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By Jim Cawkwell
Saturday, July 12th 2003
Las Vegas USA
WBC/WBA World Welterweight titles.
|Seven pounds and several degrees of commitment and entertainment beneath the main event to be discussed shortly, Zab Judah relieved Demarcus Corley of his WBO championship in a bout that saw both men turn in unexpectedly subdued performances.|
The surprisingly risk deprived affair left me wishing I had been able to witness the pairs public brawl weeks earlier, that would surely have yielded more passion and intent.
After all, in true Jerry Springer style, it would make more sense for two smack-talking, superlative slinging individuals such as those two to throw caution to the wind in full knowledge of their imminent separation.
|However, the fighting spirits of the main event players cannot be called into question.|
Ricardo Mayorga has relentlessly smashed his way to victory in world championship fights on three occasions. Unfortunately for Vernon Forrest, the now definitely deposed ex-champion, who was the recipient of two of the three aforementioned smashings.
The problem for Forrest in all of this is that it was simply not in the brochure when he himself expertly dismantled the still somewhat derailed ex-pound for pounder Shane Mosley.
|No, instead it was the Nicaraguan slugger Mayorga who saved us all from yet another impeccably styled but fundamentally unmarketable superstar in the making.|
Mayorga replaced the gleaming smile and charity fund raisers with a Budweiser, matching cigar and fightin' words that would have made ol' Roberto Duran proud.
Again, what was so special about Mayorga's mega-mouthed promotion pitch pre-fight was the glaring reality that he held the catalyst to realizing it in his fists.
Two of my personal favourites were Mayorga's allusions to being upset that Forrest, "Didn't send me a Father's Day card," and also when he cordially invited everyone to, "Come out and see two great rounds of boxing."
How can you not love that?
|Forrest must also take his considerable accolades for making the rematch the cliffhanger it was.|
Infinitely depressing for him though is the fact that although Mayorga didn't live up to his boast entirely by knocking Forrest out again, he did outpoint him by a majority consensus.
Forrest fought cautiously at times and passionately at others but neither his diligent training and conditioning, technique, bravery or power could save him from his marauding conqueror.
Mayorga didn't fade badly late into the fight, after claiming five of the first six rounds and then losing the next few, he finished the fight strongly.
And in doing so he may have erased the myth of his supposedly wayward lifestyle out of the ring and gone some way to reversing the mindset of many that felt his habits would bring about his professional pugilistic demise.
|After all, alcohol consumption at least is indulged by many top professionals, not immediately after a fight of course but this may be more of "El Matador's" trickery. As he can excel in luring even the most schooled technicians into his domain in the ring, out of it, he allowed us to use our imaginations and assume the worst until he cleverly destroyed our false sense of security and exposed our penchant to pigeon-hole prizefighters.|
Although Mayorga's brash antics and irresistibly potent ring prowess would seem to lay a lucrative path to any promotion he is involved in, even with less inspiring opponents at welterweight such as Cory Spinks and Antonio Margarito, should we ask that cursed question again?
|And if Mayorga were to re-acquaint Vargas with the good old fashioned beating he's used to from elite company, what then?|
He may even obliterate his way to the summit of the non-heavyweight financial mountain against Oscar De La Hoya.
Whatever he does now though he has surely earned a greater portion of respect, on achievement alone Mayorga is a remarkable fighter.
I will personally be rooting for him as he is the antithesis of much that is wholly depressing and wrong in boxing today.
No court cases, no whining about money, he is pure entertainment from the press release to the punch-stats and precisely what boxing needs right now.
Read Lightning Strikes part one
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