Mosley Goes For More Gold; Harris Is Still Wandering

By Tom Donelson
Updated: February 13, 2007

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Sugar Shane Mosley showed why he is one of the best fighters of his generation. A superb lightweight, Mosley has been spending the last few years fighting in the Junior Middleweight division with mixed results.

Mosley defeated Oscar De La Hoya in a close and controversial decision and suffered two defeats at the hand of Winky Wright, probably the best junior middleweight over the past decade.

This past Saturday, the 35 year old Mosley decided to return to the welterweight division for a full time engagement and began his campaign by defeating the younger and supposedly quicker Luis Collazo.

Collazo, who has held portion of the Welterweight title and off from a close tough lost to Ricky Hatton, was suppose to provide a dangerous test for Mosley.

Ten years younger, Collazo had youth and with it, speed as his advantage.

The problem for Collazo was that he faced one of the tough warriors in Mosley. Mosley showed that, if anything, he still had enough hand speed to neutralize Collazo supposedly advantage in hand speed.

Mosley dominated the action from the very beginning. While Collazo handled Mosley’s power, his own power failed to move Mosley back at all during the match. Occasional straight lefts and right hand hooks from Collazo’s southpaw stances nailed Mosley flush but to no avail.

Mosley’s power, however, bothered Collazo as Collazo rarely could sustain any attack without fear of being clocked by a straight counter right.

In the 11th round, Collazo advanced toward Mosley before getting countered by one of those Mosley’s right. Off balanced, Collazo did a slow motion fall to the canvas after receiving a Mosley right.

While Collazo wasn’t hurt, he lost the eleventh by a two point margin and Mosley put the finishing touches in the twelfth. Mosley went for a knock out but Collazo proved as tough as Mosley and the fight ended in a easy decision for Mosley.

In boxing, when you start losing bouts to contenders and big name opponents, your marketability declines. After the second Wright fight, Mosley was at the crossroads of his career but two stoppages of Fernando Vargas and this recent decision over Collazo puts Mosley back on the boxing gravy train.

For some boxing fans, they may ask, ‘Who is Collazo?’ Collazo was and is one of those slick boxers that most fighters avoid; and he was one of the better welterweights. So Mosley beat a worthy opponent and beat him easier than Ricky Hatton, who barely squeaked out a decision.

Mosley ultimate goal is a big money fight with Floyd Mayweather, whether Mayweather beat De La Hoya or not. Before that happens, there are others. Puerto Rican stars Kermit Cintron and Miguel Cotto, along with Antonio Margarito could provide a few million into Mosley, Inc.

Mosley’s recent string of high profile victories has put him back in the championship pictures in the Welterweight and more importantly, big money fights.

If Mosley’s career is on the upswing, it is hard to determine where Vicious Vivian Harris is going. Against Juan Lazcano, Harris was the superior fighter with superior fire power and superior techniques.

Yet this fight was a close affair, closer than what it should be. Throughout the fight, when Harris fought on the outside, this was an easy fight to score as Harris dominated.

When Harris allowed Lazcano on the inside, Lazcano gained the upper hand. Harris often allowed Lazcano to fight inside, either because Harris was tired or simply decided he was going to show that he could fight both inside and out. All he did was make what should have been an easy one sided affair into a close see saw battle.

HBO analyst and trainer Emanuel Steward believes that Harris needs to be a welterweight. Harris has trouble making weight as a junior welterweight and with a 5-foot-11 frame, he could certainly work with the extra seven pounds pluse he has the skill and power to be competitive.

Harris figures that with fighters like Ricky Hatton in the 140 pound division, there is money to be made and he might just match up better against Castillo, Hatton and even Corrales as oppose to Mosley, Margarito, and others.

The problem is that Harris does not belong in the upper echelon of either division and his past fights have not given fight fans a reason to pluck down big bucks to see him.

And other major contenders don’t have a reason including financial to fight him.

The difference between Harris and Mosley is stark. Mosley is a brand name still winning big fights and that makes him marketability. Harris is stuck between two divisions and not a big enough star to get contenders to consider fighting him in either one.