By Superstar Billy Graham
During the last few months of this year, The Superstar and many boxing fans witnessed several upsets in boxing and near upsets. Victor Ortiz who was a heavy underdog against undefeated Andre Berto, defeated the fast heavy punching Andre Berto which could be named fight of the year. Another upset in that same night was Orlando Salido defeating #1 ranked featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez. This defeat was even more impressive when Salido knocked out also heavily favored JuanMa Lopez in the round. Also in that same night again, another heavily favored James Kirkland was knocked out by the 2nd round by light puncher Nobuhiro Ishida. Kirkland who then was sporting an impressive 27-0 record with 24 going by way of knock out. Many thought this would be an easy cake walk for Kirkland but unfortunately nobody told Ishida. It took Ishida only 2 rounds to knock out James “Mandingo” Kirkland. Nobody in the boxing world would have predicted that. That same month of April, another heavy favored fighter, David Lemieux was expected to have an easy opponent of Marco Antonio Rubio. Most everyone picking Lemieux who was also undefeated with a 24-0 record to easily dispose of Rubio. Instead Lemieux was knocked out in the 7th round. People were already proclaiming “the year of the upsets”. So many thought the tradition of upsets would continue, and many were picking Shane Mosley would pull off the biggest upset of the year by defeating the fighting Congressman and current #1 Pound for Pound fighter in the world, Manny Pacquiao. Even though Manny Pacquiao was heavily favored to win this bout, many boxing experts believed Shane has the capability of pulling off an upset due to Manny Pacquiao would suit his style of fighting and this was the type of fight that will benefit the bigger Shane Mosley who is also known for his speed and power. Shane rest assured the world in Fight Camp 360, he will no doubt knock out the Pacman. Even during the first promotional tour of the fight, Shane was commenting on how small Manny was when they were standing next to each other. Shane believed his size, power,and speed would be too much for Manny to overcome and predicting a knockout. Unfortunately, by fight night, all those predictions and chest pumping by Shane Mosley fell by wayside. It never materialized.
When Shane Mosley got to taste Manny Pacquiao’s power on the 3rd round, which lead to a knock down, Shane immediately knew Manny’s intention was to send him to the hospital. At that point, Shane didn’t want any part of Manny Pacquiao, abandoned his game plan going toe to toe and instead used plan F (flee), run and hug. It was the most deplorable action by a prize fighter. Shane was in complete survival mode, unwilling to exchange with the smaller fighter whom he though he would dominate. Instead, Shane feared Manny’s punch so much that during the post interview he made it known to everyone Manny’s power is something he has never felt before in his boxing career. And listening to Shane very closely, he wanted no part of it after the 3rd round knockdown. It was unbecoming of a legendary future hall of famer. He went from Shane to Shame that same night. Everyone expected this future hall of famer to leave his shield in the ring and fight like a warrior. Instead, we all witnessed a fighter who became an unwilling opponent to the world #1 fighter. Unwilling to fight. Unwilling to show everyone he still has it. Unwilling to respect his opponent by giving him the best that he has. Unwilling to give the boxing and its fans the best entertainment. Only one fighter was willing to try to entertain the fans, and it was ONLY MANNY PACQUIAO.
People were critical when Manny fought Antonio Margarito, but the fight was highly entertaining. Margarito despite having only one eye most throughout the fight, fought valiantly by continuing to go forward and fight. Margarito never wanted to stop the fight despite by the 7th round his right eye was completely shut. We must give Margarito his due, he left his shield on the ring and gave Manny and the fans great respect by giving it his all despite having only one eye by the end of the night.
Erik Morales, should be voted as the inspirational fighter of the year. The fight between Erik Morales vs Marcos Maidana, was thought to be a lopsided bout between an aging just out of retirement Erik Morales going against a young bull and heavy punching Marcos Maidana. Maidana at that time was ranked #3 light welterweight in the world. Possessing at that time an impressive 30-1 record with 27 going by way of knock out, an eye popping 84%. We all thought this was going to be a major beatdown of epic proportion. Even Bob Arum was concerned of his former fighter. Instead what we all witnessed, was a fight that defied the world. Morales after being heavily battered at the first round sustained a right eye injury that swelled to a grotesque size. It really looked like Morales had a tumor on his eye. But despite having one eye throughout the whole fight, he went on and fought like a warrior. Nearly pulling the biggest upset of the year. Many thought and The Superstar himself, believed Morales won this fight unanimously. This is what true legendary prize fighters do, fight valiantly and leave your shield in the ring. Unfortunately, Shane does not possess the warrior’s heart anymore.. The Superstar believes SHAME MOSLEY should retire and never fool the fight fans into believing in him again. The Superstar once believed in Shane but this time, Shane failed himself but more importantly he failed boxing. There is no excuse to not give the best fighter in the world your best. NO EXCUSE!!! Instead Shane was more preoccupied with not getting hurt and protecting that false ” never being knocked out” record. Which The Superstar believes is now tainted. The Superstar and many boxing fans will never respect Shane’s record of never being knocked out. Running and hugging throughout the fight, is the cowards way to preserving this meaningless record. This was a very selfish act by Shane. And sadly, many boxing fans including The Superstar have lost respect for Sugar Shane Mosley. A time we all thought would never happen.
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