Changing Landscape

This past weekend multiple important fights have changed the prospects for fighters in their respective divisions as two young guns and one old veteran came away with impressive wins.  The effect on the fighters’ careers was somewhat less than consistent, however, as the two up-and-comers, Lucas Mathysse and Devon Alexander will be propelled into a lucrative future, whereas the hard-to-hate “Sugar” Shane Mosley might be drawn into a disastrous wager on an over-played hand.

Devon Alexander fought through the pain of a broken hand to defeat Lee Purdy and revitalize his waning career by seventh-round TKO stoppage.  Coming at an opportune moment in his career, this win will catapult Alexander back to the status he enjoyed when being paired against Tim Bradley, who is now ranked among elite welterweights.

Knockout artist Lucas Mathysse demonstrated his skill once again as he dismantled legitimate challenger Lamont Peterson by 3rd round knockout.  I expected a much better showing from Peterson, but I must admit, I didn’t have much aside from personal affection to support the expectation.  Peterson is truly a great athlete and a very competent fighter, but he just doesn’t have the tools to defeat any one extremely well-developed skill.  Against a well-rounded fighter Peterson can be a nightmare.  He proved that against Amir Khan, but Mathysse showed that one overwhelming ability can disrupt Peterson’s entire repertoire.  Now Mathysse is primed for Danny Garcia, who I suspect won’t be able to handle his power much better than Peterson, and there’s even talk of him challenging Mayweather, which I consider a naive proposition.  Power punchers have challenged Mayweather before, and the greatest of all the expected conquerors, Manny Pacquiao, was clearly not up the task.  No one can precisely predict what would have happened, had the two met at their primes, but now it seems to be a consensus that Pacquiao is no challenge for Mayweather.

I was worried about Shane Mosley when I heard he had announced a return fight against a no-name fighter, as if he were planning an ill-conceived comeback to eventually lead to again fighting elite welterweights.  In fact, Mosley looked physically impeccable against Cano, even in his advanced age.  That’s not to say his performance was anywhere near perfect, however, as his movement, especially defensively, was demonstrative of his age.  His hands, like an aging Muhammad Ali, were still worthy of his moniker, but his legs looked like they had been grafted on from Lennox Lewis, almost motionless and ineffective in his defensive efforts.  Personally, I only hope that Mosley considers his most recent success in his win over Pablo Cano as a fortunate exit victory.  His timeless hands can’t protect him from the fighters who can counterpunch between impressive combinations anymore, and a comeback trail will only lead to physical ruin.

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