Fighter of the Month:
Shane Mosley– In a tumultuous sea of personal and professional distractions, “Sugar” Shane found the high road and focused on executing new trainer Nazim Richardson’s gameplan to perfection in front of a less-than-friendly pro-Margarito crowd at the Staples Center. Over the course of less than 9 full rounds, Mosley did what few thought was possible: out-hussle, out-muscle and out-work the high-riding Antonio Margarito. And not only did Mosley defy the critics with his performance, he absolutely blew most of their minds by beating down and knocking out a fighter who was thought to have as close to a granite chin as humanly possible. Maybe it was a matter of brains over brawn, speed over muscle, maturity over bravado, but whatever the case, the 37 year old Mosley worked the perfect strategy and managed to dictate every aspect of the fight without Margarito ever even knowing what hit him.
A special nod, also, to Nazim Richardson for passing along his own spoiler-friendly gameplans and strategies to Mosley and for knowing enough to keep a close look at Margarito’s now-controversial hand wraps. In the best case scenario, Richardson got into Margarito’s head while balking about the wraps; In the worst case scenario, Richardson prevented Margarito from using plaster-laced wraps as a lethal weapon in the bout.
Bum of the Month:
Javier Capetillo– A trainer’s principle responsibility is to protect his fighter, and not just protect him from uneccessary abuse in a one-sided bout. A trainer’s supposed to protect his fighter from having his weaknesses exposed, from ridicule, from controversy; He’s supposed to make it so that everything his fighter does, related to the sport, is beyond reproach.
Capetillo failed on all counts- Sending an ill-prepared, prime, Antonio Margarito to be badly embarrassed in front of his biggest crowd ever- at the height of his popularity. Capetillo had no strategy, no plan and no back-up to what Mosley was doing to his fighter. (It’s a real condemnation of one’s skills as a trainer when his fighter’s entire defensive strategy is planned around the fact that he can withstand many, many flush shots without getting buzzed.)
Then, when his fighter is down and beaten, when there’s still a chance of ending the fight while keeping some dignity for his fighter, he lets Margarito go out, badly hurt, into the 9th to be further punished by Mosley.
And let’s not even talk about the controversial handwraps that were seized by the California State Athletic Comission. The spectre of those wraps has put into question everything his fighter has accomplished and if there’s anything other than blood, sweat and tears on those wraps, he just may have cost Margarito his livelihood.
The BTBC Thread of the Month:
Antonio Margarito vs. Shane Mosley Jan. 24
A Margarito vs. Mosley debate which shifted into Mayweather talk with some Cotto, Williams and Clottey thrown in for good measure. This heated debate took up 17 pages and showcased the BTBC’s collective ring intelligence by being split down the middle 9/9 in the poll on who would win…