Other than Ali, the only other past greats who I could see beating Foreman at his best are Jim Jeffries and Joe Louis. I don't want to hear that Jimmy Young beat him, or that Young was a slick boxer and that's why he beat Foreman. Young didn't fight the same Foreman that Frazier and Ali did in 1973-74! The Foreman of 1977, the year he fought Young, was no where close to being the same fighter of 1973-74!
Anyone who closely followed his career back then either knows this or just flat-out ignores the fact that Foreman wasn't the same fighter after Ali. Foreman at his best, (1973-74) would have gone through Jimmy Young in three rounds. Foreman's supposed lack of stamina never would have been an issue. Young would not have been around long enough to see Foreman tire. Some say Ali showed Foreman was vulnerable to a good boxer. What is often overlooked is that Ali had to endure monumental punishment before he could go on the offensive against Foreman. No other heavyweight boxer in history could have stood up to the punishment Foreman inflicted on Ali to be around long enough to box him.
Foreman also showed in his comeback that he was a man among men, not to mention that he won the title from the man who beat the man at age 45. He also showed that in his forties, the best fighter of this generation, Holyfield, could only out speed and out score him. Foreman withstood a prime Holyfield's assault better than Mike Tyson did under an eroded Holyfield's assault, despite getting hit with more hard and clean punches. Foreman of 1973-74 goes through Holyfield and Lewis, and he mutilates Tyson. I know that will infuriate some, but that's what I wholeheartedly believe. And I've looked at it from every possible angle, and could never be swayed to see it differently. If you don't see it that way and think one of them, or all three of them, could have beaten the Foreman who fought Frazier and Ali, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Now that I have paid my respects to Foreman the fighter, it's time to rebuke the man/commentator. Foreman amazes me sometimes. Never have I ever heard a color man make so many ridiculous comments during a fight, and then in the next sentence say something absolutely brilliant. The funny thing regarding Foreman is that he does the color providing the strategy for each fighter to follow. This comes from a fighter of whom Richard Pryor once commented, "George has a unique boxing style, none! Which one the referee, cause I'm gonna kill the other mother F'r". What strategy and game plan did Foreman ever follow, especially in his first career in the late 60's and 70's?
Foreman said something after the Chris Byrd-Fres Oquendo fight that really irked me. When Jim Lampley turned to Foreman and asked for his final thoughts on the fight, Foreman said that Byrd should be a man and admit that he lost. Then, he used the Joe Louis-Jersey Joe Walcott first fight as an example. He said that Louis left the ring before the decision was announced because he thought he lost. Excuse me! How about George Foreman practicing what he preaches?
First of all, Byrd admitted to Larry Merchant that he thought the fight could easily have gone to Oquendo. Has George Foreman ever done that? No! He said that Byrd should tell it like it is. Well, what about him? Does he tell it like it is? Did he say anything close to that after he fought Alex Stewart, a fight most observers felt he lost? No! Did he say anything close to that after he fought Axel Schulz, another fight most observers thought he lost? Hell No!
How dare George Foreman scold Chris Byrd for not saying he lost a fight for which he was awarded the decision. It's funny how Foreman says that HBO has the best boxing judges that money can..., and then he stops and says HBO has the best judges. Of course he was insinuating that the decision was bought by Don King. If my memory serves me correctly, I don't recall him saying anything about any decisions being bought and paid for when he was the perceived benefactor.
However, what I do remember is Foreman making every excuse in the world after he was stopped by Ali. First, it was that he was the victim of a quick count, which is beyond absurd. Then it was that Bundini Brown had his food poisoned. After that it was that the ropes were loosened by Angelo Dundee and Bobby Goodman. It took him ten years to finally admit that Ali won fair and square and was the better fighter that night. And this was in a fight in which he was counted out, not a disputed decision. Ten years to admit defeat?
Yet he's got the gall to admonish Chris Byrd for not saying that he lost to Oquendo? Byrd said that it could have easily gone the other way. I'd say that's standing up more than Foreman ever did after winning a decision that some felt could have gone the other way. Hey George, we all see through your agenda, try practicing what you preach!
Swarming/pressure style fighters usually cause the boxer problems because they don't allow the boxers to use the ring and box. They try and force them to fight. Former heavyweight champion "Smokin" Joe Frazier molded the pattern on how to fight a mover and boxer. All one has to do is watch any one of his three fights against Muhammad Ali to see just how Frazier gave Ali fits. What Frazier did was take away the space and distance that Ali wanted to box, and forced him to fight. Frazier also started most of his offensive assaults by going to the body first, and then working his way up to Ali's head. His whole fight plan was predicated on not allowing Ali to box and forcing him to fight. If Ali didn't have a cast-iron chin, along with unbelievable stamina and endurance, he would have gone 0-3 vs Frazier.
Byrd, although a southpaw, gains the advantage over his opponents in some ways similar to Ali . What Byrd does is he gives his opponents the illusion that he's right there in front of them. In doing this he wants them to lead off with punches to his head. Due to his head usually being back and away, and his terrific instincts and reflexes, he consistently makes his opponents miss. This is what he wants because after they miss him they are wide open. After they miss he counters them with very quick three and four punch flurries. This pattern is repeated throughout the fight, usually leading to a points win, or a late round stoppage due to an accumulation of punches.
The reason why a swarmer would be effective versus Byrd is because they come in low and go to the body. The swarmer wouldn't fall victim to Byrd's antics of suckering them to go to the head with their lead punches so he can counter them. In his fight against Byrd, Ibeabuchi went to the body early in the fight while cutting off the ring. What this did was slow Byrd which forced him to fight Ibeabuchi instead of boxing him. Once Byrd was slowed to a walk and couldn't get away or hold Ibeabuchi off, the end was a foregone conclusion.
As stated earlier, the style Byrd is vulnerable to is a pressure fighter. This is why I believe that when Tyson was still on his game he would've beat Byrd. Due to his short reach, Byrd is also vulnerable to a tall heavyweight who has a good jab with some pop. Remember, Byrd is strictly a boxer, he is most effective when there is some distance between him and his opponent. This is why it's doubtful that he could beat Lewis or either Klitschko in a rematch? He can't win at long ranges versus either of them.
The problem Byrd would face against them is that they wouldn't have to reach and lunge to hit him. Being that their reach is much longer than his enables them to dictate to him without being countered. Byrd would not be able to counter them because their jabs would keep him off balance. With Byrd not being able to counter, he wouldn't be able to score or land any clean punches.
This would force Byrd to adopt one of two strategies. One of them would be not to change and hope to get lucky and land a big counter punch off a miss and score a knockout. Since he is not a one punch banger, this strategy would certainly lead to defeat. The other scenario would be for him to go to them to try and score. However, this would play right into what either Lewis or the Klitschko's would want.
The ideal situation for them would be for Byrd to come at them. This would make him much easier to hit and less likely for them to be countered. Also, this would put him in position for either Lewis or the Klitschko's to hit him with their best stuff since he's coming in. Byrd is at a huge strategic disadvantage if he has to go to a taller fighter who can hit.
See the Catch-22 Byrd would be in against a taller opponent with a good jab and who knew how to use it. If he backs off and tries to lure them in so he can counter, he ends up eating jabs all night and loses a decision. On the other hand, if he goes to them, he's walking right into their power zone. As much as I like Byrd, in a fight versus Lennox Lewis, I just don't see how he could win. Either Lewis or the Klitschko's could control him with their jabs, or they would stop him if he tried and pushed the fight.
So in a nutshell it breaks down like this. If you are not significantly taller than Byrd with a long reach and a good jab, or if you're not a swarming/pressure style fighter, how do you beat him? The answer is that his opponent should never go to his head with their lead punches, because they'll most likely miss and get countered. The best thing to do is to go to the body, and then come up to the head. The other thing to do is jab at his chest, this insures that you will hit something and break up his rhythm and keep him off balance. And it's imperative to cut off the ring against him. Lastly, to beat him his opponent can never wait on him, he must force Byrd to react. Like with Roy Jones, if you wait on him and try and react to what he does, it's too late!
Since Byrd is such a clever and cunning fighter, his opponents must have a plan when they fight him. He certainly does, and follows it to perfection. When fighting Byrd, the opponent must force Byrd to adjust and take away what he likes or is best at. In other words, make him react to what you are doing instead of reacting the way he plans for you to.
One of Arum's big points of contention was over the presence of South Africa's Stanley Christodoulou, which, as Arum claims in stories that have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and Las Vegas Review-Journal, was objected to by the World Boxing Association (one of the bodies sanctioning the DLH-Mosley bout) without his knowledge.
One thing Arum didn't seem to be aware of at the time was that Christodoulou may have been ineligible for that fight for other reasons.
First of all, I think we all have a high regard for the credibility of Christodoulou, a renowned referee of championship events who was serving as one of the three judges for the DLH-Mosley fight - scoring the bout 115-113 for Mosley, along with his two colleagues, Nevada's Duane Ford and Anek Hongthongkam of Thailand.
I didn't agree with the decision, at least sitting here on this day and having not yet seen a replay of the fight. But that's neither here nor there. The point that carries some importance, for purposes of today's discussion, is that by standards that have now been established in writing by the Association of Boxing Commissions, not to mention what appears to be its interpretation of existing federal law, perhaps Christodoulou should have never been a judge for that title fight in the first place.
"Stanley has always appeared to be an honest man who was once the head of the boxing commission in his home country and now makes no secret about being a member of the ratings committee of the World Boxing Association. He is too good a referee to give that up, so I really feel he should resign from the ratings committee, because there is too much room for controversy being an official for some guy you helped get in the ratings."
Elisa Harrison of Bragging Rights Corner (http://www.braggingrightscorner.com) wrote a story on Thursday that covered this issue to some extent, referring to a warning given to Florida referee Armando Garcia, who was being told to give up either his status with boxing commissions or as Chairman of the WBA's Officials Committee.
Here is the letter relative to that threat, sent by Tim Lueckenhoff, President of the ABC, two weeks ago:
It has come to the attention of the Association of Boxing Commissions ("ABC") that you currently are licensed as a referee by the Florida State Athletic Commission and the Miccosukee Athletic Commission; and, at the same time, you are functioning as the Chairman of the World Boxing Association's ("WBA") Officials Committee.
I respectfully direct your attention to federal legislation entitled "The Professional Boxers Safety Act of 1996" (amended by "The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act" in 1998), codified as 15 U.S.C. §6301, et seq. Specifically, 15 U.S.C. §6308 states, in pertinent part:
§6308. Conflicts of Interest
No member or employee of a boxing commission, no person who administers or enforces State boxing laws, and no member of the Association of Boxing Commissions may belong to, contract with, or receive compensation from, any person who sanctions, arranges or promotes professional boxing matches ...
It is the position of the ABC that, when you perform your role as a referee for the Florida State Athletic Commission and the Miccosukee Athletic Commission, you are functioning as either an "employee of a boxing commission," a "person who administers or enforces State boxing laws," or both. It also is the position of the ABC that your serving as the Chairman of the WBA's Officials Committee constitutes your "belonging" to the WBA. Moreover, if you are receiving remuneration for the services you are providing to the WBA as the Chairman of the WBA's Officials Committee, you have either contracted with, or are receiving compensation from, a "person who sanctions ... professional boxing matches."
In view of the above, your functioning as a licensed referee, as well as the Chairman of the WBA's Officials Committee, appears to constitute a direct violation of the above-quoted Federal Law. Accordingly, you hereby are directed not to function in both capacities. If you continue to do so, please be advised that appropriate sanctions may be sought [see, e.g., 15 USC §6309(b)((3)].
The letter written to Garcia (which apparently scared him into resigning his WBA position) establishes a foundation by which to exclude Christodoulou from the DLH-Mosley fight.
By virtue of his association with the WBA's ratings, championship, and executive committees, it follows logically that Christodoulou, by the standards recognized and affirmed by the ABC in the letter, "belongs to" the WBA. And since judges are scoring rounds on a ten-point must system, in accordance with regulations set forth by a boxing commission (in this case, Nevada), take points away on their cards when ordered to by the referee, and are licensed, recognized state officials, whether it be for one fight or 100, there is a reasonable argument that they are also "administering or enforcing State boxing laws".
I'm not stretching things at all when I say that if Garcia is "violating" federal law, as described by the ABC's interpretation, then so is Christodoulou. It would follow that Nevada, as a member of the Association of Boxing Commissions, perhaps should not have appointed Christodoulou to judge this fight.
Furthermore, inasmuch as Nevada adopted the ABC's "unified rules" for the DLH-Mosley fight, and has provisions for certain of these unified rules to override their own rules for championship fights, one can safely assume that Nevada defers to the ABC, at least to some degree.
So why was Christodoulou there?
"I didn't know he was on the Ratings Committee," said Marc Ratner, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. "I'm just looking for the best officials."
Well, no one would dispute that Christodoulou is a respected official, but apparently he wasn't the judge the WBA had in mind, which can be for any number of reasons, including the practice of simply rotating officials, which is commonplace with sanctioning bodies AND commissions. The WBA had submitted for consideration a list of six names, none of which were from the United States (Ken Morita, Jose Cova, Manuel Gonzalez, Mazakazu Yoshida, Daniel Telon, Arthur Ellenson), and none of which were satisfactory to Ratner, who made the decision to contact Christodoulou independently of any coordination with the WBA.
Christodoulou allegedly didn't seek permission or approval from the WBA in connection with his acceptance of the job. Therefore the WBA might take the position that it considers De la Hoya-Mosley to have been a fight done without judges that were appointed, approved, OR submitted by them; in effect, their judge, as far as they were concerned, wasn't there. That could lead to a review of the decision (Arum has reportedly requested it) at their upcoming convention - something that will once again fuel "reasonable doubt" about the verdict and strengthen De la Hoya's original argument.
It could have been avoided.
Instead of pulling its sanction, the WBA attempted to reach some kind of accord by writing a letter more than two weeks before the fight, in which it objected not to Christodoulou himself, but to the unilateral process by which Ratner selected Christodoulou for the fight.
It was to no avail.
To add another, bizarre twist to this episode, we have received unconfirmed reports that yet another letter was compiled by the WBA - subsequent to September 5 - this one intended to be "signed" by Christodoulou and forwarded to Ratner. The correspondence cited the ABC's letter written to Garcia and raised questions as to whether it was proper for Christodoulou to officiate at the DLH-Mosley fight, in light of what seemed to be an inflexible ABC position. Presumably the WBA was concerned with Christodoulou being prosecuted under federal law if he participated.
Reportedly, the letter as not forwarded to Ratner. We could not reach Stanley Christodoulou for comment.
As it is, the appointment of Christodoulou was a Nevada decision all the way. For all intents and purposes, for that night, and that fight, he was a NEVADA judge, not a WBA judge. And, as has been mentioned, Nevada is a member of the ABC.
However, we've discovered that even if that letter had reached Nevada, it might not have made a difference. According to Keith Kizer, a member of the Nevada Attorney General's office who serves as counsel to the athletic commission, "I don't think 6308 (the conflict of interest clause) applies here. When it was written, I don't think it was meant to include ring officials."
He's not alone in that assessment.
I don't know that I share that interpretation, but it nonetheless fuels a growing concern about the clarity of that paragraph - something that has not been addressed by those who shaped the legislation.
There are other big questions - namely, does a position or policy of the ABC necessarily have any binding effect on boxing commissions? In other words, does Nevada have a plausible reason to use its own judgment as to interpretation? And can this ABC position be used to prevent someone like Garcia from working anywhere in the United States, if he had indeed elected to retain his chairmanship of the WBA Officials' Committee?
It's quite possible the ABC may find out the answers to these questions the hard way.
Not since the heyday of Jimmy Young of 1975-77 has the heavyweight division witnessed a fighter like Byrd. Like Young, Byrd is a master at using his opponents aggression against them. Also like Young, he's more than willing to fight all the top available contenders, despite spotting them size and power. It's a beautiful thing! A fighter who used to be a super-middleweight who cannot only compete with today's overfed heavyweights, but also be avoided by most of them.
Most complain that Byrd is not exciting to watch because of his lack of power, and that doesn't put anybody away. What most overlook is that he can fight, and knows exactly what he's doing in the ring. He's a boxer, it's as simple as that. Remember, boxing is the art of hitting and not getting hit. The problem is that just about every heavyweight fighting today, doesn't know how to keep him from boxing. What they want to do is make him fight, however they don't know how to go about it.
I think Byrd is a breath of fresh air in the heavyweight division at this time. I like that in the so-called era of super-sized heavyweights, it's a guy who would be considered small in almost any heavyweight era who is the most avoided. I appreciate his high skill level and his knowledge and insight on how he goes about breaking down the bigger fighters he faces. I've had the pleasure of talking with Chris Byrd on a few occasions, it doesn't take long for him to convey that he really knows what he's doing in that ring.
What else I love and respect about Byrd is that he's willing to fight any fighter anywhere. He went to the Klitschko's home turf and fought both brothers when no other fighters would. He fought Holyfield in Atlantic City where he never lost, and fought Tua when his only defeats were a razor thin decision to Ike Ibeabuchi, and a decision lost to Lennox Lewis when he was at the top of his game. Oh, I almost forgot, he fought Ibeabuchi too.
Look, I'm not saying he's the best heavyweight in the world today, but he is definitely one of the top three or four at the very least. And no, he's not undefeated, but who is? Show me a fighter who fights the best available fighters, and I'll show you a fighter who is not undefeated. Look at the heavyweight fighters of this era who are willing to fight the best fighters, Lewis, Holyfield, Tua, and Byrd, are any of them undefeated?
How can a heavyweight of about 210 be so competitive in the land of so-called giants? Look at who his defeats are against. Ike Ibeabuchi, who weighed 240 pounds and could box, had a good jab, a solid chin, and he could punch. Some said that Ibeabuchi was on his way of becoming the Sonny Liston of this era, a man among men. The fact that he was willing to fight Ike while he was on a major roll says more about him, than losing to him does.
His other defeat was to the 6'5" 240 pound Wladimir Klitschko. At the time Byrd fought Klitschko, he was being talked about as the heavyweight who would succeed Lennox Lewis. Plus, Klitschko had revenge on his mind since Byrd gave Wladimir's older brother Vitali his first defeat. Yet he still had no qualms about fighting him! Not bad, the only fighters who can claim victory over Byrd are, the fighter who many thought would succeed Lewis, (Klitschko) and the heavyweight who many felt, though somewhat premature, had the potential to be the best of the post Lewis era, (Ibeabuchi).
At this time, Chris Byrd is the best boxer in the heavyweight division and it's not even close. Don't give me Roy Jones, I need to see Jones fight more than one fight at heavyweight, and against the caliber heavyweight fighters Byrd has faced. Not just against Ruiz, who Byrd would've tortured just as easily and thoroughly as Jones did.
In looking at Byrd's loses to Ibeabuchi and Klitschko he was beaten by two things that most all heavyweights are vulnerable too, getting caught, and reach. Against Ibeabuchi, who can really hit, Byrd got caught with a big shot and was stopped. This is something that has happened to just about every heavyweight champion in history except Marciano, Tunney, and Ali.
Against Wladimir Klitschko, Byrd was basically beaten by Klitschko's long reach and jab. Reach is usually not an advantage if the shorter fighter knows how to get inside. The problem is that in most cases the fighter with the shorter reach is a swarming/pressure style fighter who makes his living fighting on the inside, such as Sharkey, Marciano, Frazier, and Tyson.
This is a problem for Byrd since he does his best work on the outside. He can fight on the inside but that's usually from a defensive mode. In Wladimir Klitschko, Byrd faced a fighter with an enormous reach advantage who knew how to use it. This is the one area where Byrd is very vulnerable, and why he could not beat Lennox Lewis.
In a fight against Lewis, Byrd would most likely be overcome by Lewis' jab. More so than Lewis' power and weight. By Lewis being busy with his jab, Byrd would not be able to get close enough to out speed or out score him. This is why he wouldn't win, not so much because of his lack of strength and power. Lewis could beat Byrd by just using his left hand, and there isn't anything Byrd could do about it.
Byrd, who is a comparatively small heavyweight, is a master at avoiding some of the most dangerous punchers in the world. Instead of going toe-to-toe with his opponents, Byrd piles up points with quick three and four punch flurries while moving out of harms way. Another thing Chris Byrd has mastered is relaxing in the ring. I haven't seen a heavyweight fighter who is so relaxed and loose in the ring since Jimmy Young and Muhammad Ali. Trying to hit Byrd hard is like trying to do damage hitting a sheet hung on a clothes line.
Byrd continues to prove that body stature and weight are small factors when you know what you're doing in the ring. With the exception of Ibeabuchi and Wladimir Klitschko, Byrd has proven time and time again that speed, balance, and brains can most often neutralize size and power.
The main reason most fighters give as to why they don't want to fight Byrd, is because he's hard to look good against. I think if you read between the lines, they're really saying they don't want to be embarrassed in the ring by him. Being embarrassed is something that fighters fear every bit as much as being knocked out. This is further testament to just how slick and cunning Byrd is in the ring. The other heavyweights know that they probably won't be hurt or knocked out by him, just humiliated.
Fighters pour their hearts out into fights and can be very emotional creatures. I have yet to find a fighter, left standing in a hard fought battle who didn't think he won. It's the nature of the beast and completely understandable.
But he had absolutely no right to call into question the integrity of the judges, the commission and threaten to launch an 'investigation' into the matter.
For a guy who says he is trying to 'clean up' the sport, he just poured a bucket of mud all over it, on a night that was supposed to be the shining moment for the game in the year 2003. Instead he basically threw a left hook at the sport and gave it the proverbial 'black eye' that so many of its detractors talk about.
It was a closely contested fight to many at ringside, but Oscar and his people seem to think that it's his birthright to be given every close round and therefore every close fight. Sorry but that aint in the Marquis of Queensbury rules.
If he would have just stated something to the effect that," It was a good, close fight, I thought I won this fight in my heart and I would like a third fight with Shane Mosley," he would have been applauded for his graciousness in defeat and not that much damage would have been done to his reputation.
But instead he has insisted that the game take an 'eight count' with him because he's a sore loser and now, the game will suffer across the board from it. I talked to a high ranking member of another major promotional company who told me today that as he was out golfing all day, all anyone wanted to know about was this investigation and talk of corruption that was being thrown around by De La Hoya and his promoter Bob Arum.
But De La Hoya doesn't see it that way, in a statement released by him he says that," The controversy was not caused by my post-fight comments but rather by the fact that millions of people watching the fight from around the world were of a different opinion than the three judges in attendance. Following the fight, I certainly gave Shane Mosley the respect he deserves and I will continue to do so. He is not only a great fighter but as well a first-class guy. I wish him success in the future in or outside the ring."
He then cited some online polls that favored him to win the fight. Yes, fans at home who watch the fight on their couch should be the true arbiter of the sport. What is this, American Idol, where the viewers get to choose the winner? Yeah, there's a fair and balanced way of doing this. Sorry but I'd rather have three experienced and highly regarded officials like Duane Ford, Stanley Christodoulou and Anek Hongtongkam-who know what the judging criteria is- rather than fans watching at home with rooting interests. Call me crazy for that.
As for not trying to take anything away from Mosley, well, I hate to say it but I think that's already been accomplished. Because for every story that focuses in on Mosley's win, De La Hoya's allegations have gotten twice as much attention. Remember one thing, these judges were approved by Arum and De La Hoya, they knew ahead of time who they were. Ford, Christodoulou and Hongtongkam have worked plenty of Top Rank shows before with no complaints from Arum.
They were selected by the honorable Marc Ratner, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission because of their competence and track record. These were no Eugenia Williams' being sneaked in from the backdoor for political reasons.
But I'm wondering, what do guys like Pernell Whitaker and Ike Quartey think of all this commotion? Y'know, it wasn't too long ago that these guys were on the short end of the stick against 'the Golden Boy' in Las Vegas, in bouts that many thought they deserved to get the nod. Where was the cry for investigations then?
And you'd have to think if there was ever a time where Oscar would have gotten far more support for an inquiry or review of a fight would have been his highly controversial bout with Felix Trinidad in 1999. That was a bout that a large majority of observers had for De La Hoya but mysteriously was judged for Trinidad, who juuuuust happened to be promoted by Don King.
It's interesting to note that while De La Hoya speaks of polls on the internet, he fails to mention that the large majority of the ringside press- those who are not effected by the HBO announcers, PunchStat tabulations and have the best seats in the house- overwhelmingly had Mosley winning or Oscar winning by a small margin. I can tell you from first hand experience being on press row this past Saturday night, there was absolutely no disgust- but mostly agreement- about the decision from the media and when the verdict was announced, I didn't hear any real outrage or protest in the MGM Grand Arena.
The only real surprise is that Mosley was actually able to get a fair shake on a De La Hoya/Arum show in Las Vegas- which is a positive sign for the sport of boxing if you think about it.
The controversy did not start until Oscar talked of spending his vast resources to get to the bottom of this. Respected boxing scribes like Jon Saraceno of the USA Today and Michael Rosenthal of the LA Daily News, who had De La Hoya winning by small margins, have now spoken out against his actions. The reality is that those who were in support of a De La Hoya decision, are standing firm against his actions.
But do you want to get a feel on how the media really felt about all this? The Los Angeles Times, a paper that can be described as pro-Oscar- all three of their writes, Steve Springer, Bill Plaschke and Randy Harvey scored Mosley the winner by small margins. Plaschke was so dissapointed in Oscar's comments at the post-fight press conference that he referred to him as the 'Golden Baby' in his column.
He closed his statement by saying:" When I formed Golden Boy Promotions last year, I knew that many issues surrounding the sport would need to be addressed. This takes time and patience but I am convinced that if we rally together, we will succeed in giving this great sport it's rightful place. I promise to continue to give my best and work hard for all my fans, the fans of the sport and most importantly the many fighters! After all last Saturday was not that bad, if it was the beginning of the ultimate fight, the fight for a better future of boxing."
How noble, this isn't about him, but for the whole industry of boxing. A sport right now that is facing a bunch of unwarranted questions due to his allegations. Also I have a question, let's say hypothetically, that he has a major attraction down the line as a promoter, who is involved in a huge fight and is the recipient of what could be called a 'house decision' that is unpopular with those ringside and watching at home. Will he then call for another investigation on that show and it's surroundings?
This is about Oscar, not boxing. And once again he has captured it's biggest headlines, even in defeat. But he didn't have to drag the whole sport with him.
One of the things that seems to be influencing the audience at home are the 'CompuBox' numbers that tabulate the punches being thrown by the two combatants.
Well, the fact that it's done by two guys sitting ringide pushing buttons should tell you that it's as every bit as subjective as the scoring. The bottom line is this, it can never accurately depict the effectiveness of the shots being landed and professional boxing is about quality of punches and not quantity.
Plus if you use that as your only barometer to scoring fights, then you know what? Why don't we just great rid of the human element, and replace the ringside judges and go the amatuer route and make scoring a fight a video game?
Tuesday September 16, 2003 ? ????Fred Astaire sang how "you say tomayto, I say tomato, you say potayto, I say potato"; and after watching the De La Hoya - Mosley bout on Saturday many people were saying the same things the next day.
Personally, while watching the mega-fight this weekend between Oscar De La Hoya and new Super Welterweight champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley, I kept commenting to my lady-friend how every single round that went by was so difficult to judge. After the eighth round I had to admit that I really couldn't pick a winner at that point and nothing after that made the picture any clearer. Now, I wasn't keeping my own scorecard like the judges were - I just went from what I was seeing; and what I saw was a tough fight to call.
From the eighth round onward the fight was still a heck of a tough one to judge, and entertaining at that. Actually, the fact that you really could make a case for either boxer made it all that more exciting to me. At the time of decision, Sugar Shane received the nod. It was surprising to me that all three judges had the fight scored the exact same way: 115-113 for Mosley. It wasn't a complete shock that Shane won the fight, but a little different that all three judges had it the same way; although they took slightly different routes to come to the same scoring conclusion.
Since that time the Golden Boy has come out suggesting he was wronged, yet admitted that he himself thought that it could have been a draw. There has been talk of Arum being the "target" of the judges scoring and that people were out to "get him", etc. The fact of the matter is this - watching a boxing match is open to interpretation and, as such, you are bound to get different opinions on a fight. Just as the value of a piece of art is very much in the eye of the beholder, a fight can be looked at differently depending on who is watching. If Oscar himself could suggest that the fight just maybe could have been a draw - 114-114 for each fighter - then how far-fetched is it that the three judges looking through impartial eyes had Mosley winning by a single point more that Oscar thought could have been accurate? Not far at all.
It all comes back to the "tomato, tomato, potato, potato" situation. You see it your way and I'll see it my way - we may not agree on the exact pronunciation but in the end we are talking about the same thing. And, just like our friend the potato, the fight served its purpose without a whole lot of glitz or glitter. When dressed up as best as it can, a potato is good, but not great. It fills the plate, gives you some substance in the belly that you needed and then you go on your way. I have yet to hear of anyone walking away from the dinner table and exclaim "wow, that was one helluva potato!" I haven't heard anyone talk about Saturday's title bout as being a "helluva fight" either. It served its purpose. It brought Oscar back into the ring to face the only active fighter to have beaten him in the ring and filled that void in the pit of Oscar's stomach, despite the mediocre feeling it left as a result.
Now, with respect to all this talk of challenging the decision and having his team of lawyers analyze it all…just "call the whole thing off", Oscar.
Foreman said he came back to reclaim the title he lost to Muhammad Ali back in October of 1974. After beating Zouski, Foreman fought on a schedule that had him in the ring just about every other month. He would constantly tell anyone with a microphone after each fight that, he came back because he knew he could beat Mike Tyson and wanted to fight him for the title. Through Big George's first ten to fifteen fights, he was laughed at for the quality of the fighters he was fighting and wasn't taken seriously. Foreman never made excuses for them and admitted that he was fighting guys who had no chance of beating him. He said that he wanted to get used to being back in the ring and was in no hurry. In 1987, Foreman fought five times; in 1988, he fought nine times and in 1989, he fought five times. After 19 fights, Foreman was 19-0 (18). During the course of those 19 fights, Foreman only fought two name fighters: former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champ Dwight Muhammad Qawi (formerly Dwight Braxton), and fringe contender Bert Cooper, stopping both.
On January 15, 1990, Foreman fought former heavyweight title challenger, the hard-hitting Gerry Cooney. Cooney was making a comeback after not fighting in almost two and a half years. Cooney viewed Foreman as an easy win and figured he could capitalize off of Foreman's name and jump to the front of the heavyweight picture with an impressive victory. Going into the fight neither Foreman or Cooney were perceived to be a real threat to any of the top heavyweights in the world, let alone Tyson who was just 23 and the unbeaten, undisputed champ.
By January of 1990, Foreman had built up such a following and fan base that the Foreman-Cooney fight was only seen on PPV. It took Foreman less than two full rounds to mutilate Cooney sending him back into permanent retirement. Foreman displayed accuracy and devastating power in stopping Cooney. It wasn't until after Foreman's destruction of Cooney that he was taken as a serious title contender. Before the boxing world had time to digest Foreman's showing against Cooney, it was dealt an even bigger shock 26 days later.
On February 10 1990, 42-1 underdog James "Buster" Douglas literally turned the boxing world upside down when he traveled to Tokyo and knocked out undisputed heavyweight champ Mike Tyson. Don King promoted Tyson, at the time of his defeat. After Tyson's loss to Douglas, King wanted to have Tyson fight in a high profile fight. He figured a spectacular knockout win over a name opponent would get Tyson back on track to being the man in the heavyweight picture again. King thought he found the perfect opponent in Foreman who was all over television after beating Cooney. Foreman never passed up an opportunity to take a shot at Tyson and throw out challenges to him while doing the talk show circuit.
In the subsequent months following Foreman's victory over Cooney and Douglas' upset of Tyson, there was much talk of a Foreman-Tyson fight. It was a potential fight that captured the public's imagination, and not just the boxing public. In fact, there were several reports that the fight was signed and about to be announced. ESPN Sportscenter devoted numerous segments on the fight assuming it was going to happen. Shortly thereafter, there was an announcement that Foreman and Tyson were going to fight on the same card. In late April of 1990, it was announced that Foreman and Tyson would be fighting a co-main event on June 16 to be broadcast on HBO. Foreman's opponent was Adilson Rodrigues, who was ranked in the top ten by two of the major sanctioning bodies. Tyson's opponent was the unranked Henry Tillman. Tillman was best known for beating Tyson twice in the 1984 Olympic trials.
At this time, Evander Holyfield was getting ready for his sixth fight as a heavyweight against Seamus McDonagh on June 1 in Atlantic City. On the day of the Holyfield-McDonagh fight, I went to grab something to eat with Georgie Benton, Lou Duva and Bobby Goodman. At the time, Goodman was, and still is, Don King's matchmaker. I've known Benton for many years, through him I met Duva, and was introduced to Goodman a couple weeks before Tyson fought Larry Holmes at the Convention Center in Atlantic City in January 1988.
While we were eating, Benton said, "Bobby, what's up with Foreman and Tyson, how come they're not fighting each other on the 16th? Isn't that the fight that King was trying to make?" He said, " Georgie,You'll never believe this but, Fuckin' Tyson is scared shit less of Foreman and wants no part of him. I was there when Don was trying to make the fight. He was telling Tyson that Foreman represented huge money, plus he was old and slow and would be no problem. Tyson got up and screamed at King saying, 'I'm not fight in' that Fuckin' animal, if you love the motherfucker so much, you fight him!'"
Goodman stated that Tyson said Foreman was much better than people thought, and was a dangerous fight for any of the top heavyweights. Goodman proceeded to explain how Tyson was calling Foreman a big con man, and explained that the grandpop act was just a front. He said Tyson saw Foreman as trying to set up the boxing world into thinking he was a pushover, knowing that he really wasn't. Tyson said Foreman was a wolf in sheep's clothing. Goodman continued to say that after seeing Tyson's response to King trying to push him into a fight with Foreman, he had no doubt that Tyson had fear of Foreman. He also said that from that point on, he felt that if Foreman and Tyson ever fought, Foreman would knock Tyson out!
Throughout the lunch Goodman, Duva, Benton, and myself shared stories and thoughts on the fight game. Out of the blue Goodman said, "Oh I remember why else Tyson wanted no parts of Foreman. He said that King had found out from Steve Lott that Tyson and Cus D'Amato used to watch the Frazier-Foreman fight over and over." He continued saying that Tyson loved that fight because he was awed by Foreman's power and Frazier's toughness and how he kept getting up after every knockdown. He also said that Lott told King that Cus sat alongside Tyson saying, "It's suicide against Foreman if you're short and fight a swarming attacking style like Marciano or Frazier," never figuring that Foreman could be a possible Tyson opponent down the road. He said that Cus said the only fighters who had a chance against Foreman were, tall rangy fighters who could fight him from a distance while moving away from him, and no way any swarmer could beat Foreman by going to him.
Those are the words of the man who actually had a hand in trying to make the Foreman-Tyson fight, and was in the room when the negotiations broke down. Over the years, I've talked to many people who were involved with Tyson and Foreman and they all verify the story, every one of them. I have also talked to people who were involved with promoting Foreman, including Ron Weathers who promoted a few of Foreman's comeback fights. He told me the same story. The fight didn't happen because of Tyson being fearful of losing to George. Bob Arum also said that he dreamed of making Foreman-Tyson. He said it would be huge money and that Foreman would stop Tyson easier than he did Frazier. This is something Arum often repeated to the press. I have also heard this from George's brother Roy who was his business manager. I co-hosted a boxing show with Roy in Atlantic City for a little less than two months and this was a regular topic when discussing Tyson. Anyone who covered boxing at the time or knew any of the involved parties knew of this. It's not breaking news.
It is absolutely a fact that Mike Tyson was afraid to fight 41-year-old George Foreman--the same Foreman who Evander Holyfield would fight and beat in April of 1991. I have not a doubt that had Foreman and Tyson fought anytime between 1990 and 1997 that Foreman would have knocked Tyson out inside of three rounds. Tyson just has nothing to beat Foreman with; his edge in hand speed would have been a non-factor. He can't beat him by backing away, and he would have gotten his head handed to him if he brought the fight to Foreman. In addition, Foreman was bigger, stronger, tougher and hit harder. Not to mention the fact that Foreman had a better chin and no fear or doubt, unlike Tyson, who was full of fear and self-doubt.
Think about it, Foreman-Tyson was the biggest fight that could have been made in 1990. Foreman was perceived to be an easy fight for Tyson, and it would have been his biggest payday to date. There can only be one reason why Tyson didn't fight Foreman, and that's because he feared losing to him.
I haven't a morsel of a doubt that Tyson just doesn't match up with Foreman, and he knows it. If Tyson of 1990 was afraid of an old Foreman, think how petrified he would of been of a prime Foreman, the one who stared down both Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali in 1973 and 1974.
The above account is of a quick get to together for something to eat between myself and the above mentioned parties. The only thing I can't recall for certain is if it took place after the Holyfield-McDonagh final press conference, or the weigh in? However, the above quotes are just that, quotes. Everything there is exactly how the conversation unfolded. Whether you chose to believe it or not is up to you. All I can say is that is exactly what was said. To disbelieve this you have to assume a lot of people close to both Foreman and Tyson are lying. Remember, Tyson is a student of boxing and boxing history. If there ever was a fighter who understood styles and match ups, its Tyson. He was smart enough to know that Foreman was all wrong for him. You can talk about his speed and defense for the next 100 years. The fact of the matter is he had nothing to beat Foreman with! Sometimes the truth is very hard to believe and accept, but the truth is the truth. And the truth is, Mike Tyson was fearful of fighting George Foreman in 1990. The only reason why Foreman-Tyson was never made is because Tyson was afraid Foreman would beat him.
Floyd Mayweather Sr., is the "greatest fight trainer in the game." At least that what he keeps telling us. He’s also a poet, though he might have a little trouble fitting in at a Poets of the 21st Century seminar.
Floyd’s pre-fight rhymes are both legendary and suspect, but at least he doesn’t try to bury the meaning behind a bunch of flowery prose. Subtlety has never interfered with a Mayweather sonnet. Instead, he presents his poetic opinions like you might present a pistol at a high-stakes poker game. There’s nothing hidden about the purpose and the message, and if you don’t like what he’s got to say, you can always leave. If you want to take it further, the gun is sitting there on the table loaded and cocked.
In his most recent piece of literary work, "the greatest trainer in the game" focused on how Oscar De La Hoya was going to beat an out-gunned and out-coached "Sugar" Shane Mosley on Saturday night in their junior-middleweight championship fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
It‘s a delightful little poem about revenge and beating guys silly and lost fortunes and how Mosley chose the wrong guy to pick on. Occasionally, it even rhymes.
According to Mayweather’s ode to Oscar, De La Hoya will complete his night’s work somewhere close to the eighth round.
If you know a bookie, now is the time to call.
Poetry aside, "the greatest trainer in the game" says De La Hoya - who lost a close fight to Mosley in June 2000 - has been training "like a guy who doesn’t have money." Obviously, Mayweather is telling us De La Hoya is hungry.
"I see something different in my fighter," Mayweather said in a conference call last week. "But I don’t see no difference in Shane."
Why should Mosley change? Didn’t he win the first fight?
"Oscar is not going to be robotic," he said. "He‘s going to be more elusive. Movement is good for a fighter. Oscar is still moving on his feet. He’s going to move enough to get the job done."
That was about the time Mayweather informed us that Mosley has been seeing a psychiatrist, a Dr. Lightfoot.
"Shane must be scared," said Mayweather, who let the announcement sink in for a moment. "There’s s something about guys who are going to fight Oscar. They always seem to need something, like potions, steroids or hoodoo."
Or speed. That’s the only voodoo Mosley needed to win the first fight.
"We’re going to fight a technical fight," Mayweather went on. "A smart, technical fight. A winning fight. Oscar definitely won’t be the same fighter he was. He’ll be more agile, more elusive and more creative."
As for the Mosley camp, Mayweather saved a little literary ammunition for Shane‘s dad and trainer, Jack Mosley.
When Ali awoke that day, he was just hours away from fighting Ken Norton for the second time. This was a crucial turning point in Ali's career. In his previous fight six months prior, he lost a split decision to the seventh ranked Norton. Not only was Ali beaten by Norton in their first fight, but he also suffered a broken jaw in the fight.
On the day of the rematch with Norton, there were many questions surrounding the career and future of Muhammad Ali. First and foremost was the question of whether Ali was a shot fighter at age 31. In September of 1973, Ali was 0-1 against former champ Joe Frazier, who had just been mutilated by the then champ George Foreman back in January of 1973. It looked very bleak for Ali at that time. Not only had Ali been bettered by Frazier, but he also was 0-1 versus Frazier's former sparring partner Ken Norton. And forget about Foreman, at that time it wasn't even conceivable that Ali could beat the menacing champion.
After Frazier defeated Ali in March of 1971, Ali went on a campaign to fight all the top contenders in the world. His goal was to eliminate all the contenders so Frazier had nobody left to fight except him again. From July of 1971 when Ali fought Jimmy Ellis, through March of 1973, Ali fought and beat all the top contenders in the world. During that period, the plans for a rematch between Frazier and Ali always fell through every time it seemed close to being finalized.
The main stumbling block was money. In the first fight, Frazier and Ali split a five million dollar purse. Frazier had no trouble agreeing to that since he and Ali were both recognized as the champ. Frazier had beaten every heavyweight in the world except Ali, and Ali hadn't lost the title in the ring. For a rematch with Ali, Frazier demanded the lion's share of the purse. His contention was that he was the undisputed champ and he had defeated Ali in their first fight.
Ali's contention was that he was the draw, and everybody was coming to see him. In the end, Frazier turned down the fight which would have had him splitting a six million dollar purse with Ali, guaranteeing him three million dollars. So on January 22, 1973, instead of Ali, Frazier fought second ranked George Foreman for $800,000 and lost the title when he was stopped in the 2nd round. Two months later Ali fought the seventh ranked Norton and lost a split decision.
Going into the Norton rematch, Ali had three huge hurdles to clear if he was to get back the title of which he was stripped on April 27th, 1967. Those hurdles were Norton, Frazier, and Foreman. Yes, this very well may have been the lowest point in Muhammad Ali's career. Before fighting the rematch with Norton, at best Ali was considered the fourth best heavyweight in the world.
Leading up to the second Norton fight, many questioned how Ali's healed jaw would hold up under Norton's assault. There were also rumblings that at 31, Ali wasn't capable of fighting and moving for twelve rounds. For Ali to even the score with Norton, it would require him to be in the best shape of his comeback.
On the morning of the weigh-in for the rematch with Norton, Ali weighed in at the lightest he had for any fight during his comeback. Ali weighed 212 pounds and promised to dance all night this time. Norton also showed up in the best shape of his career weighing in at 205, five pounds lighter than he was for their previous fight.
When fight night finally arrived, Ali was only a 7-5 favorite over Norton. This was down significantly compared to the 5-1 favorite he was in their first fight. At the bell for round one, Ali came out fast and was up on his toes circling to the left nonstop. For the first five rounds of the fight, Ali moved better than he had in any fight since his 43 month exile.
During those first five rounds, Ali was clearly controlling the fight and Norton couldn't touch him. Starting about the middle of the 6th round, Ali came down off his toes and Norton started to catch up with him, scoring to the body. In rounds 7 and 8, Norton worked over a tiring Ali. Ali and Norton traded rounds 9, 10, and 11 with Norton taking two of the three.
Going into the 12th and final round, the ringside press had the fight scored extremely close. Most of them had it even or Ali up by a round. Ali opened round 12 with a big flurry stunning Norton. After Ali's flurry, he and Norton had some spirited exchanges with neither fighter gaining the advantage. With about 30 seconds left in the round, Ali scored with another hard flurry which backed Norton off. At the bell ending the fight, both fighters were draped over each other, and neither celebrated going back to their corner to wait for the decision.
When the decision was read, it went as follows, 6-5-1 Ali, 6-5-1 Norton, and the deciding vote was 7-5 Ali. Ali had saved his career with a 12th round rally capturing the round on all three scorecards. Over the years some have said that Norton deserved the decision. Although it was a close fight, Ali won it fair and square 7-5 in rounds. The only way this could have been remotely controversial, is if Norton had pulled out the last round, which he didn't.
A few years back Ken Norton was a guest on my radio show "Toe-To-Toe" when he was doing his book tour promoting his autobiography, "Going The Distance". I asked him about this fight and he even admitted that Ali won. He said that he thought it was close, but that he felt Ali had won it.
Looking back over the passage of time, this has to be considered the turning point in Ali's career. After winning the rematch with Norton, it was now time for Ali and Joe to settle the score. On January 28th, of 1974, they finally met in a much anticipated rematch at Madison Square Garden. Ali went on to score a 12 round unanimous decision over Frazier to knot them at 1-1. Ten months after beating Frazier, Ali fought George Foreman for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. On October 30, of 1974, Ali entered the ring as a 3-1 underdog and shocked the boxing world when he stopped the then undefeated heavyweight champion George Foreman in the 8th round.
Ali's victory over Foreman was the culmination of a seven year journey to reclaim the title he was stripped of back on April 27, 1967. However, the first step began back on September 10, 1973, when he defeated Ken Norton in their rematch. Had Ali not beaten Norton 30 years ago, he would not be regarded today as one of the greatest fighters and heavyweight champions in boxing history. Just imagine what that means. There would not have been a "Rumble in the Jungle" or a "Thrilla in Manilla." And that is just unthinkable!
Mosley is thought to be 'gun shy' and unsure of himself after his successive losses to Vernon Forrest. De La Hoya, armed with a new trainer in Floyd Mayweather Sr. has adjusted to a 'new' style of boxing and last year vanquished his arch nemesis Fernando Vargas in dramatic style.
De La Hoya is thought to be ascending, Mosley, on a steep decline. And you know what? I'm still picking Mosley to win in another closely contested fight.
Why, you ask? Well, just like Ken Norton always gave Muhammad Ali fits, Iran Barkley had Thomas Hearns number, Ricardo Mayorga haunts Vernon Forrest, Bill Russell always seemed to find a way against Wilt Chamberlain, how the Minnesota Vikings would always ruin the post-season of the Los Angeles Rams and how Bob Stoops regularly out-coaches Mack Brown, 'Sugar' Shane is simply too sweet for Oscar.
The bottom line is very simple, Mosley's hand-speed, quickness and athletic ability will always trouble De La Hoya, who's not exactly a turtle himself in the speed department. And yes, I realize that Mosley is considered the smaller fighter once again in the rematch- just like he was in the first encounter when he was moving up from lightweight to take on De La Hoya at welterweight. This time De La Hoya comes in as the unified jr. middleweight titlist( with both the WBC and WBA titles) but lets be real, he could probably make 147 if he really wanted to. Hey, let's face it, Mosley will always be shorter than Oscar and will always be at some kind of size advantage. This is nothing new.
No Mosley did not look spectacular in any of his two losses to Forrest or particularly impressive in his last bout against Raul Marquez in February- but who's idea was it to take on a southpaw in what was supposed to be a showcase fight, anyway?- but has De La Hoya really done THAT much since his loss three years ago.
Think about it, he beat a blown-up Arturo Gatti, an ordinary Javier Castillejo and then a Fernando Vargas last September that many considered to be damaged goods, thanks to the powerful hands of Felix Trinidad. And in his last bout he engaged in a highly lucrative sparring session against the faded Yory Boy Campas.
Now, do any of these plodders have the speed and explosion of Mosley? Fugheddaboutit. That's like comparing a cable modem or DSL to a dial-up connection. And let's not forget that Vargas was virtually even up with De La Hoya before he landed that big left hook at the end of the 10th round that basically ended things. I don't care what mental state Mosley is in, Mosley- even at 154 pounds- is a much better athlete than Vargas and doesn't come in with an anger that is detrimental to himself against Oscar.
And what about the teachings of Mayweather and how they might effect this fight? I don't think there's any doubt that Mayweather has made a positive difference for De La Hoya in the corner but the bottom line is that in the heat of battle, boxers, like anybody else will revert to what they do best. But if Oscar is insistent on sticking with what has been taught to him the last few years, it could be even more detrimental. The bottom line is this, this style still isn't natural to him and if he has to think about doing certain things, against a fighter with the quickness of Mosley, he'll lose every exchange with him.
It says here that if Mosley reverts back to his form- which is being a busy fighter, who works the body and tries to throw sharp combinations- he wins this fight. Somewhere along the way, when he was blowing out over-matched foes like Antonio Diaz, Shannon Taylor and Adrian Stone, he began to rely more and more on his right hand. The truth of the matter is that he got away from what he was best at, he was more Meldrick Taylor than Thomas Hearns. Against De La Hoya he is at a strength deficit, but he has the advantage in speed. Just rewatch the 12th and final round of their first fight, Mosley would hit De La Hoya with a tidal wave of punches from all angles that had Oscar looking like a man drowning in the torrent.
Those who point to a De La Hoya victory believe that he is in the better state of mind while Mosley comes in with doubt. But just remember this, it was Mosley who basically swept the last six rounds of their fight and when it comes to their individual match-up, it's Oscar who comes in with doubt.
It was just a few years ago that Mosley was being mentioned in the same breath as other past 'Sugar's' like Robinson and Leonard. Now, after his recent slump, it seems like he's being lumped in with the likes of Ray Seales. Obviously, both were an over-reaction and exaggeration in both cases. As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in between but I think it's closer to the latter than the former. Mosley is the real thing, always has been, always will be.