Antonio Margarito Vs. Shane Mosley: In-Depth Preview

"The Tijuana Tornado" Antonio Margarito

Birthplace: Torrance, CA
Resides: Tijuana, Mexico
Height: 5' 11"
Reach: 73"
Current Titles Held: WBA Welterweight (147 lbs.)
Former Titles Held: WBO, IBF Welterweight
Professional Record: 37-5, 27 KOs
Record in World Title Fights: 10-2 (8 KOs), 1 No Contest
Record at 147 lbs.: 17-2, 1 No Contest
Record in Fights Going 12 Rounds: 2-1

Notable Wins: TKO11 Miguel Cotto, KO6 Kermit Cintron II, UD12 Joshua Clottey
Notable Losses: UD12 Paul Williams, TD10 Daniel Santos

"Sugar" Shane Mosley

Birthplace: Lynwood, CA
Resides: Pomona, CA
Height: 5' 9"
Reach: 74"
Current Titles Held: None
Former Titles Held: WBC, WBA Light Middleweight (154 lbs.), WBC Welterweight, IBF Lightweight (135 lbs.)
Professional Record: 45-5, 38 KOs
Record in World Title Fights: 14-5 (11 KOs)
Record at 147 lbs.: 9-3
Record in Fights Going 12 Rounds: 4-5

Notable Wins: TKO6 Fernando Vargas II, UD12 Oscar De La Hoya II, SD12 Oscar De La Hoya I
Notable Losses: UD12 Miguel Cotto, UD12 Winky Wright I, UD12 Vernon Forrest I


It sure seems like the boxing world has been full of "last chance" fights for former world champions over the past year or two, and this one qualifies as well. Mosley has proven he still belongs in the upper echelon of current fighters, but at age 37, this may be his final shot at another title and (perhaps most importantly) a continued presence in big money fights.

He's got a difficult task in front of him in the form of welterweight champion Margarito, who made the most of his biggest bout to date with a thrilling eleventh-round TKO of Miguel Cotto last year. The Tijuana Tornado isn't the busiest or most powerful fighter, but he puts those two traits together to form a relentless style that simply wilts opponents as the rounds go by.

Margarito's biggest foe could be complacency. He's thrived on the underdog role for so long, it's hard to say for certain how he'll handle life as one of the top dogs. With a Cotto rematch on the horizon and a seemingly bright future, the danger is that he'll look past Mosley.

That would be a mistake, as there's every reason to believe Mosley still has what it takes to pull of an upset. He won't be fighting from huge disadvantages in height and reach like some of Margarito's foes, and his hand speed and ability to pick spots to throw multi-punch flurries could still pose problems if the champ fails to bring his 'A' game.

One thing that would be a surprise is seeing either man knocked out. Mosley has never been down for the count in 53 professional fights, many of which came against world class competition, and Margarito has a well-deserved reputation for possessing an iron chin.

Margarito's Winning Strategy: Get Started Early

Though it's not impossible to see Margarito winning by KO - he did, after all, get to Cotto eventually - he certainly doesn't want to bank on it against Mosley, so it's important for him to make sure he's winning rounds. Even though his tireless work ethic suits itself to coming from behind, he doesn't want to have to dig himself out a hole against an opponent also known for coming on late.

Margarito waited too long to get started against Paul Williams in 2007 and it cost him. Mosley fights more in spurts now than he did in his younger days, so if the champ gets in a mindset to outwork him from the beginning, he should be able to pull it off.

At the same time, he doesn't want to simply throw caution to the wind against a boxer as seasoned as Mosley. Cotto was able to box Margarito effectively for the first half of their fight, but he couldn't keep it up for 12 rounds. If Tony gets going early and is prepared to go the distance at the same pace, he'll be nearly impossible to beat.

Mosley's Winning Strategy: Hit and Run

Hopefully Mosley took notes when his business partner Oscar De La Hoya was getting outclassed by Manny Pacquiao, because he'll have to do something similar to what Pacman did last December. That means using his footwork to get in and out effectively, circling away when the pressure gets too intense.

Mosley can still crack pretty hard for a welterweight, but he can't afford to fall in love with standing in front of Margarito, as that's a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, the gameplan he needs to follow dovetails pretty well with his preferred pace at this point in his career, which is to throw punches in short bursts.

He's certainly outgunned if the match turns into a continuous firefight. But if Mosley is savvy enough to pick his spots, getting off first and then getting away, he may be able to give Margarito more of a challenge than many are expecting.

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