20-20 Hindsight - Margarito-Mosley Aftermath Edition: What Makes an Upset, Hand Speed and Handwraps, Props and Disses

Now that a couple of days have passed since Shane Mosley's impressive knockout of Antonio Margarito, it's been interesting to watch the reaction of media and fans. Since Mosley was a 3-t0-1 underdog, was seven years older and was up against Margarito's aura of invincibility, many latched onto Sugar Shane's victory as a big upset.

Indeed, all three of us here at BoxingWatchers.com picked Margarito to win. After the fact though, it's hard to see history looking back at this as an upset at all.

Mosley is a multi-divisional champion who has been fighting top level competition for over a decade. Margarito's list of wins is impressive but much shorter, and he entered Saturday's fight only three fights removed from his last loss.

Nazim Richardson, who rightfully was given much of the credit for cooking up the winning plan of attack, practically begged reporters to keep billing Margarito as a monster to ensure his fighter got the credit he deserved. Shane will get his due, for sure, but my guess is the result of this fight will seem a lot less stunning as time goes by.

Speaking of Richardson, while his game plan may have won the day, even he was quick to say it would not have worked without an athlete of Sugar Shane's caliber. Mosley looked lightning fast in every exchange, and it became clear very early on that he had a big edge in hand speed while Margarito had... well, as The Ring's Dougie Fischer said, he had his chin, but that wasn't nearly enough.

If there's a common thread between the most recent outings of the Golden Boy Trinity (Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins and Mosley), it's that the man with a significant hand speed advantage won each won. Conclusive evidence that hand speed trumps all? Of course not, but at least in the case of Pavlik-Hopkins and Margarito-Mosley, we can definitely say that hand speed trumped pressure.

Finally, every media outlet covering Saturday's fight picked up on the story that Richardson asked for Margarito's hands to be rewrapped after spying what was described as a hard, plaster-like substance being inserted. What hasn't received as much play is how this revelation casts at least a bit of a pall over some of Tony's previous wins - especially, in this observer's mind, of his knockout of previously unbeaten Miguel Cotto.

Did Margarito receive some plaster-aided assistance against Cotto? We don't know, and probably never will.

But at the very least, if the expected Cotto-Margarito rematch takes shape, it's going to give Cotto a bit of a psychological boost thinking that he may have been up against literally harder punches the first time.


  • To the "old men" at Golden Boy. As mentioned above, the members of the Trinity all stepped in against younger men and went 2-1 over the last four months. Not too shabby.

  • To HBO. As Kvin Iole points out, the network is off to a great start to 2009. And it is resisting putting as many fights on pay-per-view, which is a blessing to boxing fans in the current economy.


  • To Jim Lampley's nutritionist. I watched Saturday's fight with two of the Official Parents of the BoxingWatchers, and both of them said the same thing: Lampley looks like he's ballooned up since we last saw him on TV.

  • To Larry Merchant. He must have had his reasons for claiming Affliction was paying De La Hoya $5 million to appear at the co-promoted MMA event in Anaheim instead of watching Mosley in L.A. But with multiple sources giving better reasons for the Golden Boy's absence and quoting flat-out denials from Richard Schaefer and Tom Atencio, it sure looks like Merchant let his distaste for MMA sway him into presenting rumor as fact.


uatu said...

I love Larry Merchant, but his comments did seem like a cheap shot against MMA. No reason for it. I doubt he would make a comment like that if Oscar was promoting a football game or a basketball game. Especially the part about how it would take that much for him to go see such an event.

spartan117 said...

It was good to see Shane get his win as an underdog. It will also be nice to see fewer boxing fans drool over Margarito.

I agree with both of you about Merchant's diss. I think it's time for him to retire. Stumbling through boxing metaphors doesn't add much to the HBO broadcast. His in-the-ring interviews are solid but I prefer Kellerman taking over that duty. I also said the same thing about Lamply's physique after seeing him.

uatu said...

I didn't notice Lampley. Merchant is the type of guy I guess you either love him or dislike him.

uatu said...

also, there is an article on cnnsi.com saying that Nevada has cleared Margarito in his fight against Cotto.

spartan117 said...

There's an article on ESPN about Merchant signing for 2 more years on HBO. Dan Rafael really kisses his butt and the readers let him have it.

uatu said...

Wow I guess I am in the minority. those comments are 90% anti-merchant.

uatu said...

I watched the fight again just to look at Lamps, and I must say I still don't notice it. Maybe I'm crazy. Now I will have to go back and look at a fight from December.