MOVING BACK 6-12 YEARS
I won’t be going on about Pacquiao-Bradley. Everything has been said and predicted already and most of us already know who’s going to win this one. Instead I’m going to discuss David Reid’s abrupt last stand, Shane Mosley’s retirement and Winky Wright now that he’s hopefully fought his last bout. All of these guys along with certain rivals had some really crucial moments back in 2000 or 2006 or both.
Starting with Reid, I never saw that fight against Trinidad. But I certainly read enough about it and that alone was scary enough. Very few guys were as brave and willing as Reid. And man, that was his undoing. The guy literally went out on his shield. And if fights were still 15 rounds Reid would have ended up like Duk Koo Kim against Ray Mancini back in 1982. One more round or even one more left-hook would have done it. Poor bastard. I still wonder why a brutal pounding like that was allowed to go on for 12 entire rounds. It also just showed what a f__king wrecking-machine Trinidad was back then. First Reid and then that huge beat-down on Fernando Vargas. Vargas himself was certainly not the same fighter after that one but at least his senses are still intact.
Moving to Mosley all I can say is that it’s about time already! I remember how screwy he sounded just before the Saul Alvarez fight. No one certainly wanted to see this guy become the next Evander Holyfield. Like everyone else I thought Mosley’s greatest moment was his thrilling win over a prime Oscar De La Hoya in 2000. That made him pretty much the best fighter in the world back then. I also remember his crucial 2006 crossroads fight with Fernando Vargas. By then both guys were once kick-ass fighters trying to rebound. Mosley sure pumped some new life in his career with that brutal left-hook that took care of Vargas once and for all. Not that it stopped all those critics for talking s__t about Mosley for losing fights to Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright. Nevertheless, I knew Mosley clearly still had some fight in him and he certainly proved it against Luis Collazo, Miguel Cotto and especially Antonio Margarito. Anyhow, here’s wishing Shane a happy retirement.
And Winky Wright? Count me as one of those who thought he got ripped off against Jermain Taylor back in ’06. He clearly out-fought Taylor as far as I’m concerned. That “draw’ was pure bulls__t. After that Wright just lost much of his edge right there. He just didn’t seem to care any more. Otherwise he wouln’t have taken those long leaves of absence. But suppose we had more competent judges for that fight? Wright would have enjoyed a nice little reign on top. He probably would have out-boxed Kelly Pavlik and even beat Paul Williams. He still would have lost the title when Sergio Martinez came around but that certainly would be no disgrace. Oh here’s the big question concerning Wright. Is he Hall-worthy? I say yes. Dominant wins over Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad should be enough to win over the voters. What do you think?
Oh just one more thing Doug. The Manny Pacquiao of 2009 versus the Shane Mosley of 2000. Who would have won? Cheers Buddy! – Dave W.
Good lord. ’09 Manny vs. ’00 Shane at 147 pounds would be a brutally scintillating war of attrition. “Power boxer” vs. “power boxer.” I’m going with Mosley by late stoppage. At the time he had the activity, physical strength, durability and punching power to beat Pacquiao at his own game.
Both Winky and Shane will get a checkmark from this IBHOF voter when I see their names on the ballot.
I agree that Wright deserved the decision against Taylor (but wasn’t surprised at all that he got jobbed – I actually predicted the draw in that one). I also agree the official verdict in that fight took his heart out of the game. But he Wright had an excellent run from early 2004 to mid-’06. In my not-so humble opinion his back-to-back decisions over Mosley (which made him the undisputed jr. middle champ), shutout over Tito and bold challenge to Taylor (which should have made him the undisputed middleweight champ) made him the sport’s No. 1 P4P player (an opinion that pissed off Mayweather and Pacquiao fans back in ’06).
Mosley’s first victory over De La Hoya is one of the sweetest (excuse the pun) memories from my early days of covering the sport. The old HouseofBoxing.com did a mini-documentary on Mosley (from his Big Bear camp) before that fight (we called it “Facing Destiny”), which happens to be one of the first internet video features on boxing. Mosley was a guy I was high on before the internet took off (damn, I feel kind of old writing that); before I wrote about boxing for a living. Shane was the first prospect I saw fight and train where I just knew he’d kick ass once he made it to the world-class scene. Watching promising young guns develop into world beaters – and go from nobody to somebody – is still a great thrill (and one of the reasons I love following this sport), but Mosley obviously has a special place in my heart.
Speaking of heart, you’re absolutely right that Reid had too much of it against Tito. That guy was a “Philly fighter” to the core. Despite his inspirational gold medal performance at the ’96 Olympic Games, he wasn’t destined to last in the pro ranks. He had that droopy eye, too many amateur bouts (many of which were tough fights), and he was moved too fast once he turned pro. He was showing signs of fading before the Trinidad fight, even before his WBA title winning effort 9in just his 12th pro bout).
I really hope Reid continues to get the help he needs and the few good people around him try their best to support him through the hard times.
PACMAN VS. BUTTHEAD
So here it is Dougie. Pac-man vs Bonk. The big clash between two guys nicknamed after old ‘80s video-game characters.
Originally I picked Pac just like everyone else but I didn’t rule out the possibility of Bradley winning a shocker. What was I thinking? The Pac-Machine is going to chew up Bonker-Boy, plain and simple.
He’s too determined and fired up to lose. Yeah, Bradley is all fired up as well for this dream opportunity he’s getting. Too bad it will become a nightmare for him once that first bell rings.
Sure Pac went life and death with Juan Manuel Marquez. But that’s Marquez. While Bradley’s clearly no dumb-ass in the ring he still doesn’t have Marquez’s ring-smarts and experience against world-class opposition nor would he be able to crack hard enough to even get Pac’s attention the way Marquez clearly did.
Of course Bradley could try breaking down Pac with his big mallet of a forehead all the while breaking the compu-bonk stats. But his Billy goat tactics might just set him up for that massive left that will knock him into the far side of frigging Queer Street. And no, that wasn’t a pun referring to Pac’s supposed gay-bashing in case any of you were wondering. Not that I give a s__t about that ridiculous little side-show.
Anyways my pick is Manny by early or mid-rounds kayo with the HBO guys giving him the royal ass-kissing from start to finish. Cripes, even Merchant who usually rips just about every other fighter will work his lips like a super-plunger when Manny’s around. Open ass, insert head, and turn the power up to maximum suckage. Knock yourself out, guys.
And if Bradley proves me wrong and pulls possibly the biggest upset since Sanders-Klitchko? Heck, I’ll back off from e-mailing you for two months. I’ll keep my opinions in check for 60 days which will in turn decrease your mail-bag workload considerably for much of the summer. Of course I could make it for a year or two but too much will be happening and there’s no way a verbal guy like me could shut up that long. Two months will be challenging enough. Now if Bradley actually knocks out Pacquiao?!! With his fists not his head!? Crap, I will make it two whole frigging years and give up all forms of caffeine (my staple diet) while I’m at it. And if it’s a head-butt kayo then let’s cut it to 8 months. So let’s shake on this one. And no, my fingers weren’t crossed behind my back when I typed this. Providing this column makes it to the Friday Mailbag then the bet is on. I will get back to you next week to make it official. – Todd The Terminator
You’re crazy, Todd, but you crack me up. It’s a bet, and I’m gonna hold you to your terms, although I think you’re safe.
However, I disagree that Bradley lacks the experience against world-class opponents and the power to get Manny’s attention. He’s got enough to make this a fight, but in the end, I agree that Pac’s gonna catch him with something monstrous.
I just don’t see it happening in the early rounds.
Email Dougie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twiter @dougiefischer.