In less than three weeks, fight fans will get the opportunity to see something special as two iconic figures in the welterweight division collide when Antonio Margarito (37-5, 27KO's) takes on Shane Mosley (45-5, 38KO's). In the pre-Floyd Mayweather era of the welterweight division, it was Shane Mosley who graced the weight class, earning his first of two well chronicled victories over Oscar De La Hoya before migrating north in weight for what he thought would be greener pastures. For Mosley it was a great point in his career, but since those days, quite a few things have changed.
In recent years Mosley has fought between the two divisions, but success found over that time frame has been a stark contrast to what many thought it would be. When Mosley initially fought as a welterweight he had a record of 6-2, 5KO's over a 3 year span. In his last four fights in the welterweight ranks, Mosley has gone 3-1, with none of the victories coming by way of knockout. The fact that Mosley had gone up in weight and adjusted to bigger fighters, then returned to the welterweight ranks and failed to pull the KO trigger was pretty telling for a fighter once known for what he and his Father/trainer affectionately dubbed 'power-boxing'. That 'power-boxing' style was basically a mending of sheer speed with frequent powershots, which ultimately helped give Mosley the 75% KO ratio that he currently holds. Now days, it appears that speed, power, and stamina have all began to somewhat abandon the 37 year old fighter which is unfortunate because it apparently has happened at a time that he may very well need those attributes the most.
Mosley's next opponent, Antonio Margarito, is a fighter who brings a very youthful spirit to the ring, equipped with two heavy fist and a chin sturdy enough to take a light heavyweight shot. Of all the many subplots in this fight, perhaps the most intriguing is the fact that this fight pairs Mosley against a man who beat destroyed the last person to defeat him - Miguel Cotto. In their epic battle back in November of 2007, Miguel Cotto gave Shane Mosley more than he could handle, and subsequently, Margarito did the same to him to him. Some may view this as a sign that Shane is biting off of more than he can chew against Margarito and if the past is any indication, that may very well be true. In recent years and to a degree throughout his career, Mosley has had no answer for powerful fighters and this is perhaps the most durable of them all. Anxious to turn back the hands of time, Mosley has summoned the services of Nasim Richardson, the same trainer who engineered the agin g Bernard Hopkins' annihilation over the youthful powerhouse Kelly Pavlik. That sounds great in theory but the only difference here is that at 37, Mosley - (not a very defensive fighter) - has far more wear and tear on his body than the defensive wizard Bernard Hopkins. His declining reflexes and defensive deficiency will probably work against him the most.
It'll be nice to see if 'Sugar' Shane Mosley has one more sweet performance left in him, but as we all know, time waits for no man. Mosley may very well be looking to turn back the hands of time, but unfortunately for him, I'm afraid it's Margarito who's holding the clock. I hope Mosley isn't sleeping on this opportunity right now, because another loss and many fight fans out there will be asking him to wake up! As in join Oscar and throw the gloves in......for good!
On Sunday, January 25th, his sweet dream may very well be over. Stay tuned.