunningham? And what happened to Cunningham anyway?
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero returned with an 8th round TKO….
over journeyman Robert Arrieta in a lightweight bout at the Tropicana in Las Vegas. Fight fans were happy to see the return of this promising fighter, who has been dealing with his wife’s health situation. His return to the ring hopefully signals that she is doing better. We all hope that Guerrero can begin to realize his enormous potential, but more importantly, that his wife can beat this thing. They are far too young to have these problems on their plate. They deserve to catch a couple good breaks with this whole deal.
Mayweather-Mosley was the crown jewel of the weekend, and the biggest event so far this year….
While Mosley managed to cause Mayweather to do a little chicken dance in the 2nd, the Pretty Boy mostly tamed him. That was the most trouble we’ve ever seen Mayweather in, but he showed great recuperative powers and even appeared to sting Mosley later in the same round.
Mayweather parlayed his ring intelligence, speed, and craft to win an easy decision that was actually less competitive than many had thought would be the case. Mayweather has certain skills that are hard to define. He almost hypnotizes his opponents into behaving the way he wants. While he is not known as a big hitter, he uses fearsome shots to sedate his foes. When threatened, he lashes out with shots that land with a certain flushness that really seems to deflate his opponents’ thirst for battle.
Mosley spent the second half of the bout fighting Mayweather’s fight. That’s just how Floyd wants it. His opponents have no chance trying to feint and be cute with Mayweather. Floyd lashes out with those quick-trigger potshots and it’s game over. His opposition cannot equal him in terms of speed or smarts and he cruises home. There was a somewhat perfunctory nature to his win over Mosley, but quite a sight to behold for those who appreciate the finer points of the game.
One complaint about last night’s PPV…
get some better undercards!!! Maybe the Alvarez fight made sense, as he is a young welterweight who could be a factor in the future. The rest of the card seemed lackluster. If promoters are going to spend 50 million on purses for the main event, couldn’t they scrounge up another million for the supporting bouts? The death of quality undercards is an alarming trend that should create more outrage. In front of a huge audience, promoters need to get their best fighters some quality exposure. PPV undercards were once used as valuable showcases to cultivate future blockbusters. Now they’re just used to fill time. It’s a shame, really.