There is nothing like the buzz of a big fight. Mosley-Mayweather was one of those big fights with much at stake and whose results were not predetermined. Going into this fight, two fights flashed back. The first was the second De Lay Hoya-Mosley fight, a fight that saw Oscar out box Mosley only to lose the fight on the score card. While Mosley came on strong over the final four rounds, he was thoroughly out boxed over the first eight rounds.
The second fight was the first Castillo-Mayweather fight. Castillo punished Mayweather and while Mayweather won a close decision, this was the closet that Mayweather came to defeat. Some observers felt that Castillo deserved the decision (I was not one of them) but as Max Kellerman observed, boxing fans were not use to seeing Mayweather get hit as often as he got hit by Castillo.
For me, it was either going to be a repeat of the second De La Hoya-Mosley in which Mayweather out boxed Mosley and frustrate the 38 year old Mosley. Or it would be like the Castillo-Mayweather in which Mosley pressured Mayweather and force Mayweather to fight while setting the pace. The only question I had could Mosley at the age of 38 fight for every minute of every rounds and pressure Mayweather? My brain told me that Mayweather should win but my gut told me that a Mosley upset would occur. I emailed radio host LA Batchelor that Mosley would win.
In the first bout on the card featured Argentina Hector Saldiva fighting Said Quali in a welterweight bout. In the opening 20 seconds, Saldiva nailed Quali with a right hand that sent him down. After the knock down, Saldiva continued to attack Quali aggressively and nailed Quali with a right that snapped Quali head back. Quali retreated and as Saldiva moved forward, a Quali right hook sent Salvida down. Salvida wobbled back to the rope and then Quali went to finish up the job with another right hand hook. Salvida came into the fight as the favor and for the first minute, he acted the part but over the next thirty seconds, Quali recovered from the initial knock down and won the fight with his power.
Daniel Ponce De Leon moved into the ring against Cornelius Lock in a battle of southpaws. De Leon stiff jab dominated the opening stanza and in the second round, De Leon concentrated on the body with every punch that landed popped loudly, emphasizing the power advantage the Mexican fighter had.
Over the first four rounds, De Leon dominated the action with his jab which controlled the pace of the fight plus solid body shots but Lock managed to land enough to open a small cut over De Leon right eye.
After six rounds, De Leon seemed to have the fight in hand as he continued to press the action with consistency. Lock started to push the action in the eighth round, being behind on the scorecard and even scored a solid left that forced De Leon to retreat. In the tenth round, Lock threw combination that trapped De Leon in the corner but as HBO Larry Merchant observed, “This is a case of too little, too late.” The judges ruled De Leon the winner by unanimous decision but the judges had the fight closer on their scorecard than what happen in the ring.
Welterweight prospect Saul Alvarez challenged Jose Miguel Cotto, brother of former Welterweight champion Miguel Cotto. 19 year old Alvarez brought his 31-0-1 for the first time to the United States against the veteran Cotto. Cotto pressured Alvarez and a left hook from Cotto nearly derailed Alvarez as the young Mexican nearly went down. Alvarez managed to survive the round but the last half of the round, he fought on survival mode.
Alvarez took control of the second round with a right upper cut that sent Cotto down and Alvarez concluded the round with a left hook. In the third round and fourth round, Alvarez boxed and moved while keeping his distance from the shorter Cotto. Alvarez precise punches scored and when Cotto managed to trap on the rope, Alvarez nailed Cotto with short sharp punches on the inside. At the end of fifth round, Alvarez punctuated the round with lightening quick combinations, trapping Cotto on the rope.
After losing the sixth round, Cotto had his best round in the seventh round as he pushed the younger Alvarez, who looked tired for the first time. In the eighth round, Alvarez threw a variety of accurate punches while not wasting any punches and Cotto could not take advantage of his seventh round success as well as his opponent inexperience. Alvarez continued the assault as he pressed his attack as he overcame his fatigue from the seventh round as he garnered a second wind. Clinically breaking down his opponent, Alvarez punches punished his opponent around the ring and with 40 second left, Alvarez nailed Cotto with a right hand that wobbled Cotto. Cotto retreated back to the rope where the assault continued as Alvarez unleashed his full arsenal. After numerous punches that landed unanswered, the referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight.
In the opening round of the main event, Mosley looked anxious and jittery as Mayweather coolness allowed him to connect with a couple of overhand rights. Mosley, the old veteran, looked the part of a young fighter under the bright light for the first time. There was reluctance of Mosley to engage full borne as Mayweather feints slowed him. In the opening minute of the second round, Mosley connected on right that shook Mayweather and Mosley rights moved Mayweather back but Mayweather showed defensive skills that minimize Mosley offensive. As Larry Merchant observed, this was the hardest punch Mayweather have been hit with. This proved to be Mosley high point as he would be thoroughly outclassed the rest of the way.
In the third round, Mayweather speed allowed him to connect on sharp punches as Mosley retreated in bewilderment. In the fourth round, Mayweather continued to use his speed to pot shot and Mosley, who did not hesitate in the second round when throwing punches, started to hesitate in throwing punches from the third round on.
At the halfway mark, Mayweather set the pace of the fight as Mosley could not get any rhythm and at the end of the seventh round, Mayweather connected on three right hands that drove Mosley back to the rope. Mosley walked back with exhausted and frustrated look, like “What can I do to regain what I had in the second round?”
In the eighth round, Mosley started to talk to Mayweather and in between conversations, Mayweather snapped Mosley head back. After the eighth round, Mosley corner told him to press the action, (translation, you are losing the fight and you need a knock out.) In the tenth round, Mosley managed to connect on a couple of rights but Mayweather ended the round with sharp combinations, just to remind Mosley that he could be hit anytime.
In between tenth and eleventh round, Nassim Richardson told his fighter he would not allow Mosley to take a beating and asked him to repeat his instruction. Unfortunately for Mosley, Mayweather speed simply erased Mosley corner’s instruction. In the final round, Mosley put one final push as he unleashed a few good left hook and pressured Mayweather but Mayweather defensive skills negated Mosley last offense.
Mayweather, like Mosley, have spent his entire life in the ring and after a desperate second round, his speed and defensive skills negated Mosley attacks and reduced Mosley to a sparring partner status.
Now the fight everyone wants to see is now on the table, Pacquaio-Mayweather. The key issue will be drug testing but somehow with multi-millions dollars at stake; I will be surprise if this fight doesn’t happen. It is now in the hands of Pacquaio but the reality is that for both fighters; there is only one fight that remains. A fight with each other.