Inglewood, CA – With everything it had going against it, Saturday night’s showdown between over-40 club veterans “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Ricardo Mayorga at The Forum was expected to be a train wreck. But when you strip away the bizarre promotion – one that included a manufactured social media feud that culminated in an embarrassing incident where Mayorga slapped Mosley’s girlfriend on the behind at the final press conference – as well as the fact that it was a $50 pay-per-view that took place on the same night as a highly anticipated battle between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Marez at nearby Staples Center, it was actually an entertaining fight for what it was.
And what the few thousand at the Forum and the miniscule amount who purchased the pay-per-view witnessed was a fun battle between two aging fighters that culminated in Mosley stopping Mayorga with a left hook to the body at the 2:59 mark in the sixth round.
Don’t get it misconstrued, this fight had absolutely no business being on pay-per-view or competing with the PBC on ESPN card. Honestly, Mosley and Mayorga had no business headlining anyone’s event considering that neither has won a meaningful fight in over five years.
But the beauty in boxing is that styles make fights. Not every fight should be an esteemed lesson in pugilism. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. A casual fight fan would prefer to see the wildman antics of the cigarette smoking, foul-mouthed Mayorga than try to appreciate Floyd Mayweather’s application of the sweet science.
If nothing else, Ricardo Mayorga (31-9-1, 25 Kos) has always been entertaining and he flashed moments of that unpredictability throughout his six-round affair with Mosley. He talked, mugged, postured, danced and made provocative gestures toward his opponent, much to the delight of the crowd. Mayorga even managed to stun Mosley with one of his wide, looping punches. It wasn’t pretty by any means and evident that only one of the fighters in the ring was taking their comeback seriously (the difference in their body types was an early indicator of who that was). But sometimes a bar room brawl is simply more entertaining than a boxing match.
Several wild exchanges highlighted the battle as Mayorga allowed Mosley to tee off on him with his hands down to the delight of the crowd. Flashes of what made both Mayorga and Mosley attractions in the crowded world of boxing were shown in the 18 minutes of action and appreciated by those who witnessed it. In the end, Mosley put an end to Mayorga’s circus act in half the time it took him to do the job seven years ago. When all the punches to the head by Mosley couldn’t put the Nicaraguan down, it was almost poetic that a well-placed shot to Mayorga’s plump body would end the night.
But what does it all mean in the grand scheme of things? Mosley – who improved to 48-9-1 with his 40th knockout – said that he hopes to make a return to the ring against a bigger name in November and called out the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. The likelihood of any of those three future hall of famers taking up Mosley’s challenge is slim to none. But the truth is that Mosley still packs a wallop in his punches – with one of those punches reportedly splitting Mayorga’s mouthpiece in half, knocking out one tooth, loosening a few more and sending the former welterweight champion to the hospital after the fight. If nothing else, Mosley still has his name to rest on and that’s exactly what a younger fighter will target for their resume. And if Mosley is interested in continuing his career, he’ll realize that is all that he really has left.
After all, the only reason anybody talked about this fight in the first place was because of the names attached to the promotion. May as well milk it until it is dry.