Right on the "Money"
Mayweather dominates Mosley in virtuoso performance
Ringside by Andreas Hale and Francisco Salazar
Photos by Chris Cozzone
The question was “Who R U Picking?” and after twelve rounds it was apparent that “Sugar” Shane Mosley picked the wrong fighter to step in the ring with on Saturday night in front of 15,117 at MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, NV. A bevy of celebrities ranging from Jay-Z and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson witnessed arguably this era’s greatest fighter as Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. turned in a virtuoso performance as he defeated Mosley by unanimous decision in their highly anticipated welterweight bout.
It was a performance that featured high drama in the second round – something that skeptics claim has kept Mayweather away from greatness – when a Mosley right hand nearly floored Mayweather and had the six time world champion on very shaky legs. But Mayweather survived the brief scare, settled into his rhythm and soundly throttled Mosley with lopsided scores of 119-109 (twice) and 118-110.
During his campaign at welterweight, Mayweather has often been criticized for taking on smaller fighters and avoiding “true” welterweights by critics and fans alike. Those skeptics were silenced by Mayweather’s domination of Mosley – who has fought at welterweight for over a decade.
Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs) put together a perfect game plan, sans the 2nd round, as he surprisingly came forward while popping the jab and scoring often with his lightening quick straight right hand. The 38-year-old Mosley (46-6, 39 KOs) had his chance in the second round but simply couldn’t crack the code to end Mayweather’s unbeaten run. He gave Mayweather his best, Mayweather accepted it and Mosley looked like a fighter who completely shut down after the second round.
Perhaps the 16-month layoff played a role in Mosley’s not being able to get his punches off, but much more of the blame can be placed on the adjustments Mayweather made to take away all of Mosley’s weapons.
“I think the long layoff hurt me,” a clearly disappointed Mosley said. “I tried to move during the 2nd round but he was just too quick. After I landed the right hand I thought I need to knock him out but I just couldn’t do it.”
If seeing Mayweather rocked was a surprised, it was an even bigger surprise when the 33-year-old pressed the action and hurt Mosley very badly on several occasions. Using the jab to set up the right hand, Mayweather surgically dismantled Mosley piece by piece and he looked very close to ending the night the Pomona, CA fighter’s night.
What started as a challenge turned into a game of “how many times can I land the right hand” as Mosley had a fistful of Mayweather’s straight right over and over again. It turned into a glorified sparring session as Mosley couldn’t commit himself to anything substantial. If he stood in front of Mayweather, his head would be snapped back by the jab. When Mosley stepped inside, Mayweather would lead with the hook and finish with the straight right. It was a beautifully orchestrated game plan that “Money” stuck to and cashed in at the end of the night.
“I did what the fans came here to see, a toe-to-toe battle,” said Mayweather. “That’s not my style but I wanted to give them that kind of fight. I went over the game plan with my dad [Floyd Mayweather Sr.] and [trainer] Roger [Mayweather] as we were sitting around the house. I think we could have pressed the attack a lot sooner and got him out of there.”
As for that second round, Mayweather chose to downplay it as a part of the game that comes with the territory.
“It’s a contact sport and you’re going to get hit,” he said. “But when you get hit you suck it up and keep on fighting. I’m happy we finally had a chance to fight. This is the fight the fans have been looking forward to for a long time and they deserved it.”
The attention now turns to the obvious – a huge megafight with Manny Pacquiao. Although a proposed March date fell apart due to the dispute regarding drug tests, some are optimistic that the fight still can happen. Mayweather is definitely not shying away from the fight.
“If he wants to fight, it’s not that hard to find me,” he said before stating that his position on Olympic style drug testing will not change. “Mosley is a warrior. I wanted to fight him and he did what he had to do. If Manny takes the test we can make the fight happen. I will continue to fight the best and whoever they put in front of me.”
The hope is that “the best” and “who they put in front” of Mayweather equates to the Pacquiao showdown.
All we can do is wait and see. - AH
Alvarez stops Cotto
In the co-main event, welterweight sensation Saul Alvarez notched an important victory under his belt, stopping Jose Miguel Cotto in the ninth round of a scheduled 10-round bout.
Alvarez has become a household name in Mexico, due to his aggressive style, humble upbringing and background, and because of his age. The 19-year-old Alvarez has been fighting professionally for about four and a half years. Although he had faced respectable competition thus far, fighting the older brother of Miguel Cotto was a step up in class.
Prior to the Alvarez fight, Cotto was unbeaten in his last five bouts since a 12 round unanimous decision loss at the hands of then-world champion Juan Diaz. Cotto was away from the ring since a 12 round decision draw against Prawet Singwancha three years ago.
Things did not start well for Alvarez after the opening bell. Cotto went right at Alvarez, landing a hard left hook to the head that sent Alvarez back against the ropes. Cotto went in for the kill, even landing a right hand to the head.
However, Alvarez maintained his composure, not winging punches back at Cotto and instead, boxing from the outside. In the second round, Alvarez landed a right uppercut to the chin of an advancing Cotto, causing him to lose his balance and hold himself up with a glove, which was correctly ruled a knockdown.
Despite the knockdown, Cotto pressed the action. Although Alvarez was connecting with straight right hands or right uppercuts, he would have been better served to use his jab more.
As Alvarez controlled the middle rounds, Cotto came on in the sixth and seventh rounds. Cotto attacked the body of Alvarez, pressing the action.
However, Alvarez had a solid eighth round. Alvarez continued to land right hands, but was able to score more with left hooks to the head. Cotto slowed down considerably, throwing less punches compared to those he had thrown earlier in the fight.
The end came in the ninth as Alvarez came on aggressively, throwing and landing more at will against Cotto. A series of right hands backed Cotto up against the ropes. Although Cotto made Alvarez miss at times, Alvarez’ punches began to take effect on Cotto, who was not throwing any punches back. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:51.
“The first round was scary,” said Alvarez, who has now stopped nine of his last 10 opponents. “It was just a matter of time. I was feeling more confident as the fight went on, because Cotto has not faced a fighter as tough as me. Fighting in Las Vegas was great. I want to fight here again.”
Cotto had a different take on the fight.
“I feel good. However, I would want to fight him again at 140 pounds.”
Alvarez, from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, improves to 32-0-1, 24 KO’s. Cotto, from Caguas, Puerto Rico, drops to 32-2-1, 23 KO’s. - FS
Ponce De Leon breaks Lock
Featherweight contender Daniel Ponce De Leon won a 10 round unanimous decision over Cornelius Lock.
Prior to his bout against Lock, Ponce De Leon had won four bouts in a row since his shocking first round stoppage defeat at the hands of Juan Manuel Lopez almost two years ago. Lock stopped previous-unbeaten Orlando Cruz in September.
After a competitive first round that saw both southpaw fighters land hard punches, Ponce De Leon began to land effective punches from the outside. With each passing round, Ponce De Leon was more aggressive and had a steady and even attack on the head and body.
Lock attempted to land right hooks to the head, but was more effective with left crosses to the head of Ponce De Leon. It was in the fifth and sixth rounds that Lock was able to land more consistently with those left hooks.
After Ponce De Leon controlled the action in the seventh round, landing a series of left hands to the head, Lock began to increase his punch output in the eighth round.
His best rounds were in the final two bouts of the bout, when he was the aggressor and scoring often. Lock landed at will in the ninth round, but it was in the 10th round that he stunned Ponce De Leon with a counter left hand that backed him into a corner. As Lock pressed forward, he was not able to land anything solid and Ponce De Leon was able to make it until the final bell.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Ponce De Leon, with scores of 96-94, 96-94, and 97-93. Fightnews.com scored the bout 96-94 in favor of Ponce De Leon.
“He was a very difficult fighter, but I did my best,” said Ponce De Leon, who was a world titleholder at 122 pounds. “I knew I was ahead on the scorecards. I got a little hurt in the ninth round.”
“I felt like I did enough to win the fight,” said Lock, who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions. “He was slow and he did not hurt me. I just could not get off. Maybe it was the ring rust. I hurt him a couple of times, but I was not as sharp because of the rust.”
Ponce De Leon, from Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, goes to 39-2, 32 KO’s. Lock, from Detroit, MI, falls to 19-5-1, 12 KO’s. - FS
Ouali KO’s Saldivia In Frantic First Round
In a fight that featured perhaps the most frantic two minutes of the year thus far, Said Ouali pulled himself off the canvas and needed only five punches to score an impressive TKO stoppage over Hector Saldivia in a scheduled 10 round welterweight affair. Saldivia (33-2) came out with guns blazing and caught Ouali by surprise with punches that looked like they were fired from a Tommy gun before an overhand right dropped the Las Vegas only moments into the first round.
Ouali (27-3, 19 KOs) was clearly shaken and it appeared that he may not make it up before the ten count. But the Roger Mayweather trained fighter would shake the cobwebs and get to his feet as the Argentinean continued to torment him with a bevy of punches to the body and head.
The tide turned with a sequence that seemed to come from a Rocky movie as Ouali ate a right hand but came bouncing off the ropes and clobbered Saldivia with a thunderous left hook of his own to drop him to the canvas. With the exchange of knockdowns, both fighters looked like Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa as they were both ripe for the picking. But it would be the Moroccan with a combination that ended with a scraping left hook that dropped Saldivia to the canvas again and forced referee Russell Mora to spare him from any more damage as he called a halt to the fight at 1:47 in the first round.
“He surprised me man,” Ouali said of the wild affair. “He caught me in the back of the head. What can I say? I took the time like a pro and came right back.”
“I knew it was over 100%,” he said regarding the booming left hand that dropped Saldivia. “If I get somebody hurt I finish them off. I came out cold. I was more surprised than hurt when he hit me with that punch.” - AH
Vargas Stops Morua
Undefeated Jessie Vargas used clean and effective punching to eventually break down Arturo Morua and earn a 6th round TKO stoppage in his toughest test to date. The Roger Mayweather trained Vargas worked over Morua with body work that travelled upstairs and kept Morua off balance and unable to figure out where the punches were coming from. As the rounds wore on, Morua was eventually worn down and a thudding left hook followed by a straight right hand from Vargas spelled his foe’s demise as referee Tony Weeks called a halt to the bout at 1:20 in the sixth. Vargas earns his 5th knockout and improves to 10-0 while Morua falls to 25-14-1.- AH
Savage Earns Decision
Dion Savage pounded out an 8 round unanimous decision victory over the very game Tommie Speller in Super Middleweight action. The undefeated Team Mayweather prospect improved to 8-0 by winging loaded punches at his Philadelphia opponent from the opening bell. Speller – who falls to 5-4 – simply didn’t have any answers for Savage and was beaten like a drum for eight rounds. All three judges scored the fight 80-72. - AH
Perez decisions Leon
Junior Lightweight Eloy Perez won a 10 round majority decision victory over Gilbert Sanchez-Leon. With the victory, Perez retains his regional belt.
There were few exchanges between the two fighters in the opening rounds. The taller Leon attempted to work behind a jab as Perez moved in and out of Leon s reach.
Perez began to press the action in the third round. He came forward aggressively, looking to land to the head and body.
Leon was busier in the middle rounds, throwing and landing more right hands behind the jab. Perez countered to the head, but a number of punches were blocked or landed on Leon s upper arms.
Perez scored with a strong left hook to the head of Leon in the seventh round, momentarily stunning him. Undaunted, Leon came back in the eighth round, again scoring to the head with straight right hands.
Perez controlled the final two rounds by being the aggressor and controlling the tempo, landing a steady amount of right hands.
One judge scored the bout even at 95-95, while the other two judges scored the bout 97-93 and 96-94 in favor of Perez. Fightnews.com scored the 98-92 in favor of Perez.
Perez, from Salinas, CA, improves to 17-0-2, 4 KOs. Sanchez-Leon, from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, falls to 23-8-2, 7 KOs. - FS
Ramos stops Litzau
Lightweight Luis Ramos stopped Allen Litzau in the second round of a scheduled eight round bout.
The southpaw Ramos worked behind his right jab, following it up with left hands to the head. Litzau would only throw one punch at a time.
Ramos scored a knockdown with a left hand to the head in the opening 30 seconds of the second round. After getting up, Litzau was met by a Ramos two-punch combination that staggered him. The impact of the punches and Litzau s reaction prompted referee Russell Mora to stop the fight at 55 seconds.
Litzau was upset with the referee’s stoppage, screaming at Mora. Litzau even threw himself onto the canvas to show his displeasure.
Ramos, from Santa Ana, CA, goes to 15-0, 8 KOs. Litzau, from St. Paul, MN, drops to 13-5, 7 KOs. - FS
- A who s who of boxing celebrities took in the action from ringside. Former world champions Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, Fernando Vargas, Middleweight Winky Wright, Lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, Junior Middleweight champion Alfredo Angulo, Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, Super Welterweight Paul Williams, Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola, Heavyweight Hasim Rahman, Welterweight Zab Judah all took in the action from ringside.
- Jim Lampley, Emanuel Steward, Larry Merchant, and Harold Lederman called the action from ringside for HBO Pay Per View.
- Ring announcer for the televised card was Michael Buffer. Ring announcer for the non-televised card was Jake Gutierrez.