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Knockout Nation: Mosley TKO’s Mayorga! Williams Routs Kolle! Gatti Comeback? Ike Ibeabuchi

Mosley TKO’s Mayorga With One Second Remaining

It’s not how to start but how you finish.

Those words never proved truer than last Saturday (September 27), as an aging “Sugar” Shane Mosley overcame Ricardo Mayorga’s roughhousing to score a stunning TKO stoppage with just one second remaining in the last round.

For the first two rounds, an in-shape, determined Mayorga controlled the bout with wild overhand rights and amateurish charges that kept Shane wary and tentative.

While Mosley was able to block most of the shots, he was being knocked around and unable to mount any significant offense to deter the Nicaraguan’s bullying.

In round three, Shane figured out Mayorga’s rhythm and began timing him with crisp, stinging right and left hook leads. Not needing to bother with the usual feints and jabs since Mayorga was wide open, Mosley concluded a dominant round with another barrage of hooks.

Round four started with a nice jab-straight right combo from Mosley. Undeterred, Mayorga continued rushing in and caught a hard right hook for his trouble. In another showcase round, Mosley rained down an assortment of left hooks across Mayorga’s head. Noticeably, whenever Shane went downstairs his thudding shots would have greater effect and force Ricardo to initiate a clinch.

The middle rounds were all Mosley, with the former pound for pound king again hurting Mayorga to the body in round five with repeated hooks. Seeking to buy time, Mayorga began complaining to the ref anytime Mosley dug in too much with his attacks.

The trend carried over to rounds six and seven, as Shane relentlessly pursued his promise to knock out Mayorga by the eighth. These rounds featured Mayorga continuing to get pasted with hooks, but the brawling, chain-smoking ex-champ gingerly walked through each punch hoping to catch Mosley with a wild shot.

The 37 year old Mosley began slowing down by round eight, debilitated from the successive rounds of beating on the naturally larger Mayorga. The round was mired by long stretches of mauling and holding as both men sought a breather to prepare for the championship rounds.

Sensing a chance, Mayorga began showboating in round nine and swinging aimlessly as Mosley was too tired to offer up the quick counters of just a few rounds ago. A sneaky uppercut stunned Shane and allowed the Nicaraugan to outwork his opponent and secure his first clear round in some time.

After a listless round ten from both men, Mosley used a second wind to land two big overhand rights in the eleventh. While Mayorga was still occasionally pressing forward, he visibly was not as willing to exchange with Shane as the bout reached the decisive 12th.

Both fighters alternated between mauling and furious exchanges as the last round got underway. The superior technique of Mosley triumphed halfway through as he hurt Mayorga with two crushing right hands. This time the backpedaling Mayorga couldn’t escape, lining himself right in Shane’s crosshairs to be dropped with a cracking, leaping left hook and short chopping right.

Mayorga crumpled forward to his knees; the crowd roaring deliriously with just 8 seconds remaining in the contest.

Ever the tough guy, Ricardo signaled that he was ok, obviously hoping the bout would end before Mosley could capitalize.

However, Shane showed great veteran instinct by positioning himself right behind the ref instead of going to the far neutral corner as initially instructed.

Once waved on to continue, Mosley only had to take two steps before ending Mayorga’s night with another leaping left hook that dropped the Nicaraguan flat on his back, securing the TKO stoppage with :01 left on the clock.

In the post-fight interview, Mosley was hesitant to persist with his calls for a showdown with current champ Antonio Margarito, or even a bout with young lion Andre Berto.

“I’m not really sure what I want right now,” Mosley admitted to Larry Merchant. “Before I was calling out Margarito, and it definitely would be a great fight. But they (promoter Bob Arum, Margarito) have stuff going on and I’m not getting any younger. I have to try and find fights right now…Berto’s a young lion and a good champion. I was impressed by his speed and competitiveness. He reminds me of myself when I was younger. So I’ll be looking at myself in the mirror when I fight him.”

What Mosley was alluding to are plans for Margarito and Cotto to rematch by the summer of 2009. That will likely mean both men will take “safe” bouts early next year to prepare for the fight.

Unless Mosley can goad Floyd Mayweather out of retirement or come to terms with Paul Williams, an Andre Berto fight for the WBC strap would be the best alternative.

For Mayorga, he now holds the dubious distinction of being TKO’d by the three most popular welterweights of the 90s: Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, and now Shane Mosley.

Berto Dominates Forbes in Decision Win

On the undercard, undefeated welterweight titlist Andre Berto secured a lopsided decision win over Steve Forbes.

Berto was able to win the fight almost exclusively on punch output, missing many times wildly due to Forbes’ defensive skill but still landing consistently enough to take the rounds.

Forbes, undersized at welterweight, did not have the firepower to deter Berto’s pressure and was unwilling to take offensive risks against the champion’s greater hand-speed.

With the win, Berto retains the WBC welterweight title and improves to 23-0, 19 KOs, while Steve Forbes falls to 33-7, 9 KOs.

Williams Walks Over Kolle

The question of whether lanky welterweight Paul Williams could carry power up two weight classes received a definitive answer last Thursday (September 25). The South Carolina native needed only one round to savagely dispatch fringe middleweight contender Andy Kolle and put everyone from 147-160 pounds on notice.

A southpaw, Kolle like Carlos Quintana was able to get in a few straight lefts early on as Williams stalked after him.

Realizing that Kolle had no firepower to hurt him, Williams began winding up power shots, knocking Kolle back with several straight lefts of his own.

Slipping a right hook, Williams countered with a pinpoint one of his own which badly stunned Kolle.

Before he could recover, Williams followed up with a devastating left hook that nearly knocked Kolle out the ring.

Clearly ruined, Kolle barely made it to his feet and was in no condition to continue, securing Williams a 1st round TKO with 1:37 remaining.

Paul William’s fans can rejoice in the fact the Punisher will be fighting again this November at 154 pounds, and hopefully fellow recent winner Shane Mosley will consider getting in there to give fans a guaranteed action-packed showdown.

And while Williams has not been hit yet by an elite junior middle or middleweight, other potential fights with Vernon Forrest or Kelly Pavlik don’t seem far-fetched anymore.

Arturo Gatti Coming Out of Retirement?

Earlier this week the boxing world was troubled by reports from the Canadian press that former 130 and 140 pound titlist Arturo Gatti was in training for comeback bout against Montreal welterweight Antonin Decarie.

Gatti was last seen getting destroyed in his final two bouts at that weight against then champion Carlos Baldomir in 2006 and fringe contender Alfonso Gomez last year.

The news was disheartening to many fans that worry about Gatti’s physical well being after years of inhuman drag out brawls and his last couple of one-sided beatings, including a career highlight drubbing at the hands of Floyd Mayweather.

Thankfully, ESPN boxing scribe Dan Rafael reached out to Gatti’s manager Pat Lynch, who confirmed that an ill-advised comeback would not be happening.

“I asked him about the comeback rumors, because I heard them too, and he said it wasn’t true,” Lynch explained to espn.com. “Someone asked him about coming back and he said something like if he did, he would want to fight for the Canadian title. And I guess (reporter) Yvon Michel was told about it and he ran with it. But there is no plan for Gatti to make a comeback. He’s not coming back.”

Lynch elaborated that financially Gatti has made wise investments, so unlike many former champs money would not lure him back into the ring. But, he cryptically stated he has seen signs that Gatti may consider a return just for the love of boxing.

“Financially, he’s ok. He has his business and family. He said things are going in the right direction,” Lynch reasons. “Do I feel in my heart the door is 100% closed? No, because people are always asking him about coming back. But I hope not. I have too much love and respect for him for that. I don’t know anybody who wants to see him come back.”

Hopefully, Gatti surveys the immense list of former champs who came back only to be humiliated by lesser fighters. And once thinking about it, I pray Gatti decides to keep his remaining brain cells intact.

Enzo Calzaghe Trashes Wladimir Klitschko

Enzo Calzaghe, father and trainer of 168 and 175 pound champion Joe Calzaghe, has harsh words for Wladimir Klitschko in the new November issue of RING Magazine.

The colorful, outspoken trainer characterized Klitschko as one of the worst heavyweight champions ever seen in history.

“Anyone can be successful at heavyweight right now. I could fatten up Joe to 245 pounds and he could win the title,” Enzo quipped. “Wladimir Klitschko is the worst heavyweight champion I have seen in my life. He is worse than Primo Carnera. I don’t know him personally, but as a boxer he does nothing for me at all.”

Calzaghe isn’t the first or the last person to trash Klitschko’s reign over the heavyweights.

As the boxing public, do you agree that Klitschko is the poster child for the lack of interest in the division?

Throwback Fighter of the Week: Ike “The President” Ibeabuchi

Boxing is littered with an infinite number of “what could’ve been” cases. For the heavyweight division’s recent history, the man who epitomizes that statement is former rising contender Ike Ibeabuchi.

A native of Nigeria, Ibeabuchi turned pro in 1994 and cut through low-level competition before engaging in a historic brawl with fellow power puncher David Tua.

The brutal fight set the record for most heavyweight punches thrown in a fight, eclipsing the previous record held by Ali-Frazier III despite Ibeabuchi’s bout not having two extra rounds. In some rounds, Ibeabuchi managed to nearly double the average heavyweight punch output of 50 punches.

After emerging victorious and now a star, Ibeabuchi began to show signs of instability.

He claimed he could see demons that were after him, and served two months in prison for kidnapping his ex-girlfriend’s son.

In 1999, he won another signature bout by flattening then undefeated slickster Chris Byrd in a highlight reel knockout. Afterward, many predicted Ibeabuchi would win the heavyweight title in the next 12 months.

Unfortunately, Ibeabuchi could not keep his inner demons at bay. He was convicted of battery with the intent to commit a crime and attempted sexual assault, which occurred on a call girl in his hotel room.

Ibeabuchi was sentenced to 5-30 years in prison.

It was discovered during the trial that Ibeabuchi suffered from bipolar and schizoid-effective disorders; however doctors ordered by a 2-1 vote that he was competent to stand trial. Also, it was revealed that Ibeabuchi had previously refused medication for his conditions because he believed it would affect the motor skills he would need to box.

At 37 years old, Ibeabuchi is still incarcerated and has been denied parole twice. His next eligibility date is December 2010.

Ibeabuchi vs. Byrd

Ibeabuchi vs. Ray 

 

Ibeabuchi vs. Tua

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