Wednesday’s BASN Boxing Notebook

By Francis Walker
Updated: September 30, 2008

Shane Mosley's right hand was a lethal weapon against Mayorga. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

Shane Mosley's right hand was a lethal weapon against Mayorga. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

NEW YORK — Former three division champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley maybe 37 years of age, but he still has the fire and pop in his punches to take an opponent out.

Just ask Ricardo Mayorga how hard Mosley hits. Mayorga took every solid punch that Mosley threw during their scheduled twelve round main event showdown at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Ca. on Saturday.

Just when Mosley (45-5, 38 KOs) appeared to have emptied his gas tank, a barrage of punches led to a knockdown that led to a beautiful left hook that melted Mayorga (29-7-1, 23 KOs) at 2:59 of the twelfth and final round.

“He’s definitely tough,” Mosley said immediately following the spectacular knockout. “He was taking some good shots early on in the fight. I knew that I could probably get him later on in the fight because I knew I could wear him down.”

Mosley has knocked guys out before, but not as resounding as the one against Mayorga. What made the knockout so spectacular is the fact that it had occurred during a point in the fight when both fighters would be satisfied to hear the final round after a grueling distance fight.

Fighters would usually give one another a solid pound and a warm embrace to the sound of the final bell. Both men would be content with the final verdict being decided by the three official ringside judges.

Not Shane Mosley — at least on this night

Through twelve rounds, we saw why fighters like Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad decided to fight Mayorga, 34, Nicaragua. He simply comes to fight. Mayorga pressed Mosley from the opening bell with wild right hands, head butts, shoulder tackles, and at times, reckless abandonment.

We also saw why Mayorga got KO’d by both De La Hoya and Trinidad. Mosley, like De La Hoya and Trinidad, was able to systematically break Mayorga down by constantly attacking with speed and faster combinations. Mosley was also able to impose his will on a very limited and less talented fighter in Mayorga.

There were some anxious moments in the contest when Mayorga caught Mosley flush with a few wild right hands that forced Sugar Shane to clinch. But Mosley was never in any serious trouble and never in danger of getting knocked out. Mayorga did bring a lot of pressure and constantly attacked Mosley, who noticeably took off rounds eight and nine to collect his breath.

Mosley may no longer be the whirl beater he once was when he was a lightweight. Perhaps his best days as a welterweight are gone. Nevertheless, it will take a very good fighter to beat Mosley. Once again, Mosley proved that he can still dazzle and woo an audience in consistent fashion.

Just when it appears as though Mosley has emptied his tank, he still has enough gas to last another mile.

Berto defeats Forbes in first title defense

There was no doubt that Andre Berto’s first defense of the WBC welterweight championship against Steve Forbes would result in a victory. The question was, however, could Berto knock Forbes out?

Why wouldn’t he be able to? After all, Berto, 25, Winterhaven, FL, is much younger, faster, stronger, and naturally the bigger fighter.

Instead of a knockout, Berto (23-0, 19 KOs) had to settle for a 12-round unanimous decision over Forbes (33-7, 9 KOs). Berto hit the former IBF super featherweight champion often and at will.

There were times when Forbes, 31, Las Vegas, NV, had no answer for Berto’s sharp uppercuts and powerful left and right hooks. But Berto couldn’t knock Forbes out because, Forbes is a slick boxer and has one hell of a chin.

The punches that Berto connected with would have pummeled many other fighters. Forbes did his homework. He knew he had to box Berto by moving, jabbing, and punching from different angles.

Forbes made Berto become a thinker because the champion had a hard time landing big shots in the early rounds. It wasn’t until Berto began jabbing consistently after the fifth round that he figured out Forbes’ difficult style. Berto was able to hurt Forbes, who was clearly affected by Berto’s power.

Berto, once regarded as boxing’s best prospect, won his first world championship in his previous outing in June 2008. Berto stopped Miguel Angel Rodriguez (TKO 7) to claim the WBC 147-pound title vacated by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. following his unexpected retirement.

Berto can be considered the future of the welterweight division – a weight class that is blessed with talented fighters such as Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Zab Judah, and Kermit Cintron.

Haye “The Hayemaker” lands “Two Guns” Barrett

David Haye unified the WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight championships in March. Haye's path toward an epic showdown with world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko goes through Monte Barrett on November 15, at the O2 Arena in London, England.

David Haye unified the WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight championships in March. Haye's path toward an epic showdown with world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko goes through Monte Barrett on November 15, at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Shane Mosley's right hand was a lethal weapon against Mayorga. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

Shane Mosley's right hand was a lethal weapon against Mayorga. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

Former WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight champion David Haye’s search for a suitable, top-10 heavyweight for a November 15th date had ended. The winner is former two-time heavyweight title challenger Monte Barrett.

For months, Haye has challenged the heavyweight division including IBF/WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko. A number of heavyweights including Oleg Maskaev, Andrew Golota, JD Chapman rejected Haye’s offer. Hasim Rahman, James Toney, Kevin Johnson, and JD Chapman accepted, but were turned away for various reasons.

With less than eight weeks to go and the availability of a top-10 ranked heavyweight dwindling, Haye and his handlers needed to make a decision quickly.

Barrett’s experience is of tremendous value and is more than a suitable opponent for Haye. Barrett could very well be a capable of crushing Haye’s hopes of landing a fight with world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko next year.

Barrett has a history of besting heavyweight prospects. Namely Erik Kirkland, Dominic Guinn, Owen Beck, and some believe Barrett may have defeated unbeaten Joe Mesi when they fought five years ago.

Barrett, at 6-feet-2, 220-pounds, has also fought some big heavyweights: a 6-foot-7, 245-pound Klitschko, a 7-foot-3, 320-pound Nikolai Valuev, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound Lance Whitaker, and a 6-foot-8, 265-pound Tye Fields, whom Barrett knocked out in one round in June.

At 37, Barrett, who won his last three fights, will have to be at his absolute best. Haye is 10 years younger and may be the quicker of the two since he’s the smaller man moving up in weight.

A welterweight champion’s middleweight debut

It appears as though WBO welterweight champion Paul Williams may have a bright future in the middleweight division. Fighting at 157, just three pounds under the 160-pound middleweight limit, Williams (35-1, 26 KOs) made quick work of Andy Kolle (17-2, 12 KOs) on Thursday at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California.

Williams, at 6-feet-1 with an 82-inch reach, is a southpaw. His style and the fact that Williams is really not a welterweight has made it difficult for him to setup marquee fights in the welterweight division against the likes of De La Hoya, Mosley, Cotto, Berto, Judah, and Clottey to name a few.

In the one big fight he had, Williams ended Antonio Margarito’s five-year title reign with a close 12-round decision in July 2007. In that fight, it was clear that as the rounds passed, so did Williams’ power. Although effective, Williams’ punches lacked pop which allowed Margarito to mount a comeback in the second-half of the bout.

Williams really shouldn’t be fighting at 147. He appeared weak and his punches had little behind them during his 12-round upset decision loss to Carlos Quintana in February. In an immediate rematch at 147, Williams looked to have regained his strength and iced Quintana in the first round in June. .

Fighting for the first time since his destruction of Quintana, Williams opened a door for potential opportunities in the higher weight classes — middleweight and even junior middleweight. It appears as if Williams can finally become the puncher he can be because, he’s not straining his body to make weight.

Arreola remains unbeaten

Heavyweight Chris Arreola appears to have elevated himself from prospect to title contender. Arreola (25-0, 22 KOs) appeared on the Williams-Kolle undercard and engaged Israel Garcia (19-2, 11 KOs) in an entertaining slugfest. However, the fight was stopped at 1:11 of the third round when Arreola continuously pummeled Garcia into submission against the ropes.

In Arreola’s previous contest he floored previously unbeaten Chazz Witherspoon several times and appeared destined toward an inevitable KO victory, won via disqualification when Witherspoon’s corner men leaped onto the ring apron before the bell sounded to end of round three.

Escobedo KOs Salcido

Vicente Escobedo attacks Dominic Salcido. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

Vicente Escobedo attacks Dominic Salcido. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

In another classic example of an unbeaten fighter getting thumped, red-haired Dominic Salcido (16-1, 8 KOs) was knocked out by 2004 U.S. Olympian and lightweight prospect Vicente Escobedo (19-1, 12 KOs) on Friday at the Morongo Casino & Resort in Cabazon, Ca.

A left hook, followed by a barrage of punches rocked Salcido off balance, as Escobedo sent him crashing onto the canvas. To Salcido’s credit he did return to his feet, but had nothing left. The fight was stopped at 42 seconds of round six.

“What can I say,” Salcido said. “I just got caught.”

Fighting with a design of a Red-Mohawk and checkered flag on each side of his head, Salcido served his purpose as an unbeaten, handpicked opponent by Escobedo’s backers at Golden Boy Promotions. Salcido was made to order for Escobedo.

Salcido, who has a history of hand problems, looked to stay away from Escobedo’s power. Salcido jabbed and moved, but don’t have anything for Escobedo.

Escobedo slowly picked up the pace. He limited Salcido’s movements by cutting off the ring and setting up traps. In round two, Escobedo noticeably wobbled Salcido with a left jab. In round three, Escobedo began bating Salcido into exchanges.

Salcido was so confident that he forgot that he could hang with Escobedo that he forgot that the former U.S. Olympian was the puncher in this fight and was eventually knocked out. Immediately afterwards, Salcido said that he’d never fight at 135 anymore and that 130 was his natural and most effective weight.