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How Mosley Should Fight Pacquiao…LOTIERZO

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How Mosley Should Fight Pacquiao...LOTIERZOAfter watching the CBS Pacquiao-Mosley 360 special last Saturday night, it appears that Mosley's trainer Naazim Richardson wants Shane to fight Pacquiao the way Juan Manuel Marquez did during their rematch. In other words, he wants Shane to wait and react to Manny's presumed aggression. And it looks like that decision was made after watching Marquez catch Pacquiao with some good clean counter shots as Manny was bringing the fight to Marquez.

Throughout his career Mosley 46-6-1 (39) has been at his best fighting as a counter-puncher. Historically, Shane has looked to land the big shot against an opponent who was at least trying to lead. Mosley's physical strength, thudding right hand and speed usually softened up his opponents for him later in the fight. Once his opponents were slowed Mosley fought more aggressively and imposed his will and usually got the stoppage victory. Even during his losing efforts against Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright (two bigger opponents who forced him to fight as a counter-puncher because of their size, reach and strength advantage over him), they were somewhat held in check by Shane's hand speed and quick combinations. And when all was said and done, it was Mosley's quickness and terrific stamina that kept him in those fights. Minus his stamina, quickness and unbreakable heart–how many fighters would've gotten out of the first fight with Forrest?–Shane wouldn't have been able to stay with Forrest or Wright.

However, it's 2011 and Mosley's speed and stamina have declined dramatically. In fact if you notice the promotions for Pacquiao-Mosley only show Shane's knockout over Antonio Margarito during the highlight package. And that fight was 29 months ago and Mosley clearly isn't the same fighter now as he was then. And if you break Pacquiao and Mosley down as fighters at this time, Pacquiao has the advantage in almost every important category, and he's a southpaw.

Manny can put punches in bunches together better, he's quicker and faster, he has better stamina and is unlike any opponent Mosley has ever faced. On the other hand Mosley is presumed to be the bigger man, but during the pre-fight poses he really only looks taller. And during the CBS specials he looks a little puny. Aside from size, Mosley probably holds the advantage in single shot power, and that's the area he must impose on Pacquiao during the fight. Especially since Manny hasn't had a fighter in front of him since moving up from super-featherweight who could force him to break off the exchange first if he was forced to trade one-for-one with them. And even at that it's not a given Mosley at almost 40 can do it, but it is his best chance.

The reality is Mosley can't win a decision over Pacquiao 52-3-2 (38). If the rounds are close, Manny will get the benefit because it's better business for boxing if he wins, not to mention due to his better stamina he'll win them legitimately. Also, if Mosley fights as the counter-puncher and tries to wait and then react to what Pacquiao does, the odds are overwhelming that he'll finish second and he'll lose the round. The faster fighter with better reflexes will win the wait and react contest nine outta 10 times. Mayweather peppered Shane while he was waiting and trying to react to what Floyd did because after the second round his legs were gone and he was reduced to desperately fighting in spurts. Luckily for Mosley, Mayweather only throws one punch at a time mixed in with a few change-up one-twos. Pacquiao throws punches in volume and with more variation and power. So Mosley can forget about out-boxing and out speeding Pacquiao for more than a round or two of the scheduled 12 they're slated for.

In order for Mosley to have a shot at scoring the upset win over Pacquiao, he must throw caution to the wind and roll the dice. It's possible that Shane can get the better of Pacquiao if they both hold their ground and cut loose. Based on Mosley's last two fights it appears that he can only raise hell for two or three rounds, tops. So why not go out and try to assert your supposed advantage in strength and size while the tank is full? If Mosley doesn't go at Pacquiao and force him to empty his wagon during the first few rounds, he'll end up taking a one sided shellacking in the same manner that Antonio Margarito did with no chance to win.

Shane should even risk an early DQ if he needs to in order to rough Manny up and impose his will in the first couple of minutes. If Manny has to think about how to push Shane back, or how to disentangle himself off the ropes, he might be susceptible to being tagged. Because Shane's stamina is gone, he's got only a tiny window of time to do this and exercise his one presumed advantage – that being he's a bigger single shot puncher than Pacquiao is.

Even if Mosley goes all out for the early stoppage and ends up getting stopped later in the fight, he'll have gone out on his shield and will be remembered for the true warrior he's been since his pro debut. And really, if Shane can't beat Manny by trading with him in 2011, is it really plausible to believe he would've had a better chance to upset him by fighting Manny's fight? I think not. Therefore Shane should go for broke early and hope to either score the early stoppage or perhaps hurt Pacquiao enough so he has to think about what he's doing and what might happen, as opposed to fighting in his natural progression without a care at all while he's in the ring.

This strategy may seem like desperation, but in reality if Mosley doesn't take a chance, he doesn't stand a chance. After all he's nearly 40 years old and his speed and reflexes have  diminished. He can't stay with Pacquiao for 12 rounds and must get him out early to have a shot at scoring the upset.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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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

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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

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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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