Mosley vs. Wright: A Style Thing

BY Frank Lotierzo ON March 11, 2004
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This weekend boxing fans should see a very intriguing Jr. Middleweight title fight between Shane Mosley and Winky Wright. The compelling thing about this fight is the style match up and contrast of the two fighters. It always comes down to styles doesn't it. That is one cliche that is not over used in boxing, ever. The style of two fighter's usually always plays a major role in how a fight will turn out and how exciting or dull it will be. Assuming both are in top condition and refuse to accept defeat.

Here's my advice to Mosley, "bring your A-game and put the pressure on Winky and try to make it a fight." If Mosley is lazy and allows Wright to make it a boxing match from the outside, we'll either have a disputed decision in a very close fight, or Wright will score an upset? There is little doubt that Wright is definitely capable of making Mosley look bad and beating him.

I happen to be someone who enjoys watching Mosley fight, but I must admit that its been frustrating sometimes lately. Shane has all the ability in the world. He has extremely fast hands and used to throw three and four punch combinations. On top of that, he can punch a little bit.

The problem with Mosley is that sometimes he does not use all of his physical skills to their optimum? Lately it seems that he's looking to land the one big shot, instead of going out and setting it up. It's imperative against Wright that Mosley cuts off the ring and gets inside and lets his hands go. Something he was not consistent in doing in his rematch with Oscar De La Hoya.

I don't want to get into the Mosley-De La Hoya scoring debate. But I believe that De La Hoya won the fight 7-5 in rounds. However, I believe that it was more of a case of what Mosley didn't do, than it was due to what De La Hoya did do. In other words, Mosley let it slip away more than De La Hoya took it from him. Other than the ninth round and some of the later rounds, Mosley let De La Hoya keep the fight at ring center and let him get off first. Something he shouldn't do versus Winky Wright.

What bodes well for Mosley in this upcoming fight with Wright is, Winky is not a big puncher. On top of that Mosley has a very good chin. So Shane should not have any reservation about applying the pressure and letting his hands go. If you have no fear that your opponent can really hurt you, then there is no excuse for Mosley not to push the fight. Especially if that type of aggressive attack will virtually guarantee him the win. Which would seem to be the case for Mosley.

I think this fight, like most will come down to who can impose their will on the other. Wright has to keep it a boxing contest and not let Mosley lure him into heated exchanges. Wright does have a good chin so if he chooses to go at Mosley in spots to confuse him, he should be OK. However, he can't get happy with himself and stay in front of him if he wins a few of those exchanges. Since Mosley recently has been looking to load up, and throw one punch at a time, Wright should keep his feet moving and his jab working in order to keep Shane one step behind him. This is the best strategy for Winky, boxing not running, but holding his ground in certain spots on his terms.

For Mosley, he should fight every round versus Wright like he did the ninth round versus De La Hoya. If he can sustain that pace and work the body and take Wright's legs, he should be in good shape down the stretch. It's key for Shane to set the pace and cut off the ring. He must force Winky into a fight where he's more trying to make it through and survive, than he is winning. And by keeping the fight inside, he'll nullify Wright's southpaw stance.

With a possible huge showdown with Felix Trinidad on the horizon, this is a very tough fight for Mosley at this time. Winky is no pushover and knows what he's doing in the ring. He also has longed for the type big name opponent that Mosley represents to him. I'm sure Wright will bring his A-game to this one.

In the end, I think Mosley's strength and hand speed will be the difference. I don't think Mosley will stop Wright, but there is too much on the line for me to pick against him. Mosley wins, but he'll need his best stuff and can't go looking for one shot. He's got to pressure Wright and keep his hands moving in order to insure the victory, most likely by decision.

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