There have been many fighters that have stated that it is much harder to defend their titles once they reach the top of the mountain. It is something that separates the very good from the greats and it is an axiom that transcends across all sports.
Last night in Los Angeles we saw another fighter that seemed to happy with just being called "the man." Antonio Margarito for years was calling himself the most ducked fighter in the boxing world. Last year, with a dominating performance over then undefeated Miguel Cotto, he reached the elite level. Now he would be the hunted instead of the hunter.
In his first fight since the Cotto win, he would step in with "Sugar" Shane Mosley, a true pro's pro.
Shane Mosley won every second of every round on his way to a great TKO victory. Margarito didn't seemed interested and got beat down in every way. The fight ended in the ninth round and could have easily been stopped earlier.
Shane Mosley had the perfect game plan. He used his hand speed to get in and out while landing power shots which many people thought he couldn't do. A large underdog coming into the fight, Mosley looked unbeatable against a fighter that showed a rock solid chin in the past. Shane would land combinations and get away before any punches could be returned.
Antonio Margarito was rocked early and often. The hunger was missing and it proved that Mosley is the better man and deserved the win. There was also a controversy before the fight regarding the hand wraps for Margarito. He had to get them wrapped three times total as an illegal wrap was used. It was some form of a hardening tape or wrap and Mosley's camp discovered it. That to me is pure stupidity. I lost a ton of respect for Margarito last night.
With the win Shane Mosley has set himself up very nicely for a large payday. At age 37, not many people consider him one of the elite fighters anymore. He proved last night he can beat anybody and is still focused. A hungry Shane Mosley is a scary one.
I wonder if Floyd Mayweather Jr. was watching last night. The chance of him coming out of retirement for a showdown with Mosley probably grew if he was tuned in. Paul Williams might be an option down the road as well.
As for Antonio Margarito, he showed me that he is nowhere near as good as he thinks he is. He thought he would just show up and walk right thru Shane Mosley. That mentality got him a beat down and he needs to go back to the drawing board. His hunger and desire to be the best earned him consideration as one of the best fighters in the world. Last night, he erased all of those opinions with a very lackluster performance.
It was a great performance and all the credit in the world goes to "Sugar" Shane Mosley. He put another notch in his belt and continues on in what has been a great career.