October 3, 2008

For “El Matador,” Loss is bittersweet

By El Gran Campeon

Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga couldn’t have selected a more appropriate anthem as he entered the ring to battle against “Sugar” Shane Mosley, one of the most renowned boxers, `last Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The song “El Matador” by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, tells the tale of a man who is on the run, after having his wild lifestyle catch up to him. For Ricardo Mayorga, the song embodies both his personal life, and his boxing career.

Before the fight, Mayorga claimed that he had not been able to step foot in his native soil of Nicaragua for almost two years due to two accusations. Despite the fact that he has reached success in the United States, he has accumulated an array of outstanding debts in his hometown, resulting in the writing of bad checks, and has also been accused of failing to pay a car salesman for four new cars he had agreed to pay for. Last week, in an interview with La Prensa Nicaragua, Mayorga addressed the issue stating, “I have had these difficulties (referring to his debts) but I’ve tried to come out ahead. What happened is that I haven’t been able to return home due to the debts, but after I defeat Mosley, I will pay what I owe and I will return to Nicaragua. I miss my country a lot. It is where I grew up, and I want to return.”

Leading up to the fight, Mayorga was up to his usual antics. A couple of day’s earlier at the prefight press conference; he had reiterated his claim of promising to knock Mosley out. Mayorga, the 7- 1 underdog would have to face the music in front of a hostile crowd, that was there to support the hometown boy, Pomona’s own Shane Mosley .

It was apparent from the beginning of the fight, that this was not the same Matador that we had seen in previous fights. From the opening bell Mayorga appeared to be the more focused fighter. Mayorga’s wild style stymied Mosley, as a result El Matador would go on to win the first couple of rounds. In the fourth round, the tide began to turn as Mosley began to figure out the wild man. Mayorga was stunned by a straight right hand, followed by a laser left hook, shifting the momentum to Mosley’s favor.

Shane would go on to sweep the middle rounds, before Mayorga caught a second win in the eighth and ninth rounds. When asked about Mayorga’s resurgence in the fight, Mosley stated “I slowed down a bit, because I was watching out for overhand right’s and uppercuts.” Mosley also attributed his lack of production in the eighth and ninth rounds to “two big blood blisters” that had developed on his feet. In rounds 9 through 11, Mosley simply outboxed the man from Nicaragua, landing his combinations at will. In the 12th, Mosley gave the crowd of 5,798 what they came to see compliments of a stunning left hook putting Mayorga away for good with one second remaining in the fight.

Entering the final round, Mayorga was actually ahead by one point on Judge Pat Russell’s scorecard. After the fight an exhausted Mayorga stated “I was proud of the way Shane came to fight, he didn’t run. I thought I was doing well and I came out to win the 12th, but he caught me. I will tell you one thing he hit harder than I thought.”

In the wake of this most recent loss, Mayorga could find solace in one thing. The $500,000 purse he received for fighting Mosley will help him pay off his debts and get him back home to his beloved Nicaragua.

EL GRAN CHISME

Margarito the rock star: The “Tijuana Tornado” Antonio Margarito has officially reached rock star status. When Margarito arrived at the Home Depot Center last Saturday night, he was met with a thunderous applause. Margarito had a hard time walking to his seat, as he was mobbed by fans asking for pictures and autographs. The response upstaged the festivities at the arena, prompting everyone in attendance to turn and watch the spectacle. Margarito was met with a similar response in Puerto Rico this past August, where he was a ringside guest for the bout between Hugo Cazares, and Ivan Calderon.

Little big men to do battle in Carson: Cristian Mijares (36-3-16 KO’s) and Armenian Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (30-1-24 KOs) will battle for Jr. Bantamweight supremacy on November 1st. Mexico’s Esto Newspaper is reporting that the fight will take place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Cristian Mijraes’s WBC and WBA titles will be at stake, with Vic Darchinyan making the 1st defense of his IBF title that he won this past August.

“King Kong” ain’t got nothing on Arreola: Mexican-American heavyweight Cristobal “The Nightmare” Arreola, defeated his opponent Israel “King Kong” Garcia, via TKO at the Socoba Casino in San Jacinto last Thursday. Garcia pretty much became target practice for Arreola (25-0 22KOs), as Arreola was able to land vicious combinations at will, prompting the referee to call the fight in the third round. The bigger story surrounding the bout was Arreola’s weight. Arreola came into the fight weighing 258 pounds, 20 pounds heavier then his previous fight this past June. When asked about the weight gain, Arreola jokingly stated “I need to get back to the gym and put down the weights, and the burritos.” For Arreola this bout was simply a way for him to stay busy. The win sets up a match with a possible top ten opponent in November.

Mexicano Sosa extends win streak to 21: Edgar Sosa defeated Filipino challenger Sonny Boy Jaro, to retain his WBC light flyweight title last Saturday night in Mexico. Despite being knockdown in the 9th round, Sosa stuck to his game plan of fighting a smart technical battle. It would pay off as Sosa would cruise to a win via unanimous decision. The win marked Sosa’s 21st straight victory; his last loss came in 2003 when he lost a close decision to fellow Mexican Ulises Solis.

Hotter than pan caliente? As expected, tickets for the “Dream match” between Oscar De La Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao sold-out quickly. It was reported that all 16,000 seats for the fight had sold out in just two hours. There is no question that the sales would be this well, although some reports stated that only 500 tickets were available to boxing fans. If that is the case, than that is unacceptable. With Oscar, and Manny being the two most popular fighters on the planet, both Golden Boy Promotions, and Top Rank Promotions must to do a better job in making sure that fans are not shut out of a fight of this magnitude

DVD on the real “Gran Campeon”: A DVD was released this past Tuesday that chronicles the life of Mexico’s greatest fighter Julio Cesar Chavez. The documentary, which was directed by Mexican actor Diego Luna gives an in depth look at Chavez’s life in and out of the ring. It tells the story of how Chavez’s humble beginnings gave him the motivation to become one of the sports all time greats. Some of the best scenes in the film are the candid moments that he shares with his son Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. The film also tells the story of how Chavez’s role in boxing transcended into Mexico’s political scene. The film made it’s U.S. debut last year at Robert Deniro’s Tribecca film festival, and includes interviews with Don King, Oscar De La Hoya, and former President of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortani.

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