American Dreams for Reid and Mosley. Nightmares for Brown and Ruiz.
by Thomas Gerbasi Philadelphia, PA -
You know what I love about boxing? No, it's not the purity of an actual fight, or the one on one competition, though that's a part of it. What I love about boxing is that I can actually go to a fight and enjoy myself, without having to deal with a myriad of idiots during the course of the evening. Case in point. On my whirlwind sports tour Saturday, I began in Queens at the Yankees-Mets game. During the game, I received a crash course in the expletives of the English language as applied to Major League ballplayers. Now as an adult, nothing really shocks me anymore, but do little kids need to hear this BS when taking in their first games? I don't think so. Needless to say, I made it until the sixth inning and then I was on my way. Off to Philly to catch the David Reid-Simon Brown and Shane Mosley-Wilfrido Ruiz doubleheader. Once there, I was able to sit back and enjoy the fights. Sure, the crowd was excited and raucous. But I didn't hear the rampant "in your face" insulting and chants which have become commonplace in the arenas during "major" sporting events. And this is refreshing. While boxing fans are supposed to be on the bottom of the food chain when it comes to good behavior, tonight I was proud to call myself a fan. Where would I bring my daughter if I had a choice of a sporting event? No contest.
But back to why we really love boxing. Before a wild crowd at Temple University's Apollo Theatre, "The American Dream" David Reid, capped off his homecoming with a stunning one punch knockout of a shot Simon Brown. Reid was pumped for the fight from the outset, maybe thanks to his scaled down Hamed entrance (spotlights, ramp, confetti). He drilled Brown throughout the first two rounds, punctuating his work with a second round knockdown of Brown. Simon rose and survived the round, and actually started to throw some meaningful punches in the third, a stanza in which Reid seemed to get sloppy and overanxious looking for the kayo. Trainer Al Mitchell settled Reid down though, and in the fourth, a stunning overhand right put Brown out for the night. Referee Frank Cappuccino could have counted to 100. Reid, now 10-0(7), has his biggest name victim on his resume, and he should be moving into the rankings among the junior middleweights. We can only hope that Reid will be matched up with the likes of Fernando Vargas and Oscar DeLa Hoya in the coming year. Now those would be "American Dream" fights. And Simon Brown? All he has left are memories and a painful future if he continues to step in the ring.
On the undercard, in a fight that would have been a Main Event anywhere else, "Sugar" Shane Mosley continued to live up to the legacy of Sugar Ray Robinson with a dominating fifth round knockout of steel chinned and lion hearted Wilfrido Ruiz to successfully defend his IBF Lightweight crown. How dominating was his performance? I gave Mosley two 10-8 rounds in rounds in which he didn't even score a knockdown. Mosley has it all, and he showed it before an appreciative crowd: jabs, lightning fast combinations, power, defense, footwork, flash. Ruiz, a man Angel Manfredy called the hardest puncher he's faced, was bewildered by Mosley from the outset. And as the fight wore on, it became a showcase for "Sugar". Finally, after eating one bomb after another, Ruiz succumbed to a brutal right hand, and was laid out spread eagle on the canvas for a good minute. Mosley, now 28-0 (26), is the complete package, and a throwback to the glory days of the ring. How so? 1)The guy fights every other month 2) Against whoever they put in front of him 3) And he wins impressively. Sounds good to me. But, and there's always a but, losses by Orzubek Nazarov and Stevie Johnston have snatched away two big money fights for Mosley, and don't expect Arturo Gatti or Angel Manfredy to be beating down Mosley's door anytime soon. So while Mosley continues to clean house among the lightweights, the day may come when we will look at Shane Mosley as we look at Roy Jones, too good for his own good.
Shameless plug department...Check out the upcoming July issue of the CyberBoxing Zone Journal for an extensive interview with "Sugar" Shane Mosley, conducted two days before the Ruiz fight. Shane talks about his style, the expectations, the Johnston and Nazarov losses, Gatti and Manfredy, and much more.
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