Saturday, February 25, 2006

Vargas – Mosley Prediction: A fight that will take the loser out of the big time forever

By JE Grant

Fernando Vargas, once a hotshot contender – and briefly a beltholder – is making his first significant venture back into the big-time since being whacked into submission by Oscar De La Hoya in 2002. He meets the one-time boxing superstar, and now fellow question mark, Shane Mosley in a Las Vegas ring for no title, a lot of money, and chance to once again compete with the elites of the sport.

Now 28, he should be in the prime of his career – experienced enough to get through the tough spots and young enough to exert through 12 hard rounds.

But many pundits suggest that he is on the slide. At age 22 he beat the seemingly unbeatable Winky Wright and the rugged Ike Quartey in title fights – in his 18th and 19th bouts respectively.

Later in 2000 he was pitted against the phenom Felix “Tito” Trinidad in a unification fight at 154 pounds. The bout proved disastrous. Trinidad chopped him up and disposed of him in the 12th and final round of their Las Vegas showdown.

Less than two years and only three fights later, Oscar De La Hoya, battered his archrival Vargas with a vengeance stopping him in 11 rounds.

That contest, some would suggest, took the fight out of Vargas – a man who, to that point, went for broke in every encounter. He believed in his power. He believed in his strength.

A year later, he began what has been a four-fight win streak that has been anything but spectacular. The fighter who once blazed away with both hands became cautious, methodical, and boring. His legion of fans has continued to follow, but the excitement seems to have waned.

He comes off a clear points win over former alphabet titlist Javier Castillejo but many questions remain as he enters the ring against the former multiple champion Mosley.

Mosley himself has been down as much as up in recent years. A pair of losses to Vernon Forrest at 147 with a win over Oscar De La Hoya sandwiched in between back-to-back losses to Winky Wright at 154 dimmed his star.

Since the Wright losses he reinvented himself at 147 and scored two recent minor league victories. Certainly he has done nothing to distinguish himself or show even glimpses of the boxing greatness of his lightweight and early welterweight years.

That the two could command a pay-per-view event says as much about who they have competed against as it does to how well they fared in big bouts. Facing stars such as De La Hoya, Trinidad, Forrest, and Wright has proven that holding undefeated records or numerous alphabet championships is of lesser importance than meeting – and maybe occasionally beating – the best in the business.

In this bout Mosley will not be able to exceed the limits imposed on his aging and undersized body at 154. He has slowed in recent outings and he has never showed power in the weight class. Vargas’ power at 154 is very real despite his recent decrease in output. His confidence and ruggedness continue to carry him through the late rounds.

Look for Mosley to come out blazing, but throwing one shot at a time looking for the finisher. Vargas made indeed struggle early but his heavy hands will begin to tell the tale beginning in round five. He will land enough body shots and counters to keep Mosley from putting together the kind of sustained attack that is necessary to take Vargas out of his game. Mosley is tough and he will try to the end, but he’ll come up short.

Prediction: Vargas by clear decision.

5 Comments:

Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Well JE,I think this one is about a tossup,and well be a good fight.If forced to chose,I will lean slightly towards Shane.SLIGHTLY...:-)

*Sidenote-one aspect of this fight that leaves a bit of a bad funny taste in my mouth is this.They both have an 'out' should they lose.Mosley--goes back down to 147.Vargas--goes up to 160.

And actually,I think that may be where they both belong...;-)

2:51 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Hey,this was a pretty good fight! (I had Mosley ahead 5-4 at the time of the stoppage.) The eye of Vargas (and whole side of his face) was NASTY.Folks,if that lump was any bigger--it would have required it's own social security number.Yep,it was bad.Completly shut.

What puzzled me was the corner of Fernando.I KNEW Fernando had to go 'balls-out' and for the ko in the 9th and 10th.But there was no sense of urgency there in his corner!!!???

9:46 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Oltroy -- True. There was no way that he could see -- despite his protests otherwise -- from his left eye. He should've unloaded after round 8. He knew that the ref and doctor were conferring.

4:54 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Well JE,that was actually me.'The Cruiser'.But I'm sure Orltroy probably saw the same thing.(lol)

P.S-Speaking of cruisers,what do you make of Jirov returning to 200.lbs JE?

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vargas by clear decision?? What were you thinking??

Vargas is too slow to compete with Mosley.

1:21 PM  

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