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Knockout Nation: Mayweather-Mosley Is On! Haye-Ruiz, Hearns vs. Trinidad Fantasy Clash!

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Mayweather-Mosley Agree to Terms, Mosley Signs First

A mixture of an earthquake and blood testing refusal has brought us to one of the biggest fights in recent memory with Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley agreeing to clash in Las Vegas on May 1.

Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe broke the news yesterday to ESPN that the terms were agreed upon and both parties would be signing shortly, with a fight announcement sometime in the upcoming week from New York City.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, Mosley flew to Las Vegas yesterday (January 29) and signed his end of the deal.

“Floyd tried to fight the guy everyone thought was the best guy available and we couldn’t get that fight done, so we went to the next guy on the list,” Ellerbe explained in a statement. “As I’ve said many times, when Floyd decided to come back to boxing, he did it to be in major events. He’s going to face all of the top welterweights and one by one, knock them all off.”

In addition, Ellerbe denied the rumors that Mayweather had ever considered fights with Matthew Hatton, Paulie Malignaggi, or Nate Campbell, all smaller fighters competing in the 140 pound division. To their end, only Hatton ever claimed that he was contacted by Team Mayweather.

The full terms of the contract have not been disclosed, but death knell of the Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations, Olympic style random drug testing, was agreed upon by Mosley in the opening talks. Unlike Pacquiao, Mosley has a documented history of steroid usage stemming from two anabolic steroids he admitted taking in preparation for his 2003 rematch with Oscar De La Hoya.

Mosley won the bout, and never failed any drug tests. However, he admitted under oath he took the drugs after being required to give federal testimony in the BALCO labs trial.

 

It’s not Mayweather-Pacquiao, but this fight is the next biggest event and has the possibility of being an even better fight. Mosley is the naturally bigger/stronger man, harder puncher, and still possesses formidable handspeed. Mayweather is the more accurate puncher and better ring general, being able to adjust ring plans several times during the course of a fight.

When I spoke with Mosley last November, he offered the below reason why he would be the man to give Mayweather his first defeat.

“He knows what the fans and public doesn’t know. I’m the only person that can hit him. We have pretty much that same style except I hit harder,” Mosley told Knockout Nation. “I can hit him, the other guys can’t. When I touch him, just like I did to Margarito, he’s going to sleep. Why fight Sugar Shane when I can fight Pacquiao who can’t hit me? Why fight Sugar Shane when I can fight Marquez, Hatton, or Oscar De La Hoya? It’s unfortunate. It’s his last resort. After I retire and am done with boxing then he’ll fight me. If he fights me, that’ll be his first loss.”

“We both match up in speed. Like I said I have more power than him. I’m more aggressive but I can box, too. I can make him try to come at me as well. I have so many different ways of fighting the guy that makes it so appealing. I’m a complete fighter and he’s knows it.”

On Mayweather’s end, he taunted Mosley last September when I caught up with him right before his bout with Juan Manuel Marquez.

“Shane Mosley! I would say that Shane Mosley represents the 90’s. Now all of sudden after he got 5 or 6 losses now he talking about “yeah, I want to fight Floyd!” Well your career is almost over and now you want to fight me,” Mayweather said. “They all want to talk about Shane’s last fight [with Antonio Margarito], but he beat De La Hoya twice on steroids. So did he win all those championships? Absolutely not, he was on steroids. Now he talks about wanting to fight everyone out there? Shane, your career is over. You’re almost 40! Give it up, Shane!”

“If that was me doing steroids the media would have crucified me. Ah man, they would have thrown me in the fireplace with gasoline draws on. It’s okay when someone else does it, but it’s always taken to the extreme when anything happens with me.”

Mosley definitely represents the fighter with the best chance to bust up and break down Mayweather. Still, I favor Floyd because I feel he can outthink Mosley down the stretch.

Mosley biggest wins have come from simply outfighting or outbrawling his foes with superior strength and speed (De La Hoya, Vargas, Margarito). When that gear doesn’t work and he’s forced to adjust his approach, he becomes hesitant and can be outpointed (Cotto, Forrest, Wright).

Mosley will have to have the best night of his career, and have 3-4 strategies prepared for when Floyd inevitably switches up. With speed and steady but not reckless pressure, Shane will want to drive Mayweather to the ropes where he can work his powerful left hook to the body and overhand right. Floyd has a great check left hook from the ropes (see Hatton), but even a slower Marquez was able to very sparingly catch Mayweather with the right hand off the ropes.

With a granite chin, Mosley will have to come in knowing he’s going to get clipped badly at times, but still be willing to take a counter to a land a stronger shot of his own. Also, his trainer Nazim Richardson would be wise to get Mosley to tighten up his shots. In 2005, Mayweather claimed Mosley would be easy work because for all his speed Shane still looped his punches, making them easy to see and slip.

All in all, expect an intriguing 12 round chess match with Mosley testing Floyd in ways we haven’t seen in years.

Whoever wins stakes their claim as the best welterweight in the world. Let the hype begin.

 

 

 

David Haye-John Ruiz Set for April

Newly crowned WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (23-1, 21 KOs) will make the first defense of his title on April 3 against veteran John Ruiz (44-8-1, 30 Kos).

Ruiz was named the title’s #1 contender following Haye’s 12 round decision win over Nikolai Valuev last November.

Ruiz, known for his mauling style that’s bedeviled many heavyweights over the last decade, is looking to regain his title at 38 years old.

Haye, the former cruiserweight champion and big puncher at that weight, feels Ruiz has the perfect style to show he’s carried his power up to the heavyweight ranks.

 “I will not only beat him but beat him spectacularly and knock him out,” Haye said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to what I do best, throwing my trademark ‘Hayemakers.’ Ruiz is a come-forward fighter so I aim to get at him, break him down, and take him out in good style.”

Ruiz knows Haye will be on the move, and plans to corner the outspoken Brit and make it the tiring, clinch-filled fight that he specializes in.

“David Haye is a quick guy and moves to escape a lot of punches. That’s my main focus, to virtually stay on top of him,” Ruiz said from his Las Vegas training camp. “I will bring the fight to him and make him fight my fight. It has to be close and personal. He loves to move. That’s his main weapon. I have to corner him.”

Ruiz’s last fight was a 7th round TKO over Adnan Serin.

The fight will take place from Manchester’s MEN Arena on April 3.

 

News and Notes

-          Last night (January 29), former Contender star Jesse Brinkley scored a mild upset in outbrawling Curtis Stevens on ESPN Friday Night Fights to a unanimous decision. Stevens had vowed to KO Brinkley in the first round, but was dropped in the 6th and staggered several times down the stretch. Brinkley now moves closer to an IBF super-middleweight title shot against Lucian Bute

-          Former WBO 130 pound champion Jorge Barrios has been charged with murder for killing a pregnant woman in a car accident last weekend and fleeing the scene. At press time, he’s not entered a plea yet.

-          Roger Mayweather has pleaded not guilty to coercion and battery-strangulation charges over an incident last August with a female boxer he trained. The trial is set to begin June 1.

-          Top Rank promoter Bob Arum informed media and fans that they can “go fuck themselves,” and Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa would not face each other until 2011 after “cleaning out” the featherweight division.

-          Evander Holyfield vs. Francois Brotha has been rescheduled for March 6

-          Undefeated WBC 140 champ Devon Alexander (19-0, 12 Kos) and IBF champ Juan Urango (22-2-1, 17 Kos) will unify on March 6.

-          Wladimir Klitchsko (53-3, 47 Kos) defends his IBF/WBO titles against Eddie Chambers (35-1, 18 Kos) on March 20.

 

 

Boxing Truth Radio Show Tonight

The good people at Boxing Truth Radio (theboxingtruth.com) will have their weekly show tonight at 9PM EST. Check the archives from last week to hear a hilarious interview with Roger Mayweather going in on Manny Pacquiao and accusing him of steroid abuse! You can hear the stream here.

Live Videos by Ustream

 

 

 vs.

Mythical Matchup of the Week: Tommy Hearns vs. Felix Trinidad

Quick, compile a list of the hardest punchers ever from welterweight through junior middleweight. Odds are Tommy Hearns and Felix Trinidad will be two names very high on that list.

About 20 years apart, both fighters were feared and devastating punchers in those divisions.

It took Trinidad only 3 years following his 1990 debut to pick up the IBF title, with a surgical 2 round beatdown of Maurice Blocker. He strung off 15 title defenses through 1999, winning 13 by knockout. The only 2 who survived were a past prime but cagey Pernell Whitaker, and Oscar De La Hoya.

A stalking puncher, Trinidad regular forced exchanges and discombobulated foes with his heavy left hook.

That power went up to 154 pounds, where he ruined the careers of David Reid and Fernando Vargas in 2000 with career highlight wars that saw both opponents absorb prolonged beatings. Vargas never regained his previous form, and Reid was forced to retire by the following year due to eye problems.

Like Tito, it took Hearns only 3 years to win his first title. He ended Hall Famer Pipino Cuevas’ career as an elite fighter with a crushing 2nd round KO in 1980, picking up the WBA welterweight title.

He made 3 successful defenses before running into another all-time great in Sugar Ray Leonard, losing by TKO14 while ahead on the cards in 1981.

Citing weight issues, he immediately jumped to junior middleweight. Now comfortable, he dominated his bouts there, going 8-0, with 4 KOs. Among his victims were the slick Wilfred Benitez by decision, and possibly the greatest one punch KO of all time over pound for pound legend Roberto Duran.

 

His run at that weight would propel him to a classic war with Marvin Hagler at middleweight. His skill, frame, and power would allow him to move all the way up to cruiserweight and still win belts well into the 90s.Against Hearns, Trinidad would have a daunting task in front of him. The Puerto Rican legend was prone to having defensive lapses, suffering multiple knockdowns during his 90’s prime. To win, Trinidad would have to swarm and get under Hearns’ 6-inch reach advantage to hopefully land first in exchanges at mid-range and on the inside.

The problem is that Hearns was so skilled that the only fighters who beat him in his best years had to eat huge bombs and punishment to land their own. Leonard got a detached retina for his efforts and was forced into semi-retirement for walking down down the Hitman after being outboxed early. Hagler, all-time great middleweight, was stung early in the first round and had a fight-threatening cut by before bullying his way to victory. Iran Barkley was battered from pillar to post before landing a home run shot.

Could Trinidad endure that type of fire to take out Hearns?

Felix definitely has the power to KO Tommy, but not the skill or durability. Hearns will drill him with hard jabs and straight rights from the outside. Hearns was a good mover, and would constantly have Trinidad changing directions and preventing him from getting set (like De La Hoya did before gassing late in their 1999 superfight). The hard shots would eventually break Tito’s guard and drop him, or he would get caught trying to lunge in with his left.

In his prime, whenever he was dropped Trinidad got up to viciously stop his opponent. And if a foul was needed (ie. a low blow) to regain control, so be it. However, with Hearns after 2-3 knockdowns Felix Trinidad would be in no condition to get up.

My prediction in this exciting mythical shootout is Tommy Hearns by TKO in 6 rounds over a game Felix Trinidad, who gets saved by his corner.

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