Closing The Book On Cotto vs. Mosley

33741399.jpgThe dust has settled on this weekend’s Cotto vs. Mosley bout but, still, so many questions are left unanswered (in my mind, at least).

So, we extended an invitation to Jarry Park’s Sweet Scientist, Larz from No Mas Online, to help straighten everything out.

In our interview, Larz and I discuss the fallout from MSG (undercard and main event), what lies ahead for all fighters involved and the Manny Steward-Jermain Taylor divorce. We’re kind of like two old guys sitting in a barber shop after a big fight except neither of us are old and Larz forgot more about the sport of boxing in the last five minutes than I will ever know. And that’s why I love him.

Larz – 11/12/07

To The Victors Go The Spoils

I’m still all worked up over last night’s festivities in the world of boxing and MMA so allow me to open the mental flood gates.

Let’s begin with the sweet the science. The Park was actually live and inside Madison Square Garden to witness a great night of boxing. Surprisingly, I had only seen one live boxing fight before in my life – Gatti vs. Hutchinson in 2000 – and while that bout certainly had its fair share of fireworks (and blood) last night’s experience was on a whole different level.

Firstly, the crowd was off the charts. Walk to the bathroom or concession stand and you would instantly find yourself in the midst of an impromptu mini-Puerto Rican Day Parade. Gotta love how passionate those PR fans are when it comes to local talent.

I never thought I would see the day when sweet ol’ “Sugar” Shane Mosley would get booed like he did last night but the pro wrestling fan in me loved the clear-cut heel vs. babyface battle last night’s bout represented.

Speaking of Mosley…wow. That’s really all I can say. I walked away from that fight way more impressed with the “aging” superstar than the rising star Cotto. Truth be told, I actually scored the fight a draw and while I am aware a fight can look a lot different from the nose bleeds than on TV I really thought Mosley had as much of a right to win that bout as Cotto did. We all expected Mosley to be quick but few (including myself) expected to see Cotto back pedal from an oncoming Mosley assault as many times as he did.

That said, I had no problem with Cotto winning. He proved his worth and should definitely be next in line for Mayweather. That fight easily makes the most sense. The loud-mouth (and older) Mayweather against the quiet brahma bull. The phenom looking to shut the self-centered champ for good. Beautiful. Thrown in the extra storyline line of Cotto looking to finish the job fellow Puerto Rican, Oscar De La Hoya, couldn’t finish and you have an instant 2008 Fight of the year on your hands.

Here’s hoping’s Chris Mannix isn’t right when he says Cotto vs. De La Hoya may be up next. I fail to see what can be proven from that match-up. Plus, didn’t De La Hoya once say he had no interest in ever fighting another Puerto Rican?

One more note about last night: The undercards, as expected, were great. Margarito and Ortiz came out guns blazing. For a minute I thought I was watching a UFC card with all those first round KOs. The other rumeur du jour appears to be Margarito vs. Cotto but, at this point, that fight would clearly be a step down for Cotto. Margarito is a tremendous boxer but there’s a hell of a lot more money to be made in a bout against Mayweather or De La Hoya.

Once Cotto’s hand was raised, I rushed home from MSG to watch Elite XC: Renegade and all things considered, I came away thoroughly pleased. Sure, most of the fights ended early but I enjoyed each one of them including the much-anticipated debut of Kimbo Slice.

img_5502-slice-vs-cantrell-01.jpgDespite the fact that his first official MMA fight lasted only 19 seconds the spectacle of seeing this larger-than-life fellow step into the cage was something to remember. I never thought I would see Bo Cantrell, who looks quite intimidating in his own-right, appear as scared as he did before the fight. Rumor has it Cantrell was throwing up in his locker room before the bout and, really, who can blame him? Kimbo looked downright vicious in the cage and it appears as though Tank Abbott may be next on his hit list. Good luck, Tank.

The only negative coming out of the fight was that I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated by Cantrell’s performance. The cage looked like it was the last place he wanted to be and after two so-so punches he tapped out due to strikes. Weak. Sure, he took the fight on very short notice but he showed no intention of ever putting up a fight. Watching his performance brought back memories of Brock Lesnar’s MMA debut in June in which Lesnar’s opponent, Min-Soo Kim (also a late replacement), submitted due to strikes 69 seconds into the first round.

Elsehwere, friend of Jarry Park, KJ Noons, shocked the MMA world by defeating Nick Diaz to become the first-ever 160-pound EXC Lightweight champ in a controversial ref stoppage due to a couple of large gashes on Diaz. This decision was particularly disappointing because the first round was exceptional (I had Noons winning the round 10-9). Who would have ever thought we would see the inexperienced KJ Noons dominate Nick Diaz in all facets of the fight? Needless to say, I think a Noons vs. Diaz rematch should be signed right away.

img_6139-noons-vs-diaz-victory-04.jpgJake Shields and Antonio Silva continued to enjoy success in Elite XC with Shields really making a statement. Mike Pyle can complain all he wants about EXC not promoting him enough but the fact of the matter is he turned down a shot at the Welterweight title and had a chance to beat a top-10 Welterweight on his way out of the promotion and did nothing to prove he deserves a big money contract from any other rival organization. On the other hand, Shields, as he said in our interview last week, continues to prove he is one of the top Welterweights in the world and certainly one of the best on the ground. Question is: Who does he fight next?

And how about Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Has anyone at 265 lbs ever looked that agile before? I would love to see him drop to heavyweight because I think he can be a true force to be reckoned with in that division and face better-skilled opponents.

Ok, I’m done. What a great night of fighting. Keep visiting all week as we’ll be reviewing this weekend’s action and hope to speak with some of the big winners from the ring and cage.

***Update: In case you missed it, below is footage of Kimbo’s debut. Did Cantrell take a dive? See for yourself…

Miguel Cotto Is Ready For His Close-Up

Saturday night is definitely Hockey Fight Night in Canada America (sorry, old habits die hard).

Earlier this week, we previewed the Elite XC: Renegade show with Sam Caplan but now its time to discuss tomorrow night’s showdown between Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley. So, we tracked down the sweet scientist himself, Larz from No Mas Online, to help dissect all the action.

Madison Square Garden is the venue, HBO PPV is the network and below is the official card:

Miguel Cotto (30-0-0, 146 1/4 lbs) vs. Shane Mosley (44-4-0, 147 1/4 lbs)

Antonio Margarito (34-5-0, 134 lbs) vs. Golden Johnson (25-8-3, 147 1/2 lbs)*

Joel Casamayor (34-3-1, 134 lbs) vs. Jose A. Santa Cruz (25-2-0, 134 3/4 lbs)

Victor Ortiz (19-1-1, 141 lbs) vs. Carlos Maussa (19-4-0, 141 lbs)

Billy Dib (16-0-0, 128 lbs) vs. Rogers Mtagwa (24-11-2, 127 1/2 lbs)

Jesus Rojas (9-0-0, 122 lbs) vs. Carlos Diaz (9-10-4, 122 lbs)

Michael Faragon (Pro Debut, 136 3/4 lbs) vs. Javier Garcia (2-1-0, 136 3/4 lbs)

Ronny Vegas (3-0-0, 152 lbs) vs. Bryan Mullis (4-1-1, 150 3/4 lbs)

Larz also breaks down the Calzaghe vs. Kessler classic, the Contender 3 Finale and why ESPN’s Brian Kenny should be ashamed of himself right now.

Larz – 11/08/07

Floyd Mayweather Jr. & Ricky Hatton Can Agree On One Thing…

…The outcome of this Saturday’s Miguel Cotto vs. Shane Mosley fight:

“I see it as an easy fight for Shane and I predict an early KO,” Mayweather said.

Surprisingly, Hatton, Mayweather’s opponent on December 8th (HBO PPV) seconds Pretty Boy Floyd’s prediction:

“I think Shane Mosley will because he will Cotto problem with his speed and movement. Last time out, Cotto looked strong but didn’t carry the same finesse at Welterweight as in previous fights. He looked a little crude against Judah. Cotto will need more finesse against Mosley.”

Is it me or when this fight was first announced everyone picked Cotto but suddenly, for whatever reason, the tide is starting to turn in the favor of the Sugar Shane? Perhaps the boxing world should hold off on the Cotto coronation for a couple more days.

[credit: Swanson Communications]

Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

Most boxing experts and fans seem fairly confident that Miguel Cotto (30-0-0) will defeat Shane Mosley (44-4-0) come this Saturday night. However, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in my discussion with Larz from No Mas, something is stopping me from betting the house on the Puerto Rican sensation. Not surprisingly, it appears as though Mosley’s trainer (and father), Jack, is not favoring Cotto either:

“I don’t know what Bob Arum was thinking about when he said ‘we’ll fight Shane.’ I mean, he’s thinking about age but that’s not going to work. Shane is just tremendously too powerful for Cotto. All the big people that he’s fought and sparred with right now don’t compare with Cotto…”

Needless to say, Jack’s pretty riled up about this whole age thing. More from the elder Mosley:

“…Cotto is worried sick about fighting Shane I already know. You look in his eyes and tell…And, Cotto hasn’t faced anybody like Shane, period…Cotto is one of the smallest guys he’s fought in a long time. Everybody he’s fought, they’re much bigger… So Cotto’s going to be in for a rude awakening and Bob Arum and all the rest of the camp that believe his age is going to be a factor. It’s not going to be a factor.”

For the record, Shane Mosley is 36 and Miguel Cotto is 27. Pretty big difference but stranger things have happened.

[credit: Swanson Communications]