Live Saturday night on HBO PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas lace up the gloves and do it a second time. Their first fight ended conclusively, it was an eye-popping early stoppage, but left many wanting more, especially from El Feroz. Tomorrow night the Oxnard, Calif. native gets another chance at redemption against Pomona’s favorite son. Neither man is the fighter he once was, but it’s like they say in the corrida de toros: the old bulls fight the hardest. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Mosley vs. Vargas II.
I didn't see their first fight (I saw Unity Young versus Chantel Cordova on ESPN, but I didn't see Mosley-Vargas I), but from watching highlights and through word of mouth, it seems as if the first match was...ok, I admit it: I really don't care who wins, nor do I have any thoughtful analyses on this fight. The reason I missed the first fight was partly because it hurts too much to watch two superbly talented fighters who regressed so much from their primes fight each other, capitalizing on their big names. In another exciting, topsy-turvy affair, Mosley by decision, though I'll be watching Unity Young-Cordova III in Manila.
Time is not on their side. But since Mosley and Vargas are at equal points in their declines, their second fight promises to be as competitive as their first. The first encounter ended in an unsatisfying stoppage as Vargas, one eye swollen shut, suffered a tenth round TKO loss. Fernando Vargas, always a warrior, was ready to continue, and, I believe, should have been allowed to continue, in a fight that was virtually even at the time of the stoppage. Veteran cutman Miguel Diaz is the newest addition to Vargas’ corner, but while he may be able to keep down the swelling, he will not be able to bring victory to Vargas. Vargas’ brutal knockout loss at the hands of Trinidad, and a later knockout loss to De La Hoya, have made him an old 28. Shane Mosley, older chronologically at 34 but without the toll of damaging ring wars on his body, will use his faster hands to outpoint a determined but not-so-ferocious Vargas. Mosley beats Vargas by close decision.
Mosley should do it again. Winning the first one gives him a slight mental edge. Also, it's got to be getting tougher for Vargas to make it down to 154. Losing those extra 30 pounds could take more out of him than it has in the past. I see Mosley winning by TKO again in the late rounds, maybe on a cut.
I think this will be a replay of their first encounter minus the swollen eye and stoppage. Shane will ultimately outwork "El Feroz" and win a twelve round unanimous decision.
Vargas can argue all he wants to about the ugly eye in their his skirmish but Shane is coming out on top again. And if it's a draw, we'll let their ladies take up the issue where they left off. And then- my money is on Jin Mosley.
Last time it was supposed to be a "crossroads" fight, whatever that means. I guess it's now a double-crossroads match. I liked Mosley last time, still do, but Vargas was better than I thought he'd be. In other words, Mosley is not worth laying 2-1, though I think he'll eke out a decision.
Vargas served a suspension in Nevada after he tested positive for steroids, and while Mosley never failed a test, neither did a lot of other people whose names, like his, surfaced in the BALCO probe. This would probably be a better fight if both guys were still on the juice, although if nothing else, their first fight demonstrated that they have slipped to a level that finds them more evenly matched than they would have been in their primes, when Shane would have boxed Vargas silly. In 2006, this is a fight more important for what happens to the loser than to the winner. Somebody is going to come out of this one an Opponent (with a capital O), and the likelihood is that it will be Vargas. Mosley by late-round TKO.
Shane Mosley has already stated that he will be moving back down to 147 after this rematch with Fernando Vargas, which in itself sets up a built-in excuse in case he falls short. I don't think he will lose, but I worry about his state of mind going into the fight knowing he won't stay at the weight regardless of the result. Vargas was the bigger man last time, will be again, and that is a factor as he was starting to use his strength to push Shane around as the first fight wore on. It seems that Mosley can make the fight much easier if he takes his shots, moving in and out, utilizing his hand-speed and overall quickness. He could do that, but we don't know if he will. It seems that Mosley has become a guy who throws one or two, most often one, shots at a time as he feels stronger with the added weight. While that may be true, the opponents he is facing are now stronger as well so one punch just won't get it done. With his dad Jack back on his side I hope to see Shane boxing and moving more as he continues to find a home for home for his right hand. Mosley was ahead 86-85, 86-85, 85-86 when the welt over Vargas' eye forced the first bout to be stopped. That was Mosley's first stoppage in his past 9 bouts and I expect this one to see a decision. It'll be close but Mosley will box his way to another win as this one goes to the cards.
Vargas has a lot to prove in this bout and even with only twenty-nine professional fights, he's definitely ringworn. He hasn't really had a big win since he defeated Winky Wright and while he's a game, exciting fighter, he probably doesn't have enough left in the tank to do what he couldn't in the first fight with Mosley – win. Mosley is too sharp and at a better place in his career than Vargas. Speed kills, thus, Mosley will shock Vargas and better his last performance by two rounds. Mosley TKO8.
In a fight reminiscent of their first encounter, Mosley will stop Vargas inside of 10 rounds. Mosley TKO 9.
There’s more to boxing than better skills and resolve. It’s about when the body betrays a fighter after years of punishment. When Fernando Vargas and Shane Mosley last fought, Ferocious was damn impressive in losing -- the bully was back. He threw his weight around…and then the elephant-man eye. You can hammer the dents out in the shop, but the chassis’s never the same. If it’s not Fernando’s eye or his back, it’ll be something else. Mosley’s hand will be raised in a weight-class he shouldn’t be in.
My first instinct is to be a wiseass....This card should be tagged "Mosley/Vargas 2: Who Really Cares, Besides The Two Guys Trying To Eke Out A Couple More Paydays." Is that excessively cynical? That said, Vargas is more damaged good than Mosley. A man with a bad back isn't a good man to bet on, even if the cranky region is supposedly strong. Mosley's foot and hand speed should still be superior to Vargas', and his speed will kill Vargas' chance for another high-profile shot at a title...