View Full Version : Vargas-mosely Prefight Press & Predictions
11-23-2005, 11:49 AM
Vargas, Mosley ready for Feb. 25 rumble
By Dan Rafael
After weeks of negotiations, a fight between former junior middleweight champions Fernando Vargas and Shane Mosley was made official Tuesday night.
They'll meet in a 12-round bout Feb. 25 (HBO PPV) at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, organizers said.
Vargas (26-2, 22 KOs) and Mosley (41-4, 35 KOs) have each been involved in several of the biggest fights of recent years, with Vargas facing Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Winky Wright and Mosley facing De La Hoya and Wright twice each.
Now, the star fighters will face each other in a bout dubbed "Showdown."
"This is as exciting an event as you can get in boxing," said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events, which promotes Vargas. "Not only do you have two of the sport's biggest names, but you have quite a round robin. Mosley defeated De La Hoya and De La Hoya beat Vargas, while Vargas beat Wright and Wright defeated Mosley. This is an intriguing, evenly matched showdown."
De La Hoya, who will co-promote the fight, knows each of the participants well. He owns a knockout victory against Vargas but lost two decisions to Mosley, who is now one of his partners in Golden Boy Promotions.
"I know 'Sugar' Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas very well, probably better than I really want to," De La Hoya joked. "But seriously, they are both tremendous warriors who will not leave the ring without having given their all for themselves and their fans. It's rare to see fighters like that these days, and I know that Feb. 25 is going to be a great day to be a fight fan."
Mosley, 34, is a former lightweight, welterweight and unified junior middleweight champion. After losing the junior middleweight title to Wright and losing to him again in a rematch in 2004, Mosley returned to the welterweight division he once dominated this year. He's won his past two bouts at 147 pounds but will move back to 154 to face Vargas.
Vargas, 27, twice won junior middleweight titles, including becoming the youngest champion in the history of the 154-pound division just days after his 21st birthday.
Vargas and Mosley have each drawn big audiences in their pay-per-view fights. Vargas' fights with Trinidad and De La Hoya combined to generate more than 1.4 million buys. Mosley's two PPV fights against De La Hoya generated more than 1.3 million buys.
"Fernando Vargas and Shane Mosley have faced every big challenge, and now they're finally facing each other," HBO PPV chief Mark Taffet said. "Boxing fans will truly appreciate this matchup of stars."
The televised undercard hasn't been announced yet, but one fight that is in the works, according to Golden Boy, is a bantamweight title bout between beltholder Jhonny Gonzalez and former flyweight and two-time junior bantamweight champ Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson.
The kickoff news conference is scheduled for Mandalay Bay on Dec. 3 on the morning of another bout being co-promoted by Golden Boy -- the Jermain Taylor-Bernard Hopkins middleweight championship rematch.
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.
11-23-2005, 06:05 PM
A fight between two shot guys that never realized their potential. The end for both came too soon.
Fernando Vargas was ruined by Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley never regained his form from the first Vernon Forrest loss.
Should be competitive. It's a pick'em in my opinion.
<img border=0 src="http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/pimp.gif" />
11-23-2005, 06:06 PM
This fight would have been great like 3 years ago. Both guys are pretty much done, but I think Vargas is more so.
11-23-2005, 09:09 PM
3 or 4 years ago I would have said Mosley beats Vargas
handily, but now, it's definitely a pick 'em fight. Mosley acts
like a gun shy fighter these days. He's not willing to get in the
trenches and stay inside and rumble like he did vs DLH in
fight I. Because of that his power is no longer eveident. Can
he get to Vargas' suspect chin? I doubt he has the fire left
to KO anyone. I once met Sugar Shane, and followed his
career closely. He was once brilliant. But now, as much as I
hate to say this.... don't be surprised if Vargas is the one
who scores the KO.
11-23-2005, 10:42 PM
I'm picking Vargas as well because he's so much smarter in his comeback. It's still a pickem fight because of Vargas' back problems which can resurface at any time.
Shane does have the better chin and a speed advantage, but I don't think his power is enough to dent the boxing coming from Vargas. Guaranteed to be a good fight and close on the cards regardless.
I do think Shane has the right style and enough left to walk through Zab and Floyd at 147 and KO them late. I'm not sure Vargas can accomplish much more at 154 and he sure can't move up. They're both good boys cleaning their plates at the end of their careers. I could toss in some snide steroid comments, but I sorta like both of them.
11-24-2005, 02:28 AM
thats an interesting take. shane loses to vargas but walks thru zab and floyd?
11-24-2005, 05:08 AM
I think Shane's a bit too ship worn for all of the above.
IMO Zab & Floyd would really exaggerate the degree of Shane's decline. I don't care how chinny either may be, they would both dust Shane in speed. Its the kind of speed Shane hasn't seen in a looong time, if ever at all. IMO Shane hasn't shown he fights all that smart since he hasn't been relying on his natural gifts as much as he used to. Prime to prime, I may lean towards Shane, not now.
Regardless of my current opinion of Vargas, I think Vargas' power may be a factor with Shane. Lucky for Shane he uses it much more sparingly. Shane better remember to go to the body on Vargas for his best chance at breaking that creeky Vargas down. This fight looks good on paper since neither guy is at their best and are both as equally durable but I think it may be one of those snore fests between to shot guys rather than 2 guys letting it all out on their last hurrah.
This matchup makes me want to dig up and rematch the first guy I beat up when I was 6.
Are they going to bill this "The Losers Bracket?"
Count me in anyway.
11-24-2005, 09:34 AM
thats an interesting take. shane loses to vargas but walks thru zab and floyd?]]]]]]]=====================
Well, when I say walk through, I don't mean Shane will walk through in a dominant performance. He will be out landed and of course he'll be slower, but he has a rock solid chin and has the kind of power that Floyd and Zab haven't been exposed to at 147. He's bigger and stronger then them and if he can trap them on the ropes he could finish them off in a long fight. He won't be the defensive fighter Spinks and Mitchell were.
It's just a style thing with Vargas. He'll pop the jab like Winky and hope his power is enough to hold off a major assault by Shane. I think Vargas can do it, but like I noted, it's really a pickem fight.
11-24-2005, 11:57 AM
Personally I have seen nothing in Vargas' comeback that makes me think he will beat Shane. If fact I think you could also describe him as someone who seems reluctant to throw punches. Both guys have lost there power (does Balco have something to do with it?) so I think Shane will basically just outwork Vargas in a fairly boring fight.
11-24-2005, 03:35 PM
Yes, Shane Mosley has been a much better fighter
than Fernando Vargas, but one has to remember
that Mosley has had trouble with the larger
and taller top fighters with the exception of
Oscar De La Hoya. Moreover, Vargas has
fought in the 154-lb. division for much of
his career while Mosley has been a lightweight
or a welterweight during his. A Mosley-Vargas
bout will be interesting and it is my feeling
that it is a "pick-em" fight.
- Chuck Johnston
- Chuck Johnston
11-25-2005, 04:58 PM
Shane knocks him out.
11-25-2005, 10:10 PM
I'm with HEGrant on this one, Shane's just a bit more sturdy. I think Varga's new style will not take him very far in this bout, after 3-5 rounds of being outboxed, Vargas will try to slug it out. But down the stretch I think he'll fade and Shane will take him.
11-26-2005, 12:26 AM
gotcha roberto.....both these guys being shopworn is what is going to make this an interesting fight. when he grant said shane knocks him out i flinched a bit because it has been awhile that shane ko'd anybody but i do think that vargas is soft enough in the whiskers and shane is still accurate enough to make that show. anyway i'll join the consensus and call this pick-em too.
11-26-2005, 12:51 AM
I hope your not referring to Mosely coming out on top of a slug fest with Vargas. Not this Mosely. He coulden't handle Forrest. No way he handles Vargas' power. Vargas might be shot, but make no mistake, he can still slug with anyone. Even more so, Shane.
I personally think this ends up being a drug-out-stalemate. With quite a bit if slugging towards the end. I'm a little confused on why this fight was made, considering both of them are nothing short of shot fighters.
I think it's a pretty boring fight until they both realize in round 8ish that they are infact in a fight. Then it could get a little testy and slugfestish. But overall, a boring fight that Shame comes out on top.
Bottom line, this is too soon for Vargas. His downfall in his career continues. Taking this fight with Shane just wasen't a good step in his comeback, it's going to end before it starts.
11-29-2005, 01:23 PM
I always thought that Vargas got far more credit than his actual accomplishments merited. He had basically one significant clear win, against Ike Quartey, after De La Hoya had already softened him up. His "win" against Wright was debatable. And after Trinidad walloped him, he's never been the same. Mosley has obviously declined as well, but IMHO, he's still got more than enough to handle a still-tough, but very limited, Vargas.
11-29-2005, 03:13 PM
I see similarities between this fight & the 2nd Leonard-Hearns bout. First, by no means am I comparing Vargas & Mosely to the aforementiond as fighters ... Where the similarity is, is that you have two (in this case good, not great fighters) who are in decline.
Leonard & Hearns' 2nd fight was very different than the first. In bout one they fought at 78 rpm's in bout 2 it was more like 16 rpm's.
But, they had both decline roughly equally & the 2nd fight was still a helluva fight. It's possible we could get the same with Vargas & Mosely since they are basically on the same level in their decline from world class fighters.
12-01-2005, 12:44 AM
Truthfully this fight is a waste of our time. Both guys have not looked like anything now for years. I don't see a clear winner here, but I do think Vargas is a bit more shot then Shane, either way this fight is much to do about nothing. probably Mosely in a decision that might be a snorefest as well. If it's a PPV I'm holding on to my line, I'll watch it on the rebroadcast or read about it on fightnews. Who really cares about this fight except the promoters?
12-01-2005, 08:06 AM
I'm a little interested in this fight because I would like to see how both fighters compare this late in their careers. 5 years ago, this is a great fight. the power of vargas vs the speed of shane. Will vargas have the same heart and power now that he's off steroids? Is shane still gun shy after his losses to winky or will he try and slug it out? I think it will be an exciting match up although not as exciting as 5 years ago.
12-01-2005, 10:13 PM
I prefer the word "interesting" over "exciting" in this fight.
Has either Shane or Vargas put on an interesting fight since their careers were essentially ended by DLH & Winky?
None come to mind...
12-02-2005, 12:53 PM
In Search of a Friend – Fernando Vargas vs. Shane Mosley
by Joey Knish from Sweet Science
Two fighters long removed from boxing superstardom have found comfort in one another as Fernando Vargas and Shane Mosley are set to do battle February 25 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The California natives have each been looking for a big payday as they inch their way back into the limelight. And with no upcoming opponents set for Oscar De La Hoya, who happens to be the promoter of this pay per-view event, the two former champions will make do in what promises to be a very intriguing bout.
It seems like such a short time ago that “Sugar” Shane was as sweet as his infectious smile suggested and well on his way to superstardom. A June 2000 victory over “Golden Boy” De La Hoya was supposed to bring riches and fame to the quick-fisted two-division champ, but for some reason the crowds didn’t follow. Three knockout victories later, Mosley was still searching for that missing ingredient as he accepted the challenge of Vernon “The Viper” Forrest, a challenge that would forever extract the sweetness from his game.
As we know, Forrest was simply the better boxer on that night in January 2001, just as he was in the rematch six months later. Mosley used the weight as a crutch but the fact is that Forrest had the style and execution to beat him, twice. In the background there was turmoil inside Camp Mosley. Frustrations grew and fingers were pointed as missed opportunities took their toll on relationships. A move up to junior middleweight solved little as yet another victory over De La Hoya gave Mosley more world title belts (WBC, WBA and IBA) but no glamour.
When Mosley, 41-4-0 (35 KOs), met Winky Wright to determine who was the best junior middleweight, it looked like it could be a repeat of the Forrest fights. And it was. Two bouts in 2004 proved that Mosley could not beat Wright as the slick southpaw simply outclassed his opponent. Dropping back down to 147-pounds, Mosley put together two rather average performances in winning unanimous 10-round decisions over David Estrada and then Jose Luis Cruz.
It is worth noting that at one point in his career Mosley had knocked out 35 of 38 opponents, but he has not scored a knockout in over four years at higher weights. With a 3-4-0 (1 No Contest) record since 2001, the 34-year-old is in desperate need of a fresh breath of life into a now stagnant career and hopes the WBA-sanctioned junior middleweight eliminator will be just that.
If nothing else, Vargas, who turns 28 on Dec. 7, has age on his side. A world champion at the tender age of 21, the Oxnard fighter has since seen his stellar career set back by a faulty back, a steroid suspension, and two one-sided beatings. Vargas’ losses have both come against boxing’s elite, De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad, but to be the best, you have to beat the best. Victories over Wright and Ike Quartey are now distant memories, and one has to question if Vargas can be the fighter he once was. Beating Mosley would answer that doubt.
In the past four years “El Feroz” has only had five fights and hasn’t quite put it together in any of those bouts. At 26-2 (22), he still has great marketability and has done well for himself financially both in and outside the ring. While Mosley has tried to be a public darling, Vargas has been as bad as he wants to be, and his appeal comes from the fact that most people either love him or hate him. It is rather safe to say that many fight fans are not very passionate about Mosley one way or another. But when it comes to Vargas they turn out in droves, either hoping he lays a whopping on his opponent, or that he gets his butt kicked. Either way, they come out by the masses.
Weight may be an interesting factor once the bell tolls. Vargas has fought as heavy as middleweight and has a tendency to blowup in weight between fights. Getting back down to 154 could be a problem, and the stronger fighter may be the winner of this fight. On the other hand, Mosley was a lightning quick, strong lightweight in the late-1990’s, but has fought just four times at 154-pounds. To put it in perspective, in 1999 Vargas was entering the ring at 154-pounds while Mosley made the 135-pount limit.
It will be a treat for boxing fans when these two fighters lay it all on the line in an attempt to resurrect their careers. Only one will find the answers to his next career move while the loser may question a ring return altogether. If nothing else, it is an incredibly compelling bout.
12-03-2005, 03:00 PM
I don't feel like either guy is a legitimate threat to an Antonio Margarito or Zab Judah at this point. I could include Oscar there too but I really don't believe we will see Oscar in the ring again, contrary to what he's saying. That being said, this could be an entertaining and worthwhile fight, as long as the prive is below $40.00 (which I'm sure will NOT be the case, expect $49.99 or so). Shane is losing his reflexes and seems stiff and over-muscled even at 147. I would assume this fight is taking place at 154 or even 160 given Fernando's history. Fernando just seems shot - bad back, chin gone, even a little hesitant to mix it up in clsoe now...so I would lean toward the smaller Shane wearing him out and stopping him late in a competitive, brutal fight.
12-21-2005, 07:17 PM
Vargas and Mosley Ready for The Battle of Southern California
By David A. Avila from Max Boxin
No titles are on the line, nor does the winner get a shot at the champion, yet the victor between Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando "El Feroz" Vargas gains a foothold on junior middleweight respect and a brighter landscape.
Vargas and Mosley are two Southern California-based prizefighters with massive fan support and a couple of world titles on their resumes that will meet on Feb. 25 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
"There's mutual respect," said Vargas, 28, a two-time world champion who has begun training camp already, despite the holidays.
In the past year much has changed in the boxing world, including the reorganization of Golden Boy Promotions to include fighters Marco Antonio Barrera, Bernard Hopkins, Oscar De La Hoya and Mosley as partners in the boxing enterprise.
"It's real refreshing to be a part of something like Golden Boy. They're great people and great fighters," Mosley, 34, said about Golden Boy, which is co-promoting his fight with Main Events, the promotion company backing Vargas.
Though Mosley (41-4, 35 KOs) has grabbed back-to-back wins against formidable welterweight contenders, the usual skeptics from boxing magazines, Internet sites and newspaper columnists say the old Sugar Shane is gone.
But while his wins against virtually unknowns Jose Luis Cruz and David Estrada, two hard-nosed pugilists, may have escaped boxing journalists as significant, they haven’t escaped the notice of fellow boxers.
"I think he's a great fighter all the way around. He has great speed," said Vargas of Mosley.
Vargas (26-2, 22 KOs) too has been tabbed as a fighter moving in the downward direction. But the Oxnard native has not lost a fight in three years. In 2004 he did not fight because of back problems.
One fighter who knows both is De La Hoya.
"I've fought both fighters and believe me both fighters are warriors and great champions," said De La Hoya who suffered two defeats against Mosley and was the last to gain a win against Vargas.
Aside from boxing talent, the two Southern Californians once occupied Big Bear Mountain, along with De La Hoya, to form one of the most powerful triumvirates in the boxing world. Though Vargas has since sold his cabin, where he once trained, Mosley still prepares in the resort area.
Basically, it's still a metaphorical battle to be king of the mountain.
"I'm going to try and push Shane until the end," Vargas said.
Mosley expects no less from his adversary.
"I've always wanted to fight Fernando," Mosley said. "He never quits."
02-18-2006, 05:20 PM
Since my post earlier in this topic I have changed my mind
as to the outcome. Having given it some more thought I
now think that while both are not the fighters they once
were, Mosley has more left and will win a close decision.
I base that on Mosley's performances in rematches against
Forrest, and Wright. Though he lost both, he looked better
the second time around in both cases. He still has it in him-
self to strive for excellence, and his chin is still solid. Vargas,
on the other hand, while of late showing more boxing skills,
says he will fight this one with constant pressure on Mosley.
Doing that is probably his best strategy, but at the same time
he cannot keep that up for 12 rounds. He will fade, as he as
done before, and Mosley will then dominate and win the
02-20-2006, 03:16 PM
Losing to Forest and Winky twice is exactly why I think Mosely won't win this fight.
I dont think he can handle a world class bigger fighters. Reguardless of Vargas' issues with his body and his fighting style now, given who he's beaten and who he's been in with, you still have to consider him so.
I think of the two, Mosely still has the talent and style to make his way back to the top. I dont consider him shot by any means. This is just the wrong matchup.
02-20-2006, 05:28 PM
I think that Vagas can no longer take the level of punishment that Shane will dish out.
Shane lost twice to Forrest and twice to Wright. Both were top five pound for pound fighters in the world, in their primes , when Shane fought them. Neither knocked Shane out. Shane did better in both rematches. At the same time Vargas has looked good but not great against a very mediocore level of competition. His chin is in question but never his heart.
I look forward to the bout. I think Shane has more left than many realize and will outclass and stop Fernando.
02-20-2006, 07:52 PM
Shane Mosley Home at Welterweight
by Rick Folstad from Sweet Science
It’s a long, lonely trip back to the top, though a win on Feb. 25 against “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas could shorten the journey to a light stroll for “Sugar” Shane Mosley.
After a blistering start that saw him win his first 38 fights – 35 by knockout – he suddenly fell to earth when he lost to Vernon Forrest in July 2001.
But that was only a quirk, a rarity, a bad night for a guy always seemed to have good ones.
No one’s perfect.
But then he lost to Forrest in the rematch, and they took away his mask and cape and called him a mere mortal.
But then he beat Oscar De La Hoya for a second time and his past sins were quickly forgiven.
Cue the heartbreaker.
Winky Wright then handed Mosley back-to-back losses in 2004, and the Sugarman was suddenly just another fallen fighter.
Following wins last year against David Estrada and Jose Luis Cruz, Mosley is 3-4 with a no contest in his last eight fights. And no knockouts.
He won’t get a bowl bid with those numbers.
Which is why this is such a big fight for Mosley (41-4, 35 KOs). He beats Vargas (26-2, 22 KOs) in their*WBA junior-middleweight title eliminator at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and they’ll start mentioning his name again around the dinner table.
“This fight is very special to me because I want to bring back the old style of the way I have been fighting in the past,” Mosley said on a recent conference call.
Unfortunately, he’ll need to drop back down to welterweight for that to happen. And Mosley knows it. He doesn’t belong at 154 pounds, though he’s moving up there to fight Vargas.
“Welterweight is my home,” said Mosley, who hasn’t been in his house since his second fight with Forrest. “If I had to make welterweight for this fight, I would be able to do it. I will be at welterweight for the remainder of my career, but there will be fights at 154, challenges that I will take. I think welterweight is where I will stay.”
Which is it? Will he stay at 147 or venture up to 154 again?
Against Vargas, Mosley said he’s ready for anything that gets thrown at him.
“Vargas has tried to pressure everyone he has fought, but I will not be surprised if he throws in a little boxing here and there,” Mosley said. “Danny Smith (Vargas’ trainer) is more of a boxing trainer. He is not one to teach you to come at the fighter.”
Mosley said if Vargas continues to preach that he’s is going to chase him, it makes him wonder if Vargas is really going to come after him or if he’s just setting a trap.
“If he’s going to box me, then I’ll be ready to attack,” he said. “If he’s going to come after me, then I’ll be ready to fight.”
There was also talk that Vargas is looking past Mosley at Oscar De La Hoya, the only active fighter out there who has beaten him.
“That would be a big mistake,” Mosley said.*** Besides, De La Hoya – who is involved in promoting the Feb. 25 fight and who stopped Vargas in September 2002 – said he isn’t interested in a rematch with Vargas.
“That fight will never, ever happen,” he said. “Fernando Vargas has his hands full with [Mosley] and my advice would be, do not look past this fight because it’s just not going to happen.”
At least not right away.
02-21-2006, 01:42 AM
I feel the same way as some on the board here which simply boils down to the "shot" that defines Mosely is not the same brand of "shot" that is Vargas. Vargas had less natural skill to begin with and this point I see less ability overall. Mosely still has some speed and if Vargas even becomes a little hesitant to throw (as I expect), Mosely should pick apart this severely robotic form of Vargas. Much of Vargas' past success stemmed from his confident style. He was never the most naturally gifted fighter but his confidence is what drove his aggression & power. It is apparent to me since the DLH destruction that this is gone. Mosely in contrast has had much bigger hills to climb in the past few years which should be the difference here. Since Vargas no longer punches through the target, I expect Mosely should be able to take his shots easily. Vargas will have to make it a point to earn some respect early or it will be a long night for him IMO.
02-21-2006, 05:57 PM
Vargas sizes up big issue
By Bob Buttitta, bbuttitta, VenturaCountyStar.com
The biggest challenge of Fernando Vargas in his career hasn't been Oscar De La Hoya or Felix Trinidad. It's been the struggle to control his weight.
As recently as his August, 2005 fight against Javier Castillejo, the Oxnard native battled to shed extra pounds in order to make his fighting weight of 154 pounds.
For the Castillejo bout, Vargas had to lose 40 pounds in the final 11 weeks of training in order to make weight, including spending an hour in the sauna prior to the weigh-in.
Vargas admits having to endure such sudden weight losses has often times kept him from performing his best.
"I feel bad because I had to lose a lot of weight," Vargas said of his performance against Castillejo. "... I would eat good all week, but on the weekend eat a little food that wasn't too healthy.
"From the first round I was so tired. ... I was asking (God) for help to get through this and I would never let that happen again."
As Saturday's fight with Shane Mosley draws near, Vargas has lived up to his promise that this time weight would not be an issue.
Thanks to the help of nutritionist Robert Ferguson, Vargas has been able to shed the pounds for this fight without having to turn to severe methods like sitting in a sauna.
As of last Friday, Vargas weighed 157, leaving him a week to lose the final three pounds.
"Robert Ferguson taught me how to lose weight," Vargas said. "He's been teaching me how to eat and lose weight effectively and be strong.
"I feel like I'm in better shape than I ever have been in. I go a few rounds to simulate the fight and I sit down on the stool and I am up before the bell is even ready to ring. Even in the 14th round."
Ferguson, owner of the 805 Fitness Center in Westlake, has turned Vargas into a label-reading machine. Before getting hooked up with Ferguson, if it tasted good it was probably going in Vargas' mouth.
But now before he swallows anything, Vargas reads the content label to know what a food is made of so he can figure out how it will affect his diet.
"I'm eating more this camp than ever, but it's all the right foods so weight is not an issue," Vargas said. " (Ferguson) has a plan specifically for me. I'm eating things like chicken nuggets ,which are prepared in a healthy way and which allows me to keep the weight down."
Ferguson has made a career out of helping people like Vargas get the upper hand on their weight.
He said the biggest challenge of working with Vargas was the boxer's own metabolism.
"His metabolism wasn't working efficiently and it took all of my experience to naturally rev it up and get it working optimally," Ferguson said. "Now that his metabolism is working efficiently, the only challenge is keeping food fun and varying the exercise so that he doesn't plateau with his weight loss and is able to maximize his performance throughout his training camp."
Having worked with other boxers, Ferguson said one of the biggest challenges is retraining the way they think about weight loss.
Most go the route of depleting their bodies of nutrients and dehydrating and running to lose weight.
"... The challenge is making the weight and keeping their energy high so that he or she can maximize their performance when training and sparring," Ferguson said. "The challenge with a professional boxer is making weight and doing it healthfully."
Ferguson's ability to get a handle on Vargas' weight is allowing trainer Danny Smith to be more aggressive with planning a strategy for beating Mosley.
"I have been training like never before," Vargas said. "You are going to see the old Fernando with a lot sharper, newer moves from Danny Smith on my offense.
"You are going to see a lot of intensity from Round 1. I am really going to push the pace and not let Shane breath."
Mosley said he isn't sure what to expect from Vargas.
"Danny Smith is not one to teach you to come at the fighter," Mosley said. "I think others are better suited for that style. If he keeps preaching that he is going to go after me, it makes you kind of wonder. Is he really going to come after me or is he really going to box me, like he's been doing the last couple of fights.
"If he's going to box me, then I'll be ready to attack. If he's going to come after me, then I'll be ready to fight."
Vargas' improved conditioning is a result of being able to push himself harder during training camp.
Through the use of natural anti-inflammatories such as Zyflamend, the back problems which have plagued Vargas over the last few years have been greatly reduced. That has allowed Vargas to train longer, harder and do different types of training.
"I am running outside now," Vargas said. "I couldn't run outside because of my back. Now I am able to run outside because of the strength exercises I have been doing and I feel great and I feel strong. I feel like I'm in better shape than I ever been in."
02-21-2006, 07:00 PM
I really don'tunderstand why people wrote off Mosley following pts losses to two of the TOUGHEST fighters in the sport in Forrest (very under-rated who deserved the nod in the Mayorga rematch but became hampered from injuries) and Wright (top PFP guy who got robbed vs Vargas in his prime). I saw both Wright-Mosley fights as much closer then HBO and some others did (although he clearly lost both) and he still showed he had world class speed and pop against a guy who has a big chance to win the middleweight championship soon.
Vargas, who I feel was always OVER-RATED as a fighter, as looked close to shot in his several 'comeback' fights following the Oscar KO loss. He's slow, not much of a mix-up in technique, and he simply doesn't seem like he's kept that 'ferocious' edge that made him a contender in the first place.
Mosley by decision or late knockout, in a fairly one-sided fight.
02-21-2006, 08:58 PM
[[[[Mosley by decision or late knockout, in a fairly one-sided fight. ]]]]]]
Have no idea why you think Vargas is shot. Obviously he is not the same fighter and is protecting his back as he regains some technique and confidence, but he's still a top 10 fighter. You're mistaken that the fight will be one side. It will probably be a pretty good scrap if Vargas' back holds.
My only concern is that Vargas looks like he's starved at the weight now, but Mosely doesn't look the same since his steroid outting either.
02-21-2006, 08:58 PM
The problem with this fight is that both guys are so far past their prime that it's not funny.
Mosley's prime were the fights with Willy Wise, Hoya I, Antonio Diaz, Shannon Taylor and Adrian Stone. That's 01/2000 to 07/2001. After that it was downhill for Shane. During that time he was vicious and as good as he ever was. However, we're talking 5 or 6 years ago when Mosley was 28!
Vargas' prime came early in his life. I figure his prime were fights with Yory Boy Campas, Howard Clarke, Raul Marquez, Winky Wright, Ike Quartey and Ross Thompson. That's 12/1998 to 08/2000. We're talking 6 or 7 years ago when Vargas was 21 or 22 years old!
Both of these guys are so far past it that the only question is, "Who is further gone?" My money says Vargas, even though he is the younger guy. However, often times these sorts of matches make for excellent fights.
<img border=0 src="http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/pimp.gif" />
02-22-2006, 04:54 PM
Mosley-Vargas could be end of road
Tim Smith, NY Daily News
There are plenty of jokes that can be applied to the match between Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Most of those jokes apply to the age of the two combatants and the sell-by date on the bout having outlived its shelf life.
But with two men who have a body of ring work as extensive as Mosley and Vargas, there isn't anything funny about it.
There are no applicable labels to affix to Mosley-Vargas, a 154-pound barnburner if it had happened in 2002. You could call this a crossroads fight, except Mosley and Vargas have gone past the crossroads, headed down the long road, gone through the tunnel, come out the other side and are headed someplace else now. Where? Only Vargas, Mosley and HBO, which will broadcast the bout on Pay-Per-View, know for sure.
There are no more mega matches for the winner and certainly not the loser. At best the winner becomes a trial horse - Mosley at 147 pounds and Vargas at junior middle or middleweight.
Mosley, who is the dean of students (or something like that) for Golden Boy Promotions, is on Oscar De La Hoya's payroll. If Mosley beats Vargas, there's no way he will fight his boss again. Beating him twice was a prerequisite for the job he has now. If Vargas wins, there is an outside chance that he could get De La Hoya back into the ring for a rematch. But Vargas shouldn't hold his breath waiting on that call. "I respect Fernando Vargas and that fight will never, ever happen," De La Hoya said in a conference call a couple of weeks ago. "Fernando Vargas has his hands full with Sugar Shane Mosley and my advice would be do not even look past this fight because it is just not going to happen."
Maybe Vargas is thinking that a victory over De La Hoya could mean future employment. Vargas could be president of Golden Boy-Oxnard.
Conventional wisdom says that Mosley, because of his boxing style, will beat Vargas if he can stay away from Vargas' power through the first two or three rounds. Vargas still appears to be struggling to drop weight, even though he has added a new strength coach/nutritionist to his team. That weight loss could weaken him as the fight goes on. But the problem with conventional wisdom is that it has never strapped on a pair of gloves. And no matter what you think the future holds for Mosley and Vargas, neither one is going anywhere after this one is over.
NYSAC chairman Ron Scott Stevens and his staff will be hopping in March because there are seven shows in New York in the next five weeks, beginning with a card at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y. on Friday that will be broadcast on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights."
There will be three Thursday night shows in Manhattan during March. There is a March 2 card at the Hammerstein Ballroom, a card at the Manhattan Center on March 9 and a show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on March 16, featuring Irish middleweight John Duddy.
Stevens said the heightened boxing activity means there could be 40 or 50 shows in 2006, compared to the 26 that were held in the state last year, an indication that promoters are finding New York to be a desirable location for boxing shows.
WBA/WBO junior welterweight champ Ricky Hatton of Manchester, England, who was in New York this week, said his next match will be at Foxwoods. But Hatton said he has to wait until a federal judge in Manhattan rules on a lawsuit filed against him and the WBA regarding his last bout against Carlos Maussa before announcing who his next opponent will be. Former WBA champ Vivian Harris showed up uninvited to a small media lunch for Hatton at Café Cielo in Manhattan on Monday....After injuring his shoulder and hamstring, junior welterweight contender Kendall Holt has been scratched from the co-feature of the ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" card at Turning Stone. Holt was replaced on the card by his Duva Boxing teammate, heavyweight Michael Marrone, who will take on Zack Page of Warren, Ohio, in an eight-round match.
02-23-2006, 12:47 PM
Poems, Jokes, and $100,000 Bet…
Now we've got a fight!!!
February 23, 2006
By Victor Perea
2006 Already promises to be a great year for the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino as they kick off the year with a dream bout for many, Fernando Vargas vs. "Sugar" Shane Mosley. Even though the last of the fireworks celebrating the New Year on the Las Vegas Strip stopped almost two months ago, Fernando Vargas with the help of Shane Mosley's team helped set off a whole new set of sparks inside the House of Blues for today's final press conference.
Leading up the this Saturday Night's fight, there seemed to be a mutual respect between these two warriors, although both are in a crossroads fight, the focus has been on the importance of this battle not any bad blood between the two California natives. That was until today.
Not that Fernando Vargas needed anything else to fuel his determination for his must win fight on Saturday night, but a reserved Shane Mosley backed by colorful team commentating from trainers John David Jackson, Cassius Green and special Team Mosley guest, Floyd Mayweather Sr. set off a definite flame inside "El Feroz", who called on "Sugar" Shane Mosley to "Put your money where your mouth is and put $100,000 on it."
An ignited Vargas sat quietly as first up for Team Mosley, the always colorful special guest Floyd Mayweather Sr. read a poem he had written for those in attendance. Fightnews.com will spare you most of the bad grammar and cliché terms and only give you a snippet of what Fernando Vargas had to silently endure for a good two minutes.
"From Trinidad to Oscar and now to Sugar Shane; with three whoopings like that you will never be the same," so said Mayweather Sr.
Following up Mr. Mayweather's poetry, trainer John David Jackson opened up after thanking Vargas for taking the fights saying, "Felix Trinidad destroyed you physically, Oscar De la Hoya destroyed you mentally, all you got left is your spirit. Come Saturday "Sugar" Shane Mosley is gonna snatch your spirit from you."
To top off Team's Mosley's arsenal of words for Vargas the always Navy Cap Wearing Cassius Green added his words for good measure, "Within the last 6 years Vargas has dusted the floor 7 times…he's been down 7 times within the last 6 years, we're going to make it eight we don't want to break tradition."
An always calm and composed "Sugar" Shane Mosley, in his usual reserved way took the podium to give the routine fighter wrap up, thanking God, HBO and Mandalay Bay, and saying that he is ready for Saturday night, "I have respect for there whole camp and what they want to accomplish, but I'm ready to go and take care of business," said Mosley.
Team Vargas was quick to rebuttal first with Vargas' strength and wellness coach Robert Ferguson apologized to those in attendance on behalf of the African American community for Mayweather Sr. bad peotry, "It was quite embarrassing for all of us in the boxing world as well as the African American community I just want to say that was a disgrace you want to show a little more intelligence at this stage."
By the time Vargas took to the podium steam was practically bursting from his ears,
"I'm gonna say a few thing here and I hope I don't get interrupted by Floyd "The Predator" Mayweather or Cassius "Captain Crunch" Green disgracing the military wearing the Captain Crunch hat," said Vargas as soon as he hit the mic.
After addressing that he turned to Shane Mosley, "Look right now let's keep it real, you say behind my back that you're gonna knock me out, you've never said to your face that you think you'll knock me out." Added Vargas to which Mosley replied "I will knock you out." Then the gambling started, "We're in Vegas now, you say you're gonna knock me out? I know I'm gonna knock you out! So I'll offer you this I'll put $100,000 down," said Vargas much to the delight of the cheering crowd. Mosley agreed and shook hands for the side bet. Tempers flared and came close to getting physical as Cassius Green exchanged words with Vargas' wellness coach Robert Ferguson, thanks to Kathy Duva peace was restored and each camp separated.
Undercard fighters Calvin Brock, Zuri Lawrence, Johnny Gonzalez and Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson were present, although verbally outmatched by the main event participants.
Tickets for The Showdown Vargas vs. Mosley are priced $100, $200, $400, $600 and $800. Tickets are available at the Mandalay Bay box office or at any ticket master outlet, online at Ticketmaster.com or MandalayBaycom.
The Showdown will be broadcasted on HBO PPV for a suggested retail price of $44.95 broadcast starts at 9PM EST/6PM PST
02-23-2006, 12:53 PM
The ending won't be pretty
by Rick Folstad from Sweet Science
The only thing trainers Danny Smith and John David Jackson could agree on Monday was the ending. It won’t be pretty and it won’t be decided by three guys wearing suits sitting at ringside.
“If (Shane) Mosley gets caught, he’s going to be stopped,” said Smith, who is training Fernando Vargas (26-2, 22 KOs). “Fernando is going to be extremely ferocious. He’s not going to box one minute. This is a fight where somebody should get stopped. Fernando is looking for the knockout. And I know Shane is going to box and try to get the knockout. I don’t believe this fight will go the distance.”
“I don’t think it will go 12,” said Jackson, who is training Mosley (41-4, 35 KOs). “I don’t expect (Mosley) to knock him out with one shot. But I do expect Shane to stop him with an accumulation of shots to the body and head. But mainly to the body.”
Jackson and Smith were on a conference call Monday talking about Saturday night’s junior-middleweight fight at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (HBO pay-per-view). Their two fighters are heading toward 154 pounds from different directions, Mosley moving up to 154 and a much heavier Vargas trying to move down to 154.
According to Smith, Vargas was at 156 earlier in the week. And if he was struggling to stay there, he wasn’t telling anyone.
“I don’t know how he feels,” Smith said. “He’s a warrior, and if there’s a problem, he’s not going to tell me because he doesn’t want me to be alarmed or worried. I don’t know how he feels, but he’s performing well.”
Smith said he wanted Vargas down in weight early in camp so he would feel strong on fight night.
“I wouldn’t want him sparring at 170 and then making the weight and not be able to fight at all,” he said.
Mosley doesn’t have that problem. Jackson said as of Friday, his fighter weighed 149.
“In prior fights, he tried to bulk up to 154 and he tried to become a one-punch knockout artist,” Jackson said. “You’ve got to remember, when Shane was a lightweight, he beat guys with a combination of punches, body shots. He got away from that at 147 and 154. He became this one-punch knockout artist – or so he thought – and his people didn’t give good directions and they let him believe that. Either you’re born a puncher or you’re not.”
Which is why Jackson said he’s got Mosley throwing more combinations.
“He bulked up and got away from what he does best,” said Jackson, who figures Mosley will come in at 150 or 151.
While Mosley will rely on his hand speed, Vargas is expected to come out throwing bombs.
”We’re going to try to make this as much of a street fight as possible,” Smith said. “Shane is too fast to try to box with. I don’t believe Shane will throw combinations. Shane had to put on a lot of muscle and that will slow you down and keep you from throwing combinations. Once you fall in love with punching, you’ll always punch.”
Which is what Jackson has been trying to correct.
But the bottom line starts and ends with Vargas, who Jackson claims is a shot fighter.
“The damage has already been done,” he said of Vargas. “(Felix) Trinidad physically beat him. (Oscar) De La Hoya mentally destroyed him. There’s nothing left for Shane to do but go ahead and bury him. The general consensus is that Shane will out-box him. That’s not what we want. Shane wants to knock him out.”
Still, Jackson knows they have to be careful against a guy like Vargas, despite any possible wear and tear.
“We trained for a young Fernando,” Jackson said.
They know that’s the one fighter they’re not going to see.
02-23-2006, 04:24 PM
Vargas-Mosley: Hard to predict a winner, easy to imagine a loser
By Ronan Keenan from Dog House Boxing
Summer 2000. It was one of the hottest periods in years. Temperatures peaked at all time highs. It wasn’t only thermometers that were reaching boiling point. The careers of Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas were sizzling as these two ‘New Generation’ fighters blazed their way to the top of the boxing world.
Mosley and Vargas were part of a group of hot young fighters than were progressively changing the face of the sport. Along with Floyd Mayweather and Zab Judah, this band of youthful warriors was expected to dominate pound-for-pound lists for years to come. These fighters were part of a new breed of ‘boxer-punchers’ – they would use their superb boxing skills and athleticism to dominate opponents before knocking them cold with violent combinations.
Vargas had just come off a convincing win over the exceptionally dangerous Ike Quartey. The Californian seemed to be developing into the complete package as he controlled the fight in a surprisingly assertive manner on his way to handing the Ghanaian his first clear-cut defeat. Furthermore, he had gathered a large and highly passionate following, thus becoming one of the most popular fighters in the US.
Meanwhile, ‘Sugar’ Shane had just reached the top of the boxing world. He was recognized as the best fighter on the planet after his stunning victory over the ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya. Observers were salivating at this performance and were tripping over themselves to vociferously praise the new king. Even legendary trainer Eddie Futch went as far as comparing Mosley to Ray Robinson. Acclaim doesn’t get any higher.
Vargas and Mosley were both at the top of their games, both leading boxing into the new century. At the same time, there was a clear contrast between the two. Vargas was brash, powerful and had a killer streak that was unlike anything boxing had seen in years. Conversely, Mosley was the sweet boxer who would blind opponents with his matchless blend of speed and power. Vargas was angry and confrontational. Mosley was Tiger Woods with boxing gloves. Imagine a fight between the two! A battle for the ages no doubt.
Finally the time has arrived. The worlds of Vargas and Mosley will come together in a dream clash this Saturday. The only snag is that I’m writing this article in February 2006.
Neither man has beaten a world class fighter in years. Vargas’ last noteworthy victory was that same aforementioned points win over Quartey. ‘El Feroz’ has performed admirably against legends like De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad, but ultimately he was brutally knocked out on both occasions. He did pick up a couple of titles along the way, but only against faded contenders such as Shibata Flores and Javier Castillejo.
Mosley has been somewhat more successful in recent times with a debatable points victory over De La Hoya coming in 2003. Then again, his last significant victory before that was his previous win over the ‘Golden Boy’ which will be six years ago this June.
To say both men need the victory is a waste of breath. At this stage nobody even needs to say it. Nonetheless, it is still a fight that has experts split down the middle. It’s more or less an even money fight. However, this isn’t like your usual superfight, in which it’s hard to imagine either legend losing. Instead, it’s difficult to picture either of these fighters winning.
Even the victories that both men have collected in recent years have felt more like losses. After each of his four wins since the 2002 De La Hoya loss, most observers, along with Vargas himself, have vehemently criticized his performances. The boxing world wants to see the return of ‘Ferocious’ Fernando – a bloodthirsty phenomenon who viciously went after his prey. Instead, he has appeared reluctant to go in for the ‘kill’ against seemingly overmatched opponents.
Mosley, 41-4 (35), too has failed to dazzle since his dethroning by Vernon Forrest four years ago. He too seems to have discarded the qualities that once made him special. His blistering hand speed and furious combinations have been replaced by an apparent stiffness than seems to be restraining the re-emergence of the old ‘Sugar’ Shane.
Few would have predicted that either of these warriors would be so desperately in need of a big win to stay in the limelight. Ultimately, the big mystery is how did Mosley and Vargas end up in their respective ominous positions? Is it due to both fighters having simply faded and become shadows of their former selves?
The common conjecture is that Vargas, 26-2 (22), left a considerable piece of himself in the Mandalay Bay ring after his savage loss to Trinidad in December 2000. Since then he has appeared slow and overly mechanical, while many observers have questioned his punch resistance after he was kayoed by the genetically smaller De La Hoya.
There were also the steroid scandals that both fighters had been part of in recent years. Vargas’ positive test in 2002 and Mosley’s alleged involvement with BALCO have somewhat smeared their characters. Moreover, have steroids had an adverse impact on both of their bodies?
Chris Mitchell, who boxed Mosley in the amateurs and sparred with Vargas, believes that Mosley’s body has changed for the worse in recent times.
”When I boxed Mosley he was all about speed. He just blinded you with punches, it was impossible to see them coming. The reason he stopped so many guys out was because he hit them so often. It’s wasn’t due to natural power. Now he’s too muscular and he just tries to knock guys out. Instead, he should be trying to land as many punches as he can. He should be about speed, not power,” asserted Mitchell.
It is possible that as Mosley, 34, moved up in weight classes he tried to compensate for his lack of power and size with an increase in bulk. Unfortunately, too much time spent pumping iron may have cost him the speed and agility than once made him special.
Vargas is recognized for being a big light-middleweight and in theory that should give him an advantage over the former lightweight champion. “Fernando is a huge 154 pound fighter,” said Mitchell. “He doesn’t have the speed of Mosley, but every punch carries serious power. He knows how to impose his size and authority, but he can box when he wants to.”
The fact that Vargas has never relied heavily on speed suggests that he could be nearer to his prime than Mosley, who at his peak was almost exclusively dependent on his speed of hand.
However, over the years Vargas has had serious problems with his body. He was forced into a 15-month period of inactivity due to a persistent back injury, thus giving rise to claims that his latest sluggish performances have been a result of his 27-year-old frame crumbling under the strain of the fight game.
Then again, could it be that neither Vargas nor Mosley are the diminished fighters they appear to be? It is plausible that their lackluster outings have been down to a lack of motivational fire rather than a lack of reflexes. When they meet, there will be the biggest incentive of them all – both men will be fighting to save their careers.
On Saturday, two proud warriors will be re-entering the big time, but neither wants it to be a once-off. Be prepared to see two of the most talented fighters of the last decade push their bodies to the limit when they collide in the ring. There is no comeback for the loser.
Expect Vargas to utilize his superior technical ability with an underrated jab and have similar success as Mosley’s conquerors Forrest and Winky Wright did. This should be enough to pound out the victory over a partially sweet Mosley who, despite having plenty of muscle, won’t have the size to turn back the clock.
02-23-2006, 04:27 PM
Mosley may not need Oscar's advice
Robert Morales, LA Daily
"Sugar" Shane Mosley has always come off as intelligent. It would make sense, then, that he would listen to anything his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, has to say about Fernando Vargas.
Mosley will square off with Vargas on Saturday at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in a junior middleweight title elimination fight. HBO pay-per-view will televise.
De La Hoya, who has lost two decisions to Mosley, defeated Vargas via 11th-round technical knockout in September 2002.
There were perhaps several keys to that victory for De La Hoya. Vargas may have worn down late (he was later found to be on steroids). Also, De La Hoya was brilliantly patient.
Mosley recently watched film of De La Hoya-Vargas. He took note of what transpired, but it's hard to tell how much weight he is giving to what De La Hoya did.
"I haven't talked any strategy with Oscar," said Mosley, 34, of Pomona. "Basically, I watched the fight with Oscar and Fernando and I saw different details that worked (for) Oscar and I will definitely be using those different techniques in the fight with Fernando Vargas.
"I watched it alone, not with him (De La Hoya) present. It wouldn't hurt that we sit down and talk about certain things, but this is a battle between me and Fernando."
Part of De La Hoya's success as a fighter - he has won world titles in a record six weight classes - has been his patience in the ring. It's an intangible many fighters do not possess, an attribute that can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Against Vargas, De La Hoya was at his patient best. He survived an early onslaught by a very strong Vargas, bided his time until Vargas was ripe for the taking, then dropped a monster left hook on Vargas in the 11th round that was the beginning of the end for the former two-time junior middleweight champion from Oxnard.
De La Hoya would like for Mosley (41-4, 35 KOs) to take something from his performance, but he isn't pushing it.
"I am not in the business to be like every other promoter who is in the fighters' face," said De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions and co-promoter of Saturday's fight along with Main Events Inc.
"I am a fighter first and I know how it feels when a promoter is on your back and in your face all the time. You have to let the fighter train and do his job and let the trainer do his job.
"During fight week, I can talk to Mosley and give him a few tips here and there. A little helping hand, not that he needs it."
28, is 26-2 with 22 knockouts.
The two main undercard bouts Saturday will be Jhonny Gonzalez in a defense of his World Boxing Organization bantamweight belt against Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson, and heavyweight contender Calvin Brock going against Zuri Lawrence.
Lawrence, of Wappinger Falls, N.Y., is 20-10-4. But he has zero knockouts. The only reason he got a fight with Brock, a top 10 contender, is because he won a 10-round decision over former contender Jameel McCline in his most recent fight last October.
"He did beat Jameel McCline and he beat the guy (Paolo Vidoz) that I lost to in the Olympics," Brock, who boxed for the U.S. in the 2000 Sydney Games, said of Lawrence. "He is not an opponent I can take for granted.
"It is a big show on pay-per-view. If I want to become heavyweight champion this year, I have to beat Zuri Lawrence. I will show the world I am deserving of a title shot and I am the one that is going to be king of the heavyweight division."
Brock, of Charlotte, N.C., is 27-0 with 21 knockouts. He is a good fighter and may one day be a world champion. He is ranked No. 6 by the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association and No. 7 by the WBO.
But, come on, Zuri Lawrence? This does nothing for Brock except get him some television exposure.
As for Gonzalez-Johnson, it's hard to tell what to expect from this fight. Gonzalez, 24, of Mexico, is 31-4 with 27 knockouts. He won the WBO bantamweight belt with a seventh-round technical knockout of Ratanachai Sor Vorapin last October.
Johnson is the former flyweight and super flyweight champion who used to terrorize fighters while competing out of the Forum in the 1990s. But Johnson (44-4, 28 KOs), at 34, is old for a small fighter.
"Of course, it will be my last chance at a world title shot," said Johnson, who was quite a fan favorite at the Forum. "You know what they say, out with the old and in with the new."
02-24-2006, 01:18 PM
There were nights for Mosley and Vargas
by Matthew Aguilar from Sweet Science
There were nights when it seemed Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas were destined for greatness.
For "Sugar Shane" it was June 17, 2000, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
That was the night Mosley, an underdog to his celebrity opponent Oscar De La Hoya, despite being the lightweight champ for two years, shocked the "Golden Boy" and won a split decision. It won him De La Hoya's WBC welterweight title, and it should have vaulted the Pomona, Calif., native into superstardom.
But it didn't, mostly because he never fought that good again versus an opponent of De La Hoya's caliber.
In ensuing fights, Mosley decimated the overmatched trio of Antonio Diaz, Shannan Taylor and Adrian Stone before running into Vernon Forrest. Then it all changed when Forrest dropped him twice in the second round and handed him his first defeat.
From then on, Mosley deteriorated with each outing. And, today, he appears to be half the fighter who humbled De La Hoya the first time.
But then, his original victory over De La Hoya was the kind of performance that most fighters can only dream about duplicating.
Before the fight, Mosley had commented that the first round would be a repeat of the opening stanza of Hagler-Hearns 15 years earlier. And while it wasn't nearly that historic, Mosley came out snarling, and took the fight right to his fellow Californian. De La Hoya responded in kind.
It set the tone for the rest of the fight, one of the best of the year.
When De La Hoya started to take control in the middle rounds, Mosley withstood the onslaught and fought back harder. By the late rounds, a severe Mosley body attack had weakened De La Hoya, allowing the Sugar Man to take a slight lead.
In the 12th round, both fighters let it all hang out. Mosley won the round, and the fight.
The reason: Speed. At the time, De La Hoya was one of the fastest fighters in boxing. Mosley and Floyd Mayweather – who was a junior lightweight at the time – were the only fighters faster.
Makes you wonder why Oscar took the fight.
By the time Mosley and De La Hoya fought again three years later on Sept. 13, 2003, both fighters were a step slower.
Mosley won again, this time controversially. It really didn't matter. Neither fighter impressed.
Sugar has since lost to Winky Wright twice, and notched a pair of meaningless wins. He has not come close to the form that knocked off De La Hoya. But that was six years ago. A fighter who relies on speed and reflexes rarely stays the same six years after his most impressive win.
It does seem apparent, however, that "Sugar" Shane will probably never again be as sweet as he was on June 17, 2000.
* * *
Fernando Vargas was an interesting character before challenging Yory Boy Campas for the IBF junior middleweight title on Dec. 12, 1998. His blonde streaks in his hair and macho Mexican attitude made him a fascinating figure. However, he was young and inexperienced, and appeared a bit too green for the seasoned Campas when they met at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.
And while the fight was pretty much a pick 'em affair going in, that may have had more to do with Campas' age and style limitations. No one expected a blowout in favor of the kid from Oxnard.
But there was the young Vargas, who hadn't fought anyone tougher than Anthony Stephens and Romallis Ellis going in, dominating Campas. He was jabbing. He was moving. He was throwing combinations. He was hurting Campas, who had only lost two fights beforehand.
At the end of seven rounds, Yory Boy had had enough. He walked to the middle of the ring and surrendered. Vargas, realizing he was a world champ at the age of 21, erupted in tears and emotion. After only 14 pro fights, "Ferocious Fernando" (which would later become "El Feroz") was a world champ.
And his future seemed limitless.
Vargas followed that up with a string of good-looking title defenses against some tough customers – Raul Marquez, Winky Wright and Ike Quartey. After a destruction of the hopeless Ross Thompson, Vargas met Felix Trinidad to unify the 154-pound title.
It was a brutal fight. Vargas was dropped and beaten up in the first round, only to rebound and knock Trinidad down in the middle rounds. But, slowly, Trinidad's punching power began to show itself, and, by the end, Vargas could offer nothing but his heart.
Trinidad dropped him twice in the 12th – the last time sickeningly. The fight was stopped.
Two years later, Vargas got his second chance at immortality when he met old rival De La Hoya. It followed the same pattern as Vargas' fight with Trinidad: El Feroz hurt his opponent early, but faded down the stretch. By the 11th, he was fighting on courage – and De La Hoya put him down. A few seconds later, a barrage prompted the end.
The fight was stopped.
Vargas fought well against two of the great fighters of his generation. But there were more than a few people who thought, after the Campas fight, that Vargas would be one of the greats.
As it turns out, Vargas will probably be remembered as very good – certainly nothing wrong with that. And the Campas fight will be Vargas' masterpiece. And there's nothing wrong with that, either.
* * *
So what does it all mean? It could mean a great fight Saturday night. Whenever a pair of former stars hook up, it often translates into a good fight, regardless of how badly they have faded. It happened with Ali and Frazier in 1975. It happened with Hearns and Leonard in 1989.
Some of the ability may be gone, but these two still have something to prove.
So look for Vargas to ditch that stick-and-move style and come after Mosley. And look for Mosley to trade with him.
It should result in one last, thrilling night on the big stage for a couple of former big names.
02-24-2006, 01:21 PM
* * * * * * * *
Vargas-Mosley Fight Predictions from Sweet Science
Live Saturday night from the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and brought to you by Golden Boy Promotions, Main Events and HBO PPV, Fernando Vargas meets Shane Mosley in a junior middleweight bout for no title or discernible reason. Both men, although past their primes, still possess some marquee value, but this is a fight that might have had meaning years ago; now it means what it means.
Recently, HBO replayed some of Mosley and Vargas' earlier fights – Vargas against Bazooka and Mosley against Oscar, and it's amazing how different Vargas and Mosley look now. Vargas used to fight going backward, taking little steps as he whipped lefts and rights at his target. The same goes for Mosley. These guys were great boxer-punchers who were so patient and expert, it's sad to watch them now. Vargas' reflexes are really gone. He looks as hesitant as Michael Grant was after Lennox destroyed him: unsure of himself, mentally and physically worn out. The same goes for Mosley. Both follow their opponents around the ring now, struggling to figure out how to win. Now that they're fighting each other, I expect Mosley to figure out Vargas first. Actually, I think Shane is going to take one look at Vargas and then jump on him when he realizes he has a dead in front of him. Mosley TKO 5.
Over the last two years, Mosley and Vargas have often been punching contradictions. One minute they look good, seemingly on the verge of reclaiming their championship form, and the next they are struggling to beat the David Estradas and Raymond Jovals of the world. Which makes this a tough call. But, it appears as though, physically, Mosley still has the speed and quickness that marked his prime. For "Sugar Shane", it seems to be a question of confidence – confidence that was ripped away by Vernon Forrest four years ago. Mosley hasn't really taken a beating, except maybe that first Forrest fight. Vargas has, and his decline may be more a result of cumulative physical damage. He has absorbed the best punches from the best punchers of his generation – Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya. After those two wars, it would be difficult for anybody to rebound. Based on that, you've got to give the edge to Mosley. But Vargas will be there every step of the way, which should make this a good scrap between two former stars – one slightly more faded than the other – in the vein of Hearns-Leonard 2. Mosley by split decision.
Fernando Vargas left a bitter taste in the mouth of spectators. He's been conservative. Sluggish almost describes it. The boos he received from the Allstate Arena crowd in
Chicago after beating Javier Castillejo were overwhelming, which was evident in Vargas press conference afterward. He blamed the performance on struggling to make weight. Well, that is part of the job, albeit it a difficult task. Something tells me Vargas is going to be in shape for Mosley. That may be wishful thinking on my part, but it's a gut feeling that Vargas will earn the decision … Come on, it's a Jesse Cox gut decision, when has that ever been wrong?
Jesse K. Cox
Vargas had to come too far down in weight and it shows. He looks like Popeye's girlfriend, Olive Oyl. He might start strong, but I expect him to fade. Mosley will probably have a nice meal just before weighing in. If he gets past the first few rounds, he wins by decision.
HBO will rebroadcast the Mosley-Vargas fight next Sat., March 4, as part of the live Cotto-Branco show. That is their plan to compete with the more important live card on Showtime that same night, headlined by Lacy-Calzaghe. But Showtime will win that fight as well, at least in terms of providing a meaningful and quality show.
Look for the conditioning and hand speed of Shane Mosley to come through in the later rounds – and there will be later rounds! – as he takes a decision from Fernando Vargas.
In a strange way this fight might be decided by will, the application of dedicated intent to see a fight plan to conclusion. One can argue that there's a bit of Ali-Frazier III about Vargas-Mosley happening in 2006. Three years ago this fight would have been between two fighters struggling mentally and physically. They are great fighters diminished, each seeking retribution for lost time, in a sense, fighters still capable of the belief that they are elite fighters awaiting a comprehensive return of form. That kind of self-assertion often translates into higher than expected performance levels, especially when both fighters are at the same level, or very close to it. How long can Mosley box with disciplined speed? And can Vargas bring his combination hitting rate up to something like his best? If each brings about 80% of their best, there again, we have parity. The guy who wears down mentally first will find himself under the gun and each of them understands that. They may not talk openly about it, but they do understand that keeping it together mentally will go a long way to securing enough rounds to win over the 12. I find it hard to picture a short fight in this one. Look for it to go 12, with the last 4 rounds telling the tale. If it does end before 12, it will be stopped by the referee in the 9th, 10th or 11th.
Reports were circulating that Vargas tipped the Holy Toledos! at 200 pounds around the holidays and then a full two weeks before the fight was down to the 154-pound limit. For a guy who always had trouble making weight I don't remember seeing Vargas so light, so early, as a good sign. He may have left his best fight in the gym and if he is a half step behind Shane it will be a long night. Too bad this bout wasn't made 5+ years ago, but it is still an interesting battle at this stage, although for different reasons. Mosley likely will be more comfortable at 154 than Vargas and I think El Feroz is longer in the tooth ring-wise due to his layoffs and injuries. It has been 8 fights and 4 years since we saw Mosley knock anyone out as his "power boxing" was much more productive at the lower weights. Remember though, Sugar Shane, although no longer sweet, has only lost to two fighters (Wright and Forrest twice each) and has fought better opposition. I don't think Vargas can implement the strategy that those two used, not at this point in his career, and Mosley will come on later in the fight to take the late rounds and win.
Vargas always has trouble with the big guns. Whether or not Mosley could still be construed as a big gun is open to conjecture. Both have a lot to prove. Mosley will prove that he's still a viable entity by beating Vargas in a tough close fight. Mosley by decision.
No major titles are at stake, but careers definitely at stake as Vargas and Mosley face-off in a battle of former champions who've seemingly passed their prime. Vargas seems the bigger question mark with his weight issues and inactiveness over the past couple years, but he'll be fighting to save a once golden career so the desperation should be there.
Mosley can no longer sustain his place in boxing by living off the old glory of beating Oscar years ago. After losing decisively to both Forrest and Wright twice, Mosley's on the verge of slipping out of the sport if he loses to Vargas. So this is a big fight in its own right and it'll be interesting to see who the sharper and more desperate fighter will be. My guess is that Sugar Shane will rise to the occasion and beat Vargas in a decision. He still has speed and can move pretty well so I don't see an older Vargas who has slowed considerably and hasn't fought a quality fighter like Mosley in years catching up to him and doing any major damage. One thing's for sure as long as there's a clear winner...one fighter's career will be damaged considerably.
I know this fight has been anticipated for years, but it is really hard to get excited about two fighters who have not looked impressive since 2001. It is even harder to justify paying $44.95 to watch them duke it out. All hype aside, Fernando Vargas is younger, bigger, stronger, and much more natural at junior middleweight than Shane Mosley. If he can put together a complete fight, Vargas should have no trouble coming away with a decision. Vargas by unanimous decision.
Both these cats are of the age and/or have sustained such wear and tear that I have but one wish for this fight: that no one is harmed irreparably. Must be gettin' too soft for this duty.....That aside, Mosley doesn't have the pop to worry Feroz that much. Fernando should be able to do much of what he wants to Shane, and overpower him as the rounds tick away. Vargas comes away with a unanimous decision, and is again a player in several divisions.
02-24-2006, 01:34 PM
Mosley needs to recapture his past
By Ron Borges from The Boston Globe
John David Jackson believes Shane Mosley in recent years has forgotten who he is. With the most important fight of his life looming tomorrow night, Jackson must convince the former lightweight and welterweight champion of something neither Mosley's father nor his well-respected trainer, Joe Goossen, could -- that he is not what he thinks he is.
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If Jackson can succeed, perhaps Mosley will find a way to avoid Fernando Vargas's savage attacks for 12 rounds and defeat him. If Jackson fails, or, more to the point, if Mosley, 34, fails to listen, tomorrow night's HBO pay-per-view telecast might be the final big fight of his career.
''He had become a puncher, a one-punch knockout artist," said Jackson, a former world champion who in recent years has become a trainer. ''You have to remember when he was a lightweight, he threw combinations and body shots. He got away from that at 147 and 154. He became this one-punch knockout artist.
''[The people around him] let him believe that, but either you're a born puncher or you're not. He was a great combination puncher but not a one-punch knockout artist. He bulked up by using weights and it slowed him down a little bit and he got away from what he does best. The last couple of fights I worked with him, we were working on more combinations, but I know they don't expect combinations for this fight."
That's because the combinations did not return against Vernon Forrest in 2002, when Jack Mosley was still in charge, or in two losses to Winky Wright (in 2004), or in two unimpressive victories over David Estrada and Jose Luis Cruz last year.
Perhaps more important, what hasn't come back is the punching power Mosley exhibited at 135 pounds, power that remained when he went to 147 to defeat Oscar De La Hoya in 2000. But as Mosley began to go up in weight -- and age -- his power and speed began to desert him, gone to the point it has been 4 1/2 years since he's stopped anyone.
Mosley's last knockout came at the expense of Adrian Stone July 21, 2001. Since then, he's lost four times, fought a no-contest against Raul Marquez, and won three decisions, the last two over Estrada and Cruz. Now he steps in with Vargas, a two-time junior middleweight champion who at 28 is also at a crossroads, knowing he must defeat Mosley impressively to have any hope of fighting De La Hoya one more time, which is Vargas's obsessive goal.
Mosley is past the point of worrying about De La Hoya. When you have not knocked someone out in nearly five years, it seems ludicrous to think you're still a ''knockout artist."
Mosley never understood that despite twice outpointing De La Hoya, it didn't make him De La Hoya, a mistake that cost him millions and garnered him two one-sided beatings from Wright, an opponent his then-promoter Gary Shaw urged him to avoid. After the last Wright beating, Mosley fired Shaw and his father.
Now Jackson is trying to reason with Mosley. He has told Mosley (41-4, 35 KOs) the way to beat Vargas is to use his speed and to be patient, as De La Hoya did when he stopped Vargas in the 11th round in 2002. That night, De La Hoya wore Vargas down (despite some tough moments early) and beat him up. Jackson believes Mosley can do the same but he knows to do so, Mosley needs to put his ego aside.
''He's going to shock Vargas and knock him out," Jackson said this week. ''He's going to throw combinations. He has no choice. When he was a lightweight, he beat guys with debilitating punches and body shots. When you're fighting a guy that is coming up [in weight], he's not going to be as big a puncher."
Jackson's words are wise but Mosley hasn't thrown combinations in nearly half a decade. Jackson insists this fight will be different than the past eight (in which Mosley has gone 3-4-1 with his second win over De La Hoya a disputed decision), and perhaps he's right. Maybe ''Just Plain" Shane (he is ''Sugar" no more) finally has learned who he is. Then again, maybe he'll prove to be ''Same" Mosley rather than Shane Mosley. Either way, Jackson acknowledges his fighter has another problem to deal with.
''I can't see Shane throwing blistering combinations like when he was younger, but you have to throw punches," Jackson said. ''He no longer uses the weights now and that was a slow process, but he's throwing [more] punches now. He hasn't done that in so long but we're getting back to that style.
''I don't see Shane throwing five-punch combinations. He can't do that at 34. Now he'll throw three or four well-placed shots. But you can't stay there and admire your handiwork. You can't beat Father Time but you can become a smarter fighter. He's an older fighter but a much smarter fighter."
02-25-2006, 01:40 PM
Vargas is too big and strong. Plus Mosley can't hang with the big boys. Either Mosley moves down in weight or retires. If Vargas works the body early I see a late round stoppage. If not He'll still win by UD.
02-25-2006, 08:07 PM
Star Power: Mosley-Vargas Preview
by Phil Woolever from Sweet Science
Of the many big fights lined up in what so far has been a banner year for professional boxing, Shane Mosley against Fernando Vargas at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas tonight is perhaps the biggest attraction of the blossoming bunch.
While Vargas versus Mosley will be one of those events that brings out the beautiful people, there isn’t any certainty that these enduring entertainers will combine styles and shots in a spectacular manner. In fact, it’s just as likely the boys will put on a skillful but anti-climactic clinic on how not to lose.
Then again, it could very well be one of the best beat-downs Vegas has seen in over a month. That would be maintaining quite a standard, considering Manny Pacquiao – Erik Morales II happened just up the street a few weeks ago.
While a level of sustained fury equal to that 130 pound epic is unlikely, if junior middleweights Mosley, 41-4 (35), and Vargas, 26-2 (22), throw with abandon, the result could be even more dramatic, considering the star power involved.
Everything about the promotion has been first-class up to this point, in another showcase in which both men behaved like gentlemen.
“I’ve always had total respect for Fernando,” said Mosley. “I’ve watched him throughout his career and I’ve admired his heart and his courage. He never gives up and he always gives 100%. That’s why I believe its going to be a great fight.”
“I’m really excited about this fight,” echoed Vargas. “Shane Mosley is a great fighter. I respect Shane. I like Shane. Every time I’ve seen him it’s been nothing but love. But come the twenty-fifth, there’s no friends in this game.”
Now, if the gentlemen will just pound the crap out of each other, almost everybody watching will really be happy. But don’t count on that big leather-swapping scenario. The odds of one guy coming out way ahead are substantial, but this pairing doesn’t look anything like the type that unfolds as a give-and-take war of attrition.
At this point all our totally fallible signs point to Mosley winning by a comfortable margin. Style-wise, the 34-year-old Mosley seems to have more of his basic strengths intact.
By the time we get to Vegas, the Fates will be whispering for the naturally bigger Vargas by knockout, loud.
This is one of those fights, ala James Toney – Evander Holyfield, that figures to point to an obvious winner, but only once they’ve come to the scratch line. Weigh-ins don’t always offer the clearest clues. Every once in a while, it all becomes conking crystal clear during the walk into the arena. Some last second wagers made after watching fighters enter the ring have benefited from that intangible vibe. Such scenes are what the pinnacle is all about.
The principles are certainly both fan favorites. Either could still possess enough skill to up the ante in categories of both Fight and Fighter of the Year for 2006.
Personal observation of each highly likeable contestant make this one of those matchups that one can’t wait to see, but where you hate to see either guy lose. We got no problem with classic draws in a case like this.
In the trivia department, it’s probably the biggest fight in which the co-stars have each fought the promoter. Looking at Oscar De La Hoya as the common denominator, one would have to pick Mosley to win, but this fight is nowhere near that simple. That’s not to say it couldn’t be.
Mosley’s statements regarding Vargas being unprepared for Mosley’s strength rang logical, confident, and true. If they wrestle inside, the 28-year-old Vargas’s back could give out, or get wrenched in some new direction.
Mosley fought very well against widely recognized pound-for-pound lobbyist Winky Wright for 24 rounds not too long ago, in 2004. Excepting Wright’s early missteps, maybe the only person to perform better against his prime form is Vargas, but that was during the last millennium.
Recently, in two times out over the past year, after around eighteen months away due to back related problems and other general ailments, Vargas has worked his way up from Ray Joval in March ’05 to Javier Castillejo in August.
Mosley’s pair of ’05 wins, against Jose Luis Cruz and David Estrada, are not as meaningful.
Vargas may have been roundly criticized after his lackluster victories, but along the way he also got in 20 rounds of quality icebreaking. Vargas comes into this fight fully aware that his fistic legacy is on the line. As March Madness approaches, we may see a little Ferocious lunacy at just the right time, like a perfectly peaking NCAA tournament Cinderella.
For that matter, Mosley too has both big future career earnings and a long-term legacy at stake. If it’s just business as usual to Shane, Vargas may take care of it for him.
Some prominent observers have voiced opinions that this is one of those affairs that arrive too late. No doubt it might have been a better brawl in 2002, but then again, if the boys have indeed slowed down considerably, it could make for more give and take. Each man may get far more opportunities, but he may also be more wide open. Aging bulls die the hardest.
Vargas has reportedly had injuries since he broke his hand just prior to his scheduled pro debut in November of ‘96. Most recently, chronic back and related problems kept him from training and cashing in further on his popularity. The point is, he’s dealt with it.
Handicapping this bout involves as much tit for tat as comparisons between the various casino hostesses at each VIP section.
Each man had an outstanding amateur career. Pedigree is equal.
Vargas took his first noteworthy title from Yory Boy Campas in December of ’98. In a relative power rating that includes hindsight, Campas comes out stronger than Philip Holiday, Mosley’s first big mark in August of 1997.
Since then, each man has had comparable ups and downs. In our book, mileage is equal. Mosley has more left in the tank. Vargas can easily run him off the road. So it goes, until the first bell.
Here’s the closest we can come to breaking it down: The chance of Mosley winning by unanimous decision is fifty percent. The chance of Vargas winning by mid-rounds TKO is forty percent. The chance of just about anything else happening between them this side of a broke-back mountain is ten percent.
“I was in camp with Mr. Mosley for his rematch with De La Hoya,” said Vargas’ trainer Danny Smith. “He trains very, very hard. But Fernando is prepared.”
“I look forward to showing a new offense come this fight,” promises Vargas. “I don’t think he’s as fast as he was before. In my last fight I had to lose forty pounds in eleven weeks, and four pounds the day of the weigh in. I went into the sauna for an hour and had to be carried to my room. So I was shot in the first round. Now my knowledge about conditioning and what to eat is way better.”
“I can’t wait and I know he can’t,” smiled Mosley, “It’s a California thing now. He’s just not gonna go away. I’m in great shape because I know it’s going to be a hard fight. I know I’m ready. He better be ready.”
By the time the clock strikes midnight this weekend at Mandalay Bay, we’ll know whom the ringside bell tolled for. After this engagement, word of what happened will not stay in Vegas.
05-01-2006, 07:35 PM
I see Fernando being all the way ready for this fight Mosley didn't even want it he was forced to have to fight Vargas again. At this point I see why Vargas was moving Mosley like a rag and the fight is at the same weight. Vargas has to watch when Mosley comes in because he was coming in head first. I think Vargas now knows Mosley can't hurt him and will go after him. Fernando was also to cautious going into this first fight where he wont be as much this time around in the second fight.
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