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Jackie Kallen on Boxing: Live Report From Mayweather vs Cotto

Posted on 05/06/2012

By Jackie Kallen

No doubt about it, this fight totally lived up to the hype. The full house at the MGM Grand was satisfied and happy as they poured out after watching Mayweather’s hand held high in victory. Half of them got what they wanted and the other half had nothing to really complain about.

Photo: Tom Hogan/ Golden Boy/ Hogan Photos

Mayweather earned a couple of new belts and his undefeated record in still very much intact. The fans got their money’s worth as Cotto more than held his own against the #1 P4P fighter on the planet. He even had a flash or two of skill as he got through to Money a few times.

The Puerto Ricans who came out to support their man were disappointed, but satisfied. They had cheered for every breath Cotto took and chanted his name at every opportunity. I think they were mostly just proud that he made it through the 12 rounds and was still standing at the end. In itself, that was a victory of sorts.

To say that the crowd for this event was colorful is an understatement. It was dazzling. Pimps, hos, and celebs. Short tight dresses and stilt-high heels. More gold and diamonds than you’d find in all the Vegas jewelry stores combined. It was Fight Night on steroids. Glamor unbridled.

Jackie Kallen & Mary Ann Owen/ Photo: Butch Gottlieb /

The excitement in the air was palpable. The arena started filling up during the slow and dull Vargas/Forbes fight. It was a typical Stevie Forbes performance–solid and predictable, but uninspired. He was no threat to Vargas and it was like background music at a supper club. Most people barely looked at the ring as they filed into their seats. Vargas got his win and everyone sipped their beers and ate their nachos. Few people outside the Vargas camp cared.

It was a totally different story when Mosley and Alvarez entered the ring. The entire arena erupted with cheers of “Canelo…Canelo….Canelo.” I was sitting next to a red-haired, middle-aged Mexican man who claimed to be a distant cousin of Canelo’s. He practically wept when Michael Buffer made the ring intros. He was visably sweating with anticipation. You’d think he was looking at the pope.

Photo: Tom Hogan/ Golden Boy/ Hogan Photos

The fans’s attitudes evolved during the fight. It was fascinating to watch. Though they adore Canelo, Mosley started gaining respect and admiration as the boxers headed into the later rounds. Sugar Shane showed his tenacity, and at 40 years old, he hung in there like a much younger man. The jeers turned to cheers by the end of the one-sided, but entertaining fight.

As I said, most of the people there will tell you that the main event was a lot more competitive than expected. Few had given Cotto a chance, but he did himself proud. He has nothing to be ashamed of. He actually earned a lot of new fans.

The hotel was bustling with activity after the fights let out. People streamed through the casino and lobby. I headed to the food court to grab some food and ran into Roger Mayweather and his gang. He was in a great mood, and seemed just as hungry as I was. Nothing like fast food to get you through the night. Hope the Big Mac was as good as it looked, Roger!


Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.”,

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