Knockout Nation: Mayorga Eyes Mosley Bout; Pacquiao Ravages Diaz; De La Hoya - Cotto or Trinidad? The Manassa Mauler Remembered

[Photo: Ricardo Mayorga]


Ravages Diaz

There were two main questions going into the June

28 WBC lightweight title bout between David Diaz and Manny Pacquiao.

First, could Diaz impose his bigger size and

natural lightweight frame on his smaller opponent? Second, would Pacquiao

utilize his attributes of superior speed and skill to avoid unnecessary

brawling with a larger man?

The latter proved true to devastating effect, as

Pacquiao punished Diaz over nine mostly one-sided rounds to score a brutal

knockout and pick up the WBC lightweight title.

It became apparent in the early rounds that Diaz

would have no answer for Pacquiao’s speed and surprising footwork improvement.

The Pac Man repeatedly bounced four and even five punch combinations off Diaz’s

skull and body. The speed of Pacquiao’s punches would freeze Diaz, and before

the champion could respond the Pac Man would slide out of range to prevent any


From the fifth round on, Diaz’s already sporadic

punch output continued to drop as Pacquiao slashed him constantly with his

deadly left cross. Diaz, who dedicated this fight to his deceased father, continued to bravely press forward in the face of Pacquiao’s new found weapon, the right hand. The media dubbed “Mexican Assassin/Killer” used his oft forgotten hand to grind down the champion with clean jabs, sharp hooks, and jarring uppercuts.

On the inside, Pacquiao was easily able to counter

Diaz’s jab with right and left hooks to the head and body. The damage started

to get unsettling as Diaz’s face was a mangled canvas of blood and flesh. With the conclusion of the seventh and eighth

rounds, the HBO commentating team began to wonder when the fight would be


The brutal end came in round nine, when Pacquiao

ruined Diaz with his fourth pinpoint straight left of the round. The champion

crumpled forward on his knees before landing face first to the canvas. The

referee had seen enough and called a half to the bout with 36 seconds left in

the round.

Pacquiao picks up the WBC lightweight title and

sets the stage for a rumored showdown at 140lbs with champion Ricky Hatton.

That fight is interesting, but before leaving Pacquiao could really cement his

legacy by taking on the true top fighters in his current division: lineal champ

Joel Casamayor and/or #1 contender Nate Campbell.

Whomever Pacquaio decides to fight, he’s currently

the most exciting elite fighter in boxing and without question #1 pound for

pound. With the win, Manny Pacquiao improves to 47-3-2 (36 KOs) while David Diaz falls to 34-2-1 (17 KOs).

Undercard results saw Monte Barrett KO1 Tye Fields

and Mario Santiago D12 with Steven Luevano. In a bizarre DQ4, Humberto Soto

lost to Franciso Lorenzo due to a glancing rabbit punch as Lorenzo was taking a

knee. Referee Joe Cortez’s ruling was so bad that the WBC will likely not award

the interim title to Lorenzo.

De La Hoya

Sees Dollars and Legacy in Bouts with Cotto and Trinidad

Part time fighter Oscar De La Hoya has further

narrowed down his list of potential opponents for his farewell fight in

December 2008.

It was reported

a few weeks back that De La Hoya was considering veteran Winky Wright, but now

the Golden Boy has switched gears to more exciting and winnable fights against

Felix Trinidad or Miguel Cotto.

Golden Boy Promoter Richard Schaefer explained to his client’s reasoning for these two potential blockbuster bouts:

“Cotto is just one option, but Trinidad is

definitely a possibility. I talked to (Don) King and (Trinidad attorney

Nicholas) Medina. They are definitely interested and I think a deal could be

made. Oscar gave me instructions to make the biggest fight possible.”

Emphasizing on Shaefer’s use of the phrase

“biggest fight possible” leads me to believe we’ll probably see De La Hoya seek

revenge against Trinidad. However, if Oscar is truly looking for a win to

improve his legacy, Miguel Cotto (if he beats Antonio Margarito next month)

would be the ideal but more dangerous opponent.


Set for October 11 on HBO PPV

Dan Rafael of has reported that Golden

Boy and Don King Promotions have agreed to an October 11 bout between former

welterweight champions Shane Mosley and Ricardo Mayorga. The bout will take place in LA at the Staples

Center, and King disclosed to that “the split was 55-45 in favor of

Golden Boy Promotions.”

“We'll kick Shane’s ass and send lonesome Bob

(Arum) a message that we want Cotto and we are prepared to beat Cotto,” King

stated in his typical maverick fashion.

It appears beating on a shot Fernando Vargas has

given Mayorga’s camp newfound confidence. But Mosley is a few classes above the

wild-swinging but entertaining Nicaraguan. Expect Sugar Shane to prevail in a

highlight reel level performance akin to De La Hoya’s destruction of Mayorga a

few years back.


Fighter of the Week: “The Manassa Mauler” Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey was born in 1895 to a poor family in

Manassa, Colorado. He left home at 16 and was forced to live as a hobo on

trains and the street. There he learned to fight to prevent attacks from

strangers. After observing his sibling’s talent, older brother Bernie pushed

him to pursue boxing. With no experience, Dempsey had mixed results

after initially turning pro in 1914. The most dubious was a first round

knockout at the hands of Jim Flynn.

He rebounded well in 1918 with 15 wins to earn a

title shot against champion Jess Williard. Dempsey destroyed Willard in three

rounds many historians call the most brutal in boxing history. Dempsey used his

smaller size to bob and weave under Willard’s punches and counter with huge

hooks. Also, the rules of the day allowed fighters to stand over their downed

opponents and hit them as soon as their knees left the canvas.

Dempsey’s title reign from 1919-1926 was checkered

as he fought overmatched or past prime opponents in Billy Miske and Tommy

Gibbons. He made only six defenses and went through a 3 year stretch of

inactivity (1923-1926) and did not face his #1 contender, Black fighter Harry

Wills. However, Dempsey remained immensely popular during these years and even

brought boxing its first million dollar gate with his knockout of war hero

George Carpentier. He also engaged in a memorable slugfest win against Luis

Firpo where he recovered from being knockout out of the ring.

He lost the title in 1926 being shutout in every

round against light-heavyweight champ Gene Tunney. In the return bout in 1927,

Dempsey knocked down Tunney with a left hook in the seventh. He failed to go to

the neutral corner as the referee instructed, and lost valuable seconds in the

count. Tunney was able to recover and dominated the rest of the bout. This

incident became known as “The Long Count.” Dempsey retired after this fight.

“The Manassa Mauler” is remembered for his two

fisted punching power and relentless attacks on his opponents. He inspired a

young Mike Tyson who adopted Dempsey’s in-ring style and even a similar haircut

to his idol. Martial artist Bruce Lee also cited Dempsey as an influence on

helping him develop his technique.

Jack Dempsey’s final record stands at 66-6-11 (51

KOs). He passed away of natural causes on May 31, 1983.