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RASKIN SUNDAY SPECIAL 365 Days Later: Mayweather Won The Battle … Mosley Won The War



MayweatherMosley_Hogan_41You learn a lot about a man from the way he responds to adversity. To his credit and to his detriment, Floyd Mayweather spent most of his boxing career not letting us learn much about him.

Then came Round Two against Sugar Shane Mosley. Mayweather got rocked like never before by a right hand. He survived the crisis—only to get rocked again, much harder than the first time. His knees dipped. He had to hold. But he never touched down, and he got through it.

And the way he responded in Round Three was, seemingly, a revelation. Mayweather didn’t go into a defensive shell, didn’t look to run and potshot his way to a points win. He took the fight to Mosley. He backed up the man who, just a couple of minutes earlier, was possibly just a punch or two away from knocking him out. Mayweather faced adversity and he fought magnificently—the operative word being “fought.” He had come through the worst moment of his career shining more brightly than ever before.

What a difference a year makes, huh?

Today—Sunday, May 1—marks one full year since the Mosley fight, and one full year of inactivity for Mayweather. This week, Mayweather’s name will be removed from The Ring magazine’s and’s rankings, both of which follow a rule that if you haven’t fought for a year and don’t have an upcoming bout scheduled, you join the ranks of the unranked (unless there’s some unique, extenuating circumstance).

Mayweather shows no particular desire to be a professional boxer. He could have made $40-million or more to face Manny Pacquiao at various times over the past year or so but, as best we can gather, didn’t have much interest in the gig.

If you believe what the IRS has to say, a paycheck that size could come in handy for the man who likes to call himself “Money.” So why isn’t Mayweather at least considering it? Why has he gone a full year without fighting? Why is the possibility of a Pacquiao fight so dead at this moment that promoter Bob Arum is already making overtures to Juan Manuel Marquez for a fall fight with Pac-Man instead?

Some have theorized that Mayweather is just waiting out his legal situation before doing anything. I’m not buying it; he was balking at the Pacquiao fight last summer before his legal situation had reached significant proportions.

Here’s a more wilder, crazier, but at the same time perhaps much more accurate, theory for why Mayweather let himself go a year without boxing: because those right hands from Mosley ruined him. Floyd was able to shake them off in the moment. But he wasn’t able to shake them off after the moment had passed.

Phrased another way, against Shane Mosley, Mayweather had his Hector-Camacho-vs.-Edwin-Rosario moment. Except unlike Camacho, Mayweather didn’t start running DURING fights; he started running FROM fights.

To refresh your memory, “Macho” Camacho was an unbeaten rising star, climbing the pound-for-pound lists, when in 1986 he fought veteran puncher Rosario. In the fifth round, Camacho was badly hurt by an overhand-right/left-hook combination. He survived the round and spent the next several on his toes—moving, jabbing, stinking it out but winning rounds. Then he got drilled with another left hook in the 11th, and it was all he could do to make it to the final bell. Camacho won a split decision.

Sports Illustrated’s Pat Putnam wrote that after the fight, then-seven-year-old Hector Camacho Jr. told his old man, “Daddy, you are lucky you’re alive.” The next morning, Camacho admitted to his girlfriend, “Hey, if this is macho, I don’t want no part of it.”

So Camacho never fought macho again. He fought ugly whenever possible, developing into possibly the least entertaining and most underachieving fighter of his generation.

Hmm. Not entertaining. Underachieving. Sound like anyone we know?

For all of his life, maybe Mayweather really bought into his “greatest of all-time” nonsense. Maybe he truly took his unbeaten record to mean that he couldn’t be beaten. If so, that second round with Mosley rocked his world, blew up everything he thought he knew. Hey, guys get hit, guys get hurt, and Mayweather showed a pretty good chin and plenty of heart. But he was reminded that, for all of his boxing talent, he is human. He can be separated from his senses if the right punch lands in the right spot. And he didn’t like that feeling. He decided it was something he never wanted to feel again.

It’s like that old refrain about how there’s only one surefire form of birth control. If Mayweather wants to be absolutely certain he’ll never get hurt from a punch, he has to abstain from boxing.

Mayweather is only peripherally involved in the sport at this time. He doesn’t engage in boxing-related interviews, and he rarely attends the fights. When he did make a ringside appearance at the Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto fight two weeks ago, he heard vociferous booing and chants of “Fight Manny” from the Foxwoods crowd whenever he was shown on the big screen. What did Mayweather do? He flashed the widest smile he could. Many of us fall back on a sense of humor as a defense mechanism. Based on the evidence brought to us courtesy of UStream, it’s safe to say Mayweather doesn’t have a very good sense of humor. So his smile is his defense mechanism. You think he’s happy that fans are booing him and calling him a coward? Of course not. But he’s not going to swallow hard and sulk. Instead, the smile comes out.

The rankings show that Floyd Mayweather is not an active fighter anymore. Deep down, he seems to believe he’s not a fighter at all anymore. Yes, he’d been burning out on boxing for the last four years or so. But something flipped a switch, made him transition from part-time boxer to full-time celebrity sports bettor.

That something was Mosley’s right hand. Mosley is fighting Pacquiao for an eight-figure payday this weekend. Mayweather hasn’t fought anyone since taking on Sugar Shane. On that night, Mayweather had his hand raised. But Mosley can take credit for it if that hand never gets raised again.

Eric Raskin can be contacted at You can follow him on Twitter @EricRaskin and listen to new episodes of his podcast, Ring Theory, at


2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.



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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score



This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.


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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland



On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda


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