So, fight fans, who doesn’t like Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga, 29-7-1, 23 KO’s?
Raise your hands and please tell me why it is this man is still getting a fight? And it’s not just any fight. Mayorga will be facing fan favorite Miguel Angel Cotto, 35-2, 28 KO’s on March 12th for the WBA Super World Light Middleweight belt.
But, as I always try to remain analytical and objective in my writing – and RSR fans, you know that I usually am (insert emoticon here), I had to take a step back and actually look at why Mayorga just bothers me. I did a double blink and thought Mayorga?
I thought he retired. Isn’t he in MMA now? But this is where I must begin and pick apart exactly what his chances are against Cotto and why he can be potentially dangerous.
The Nicaraguan bad boy has a sort of mythical, if not notorious and mysterious, background. When he was fighting actively, the commentators would mention he would still smoke and drink, get into fights, and apparently it worked for him because he continued to win. Out of his 29 wins, he had 23 KO’s. With a similar liking to Edwin Valero, Mayorga is dangerous because of his personal volatility.
If he’s as unpredictable and out of control outside of the ring, a boxer’s style often reflects that same kind of recklessness. It’s simple and with pure instinct. By putting Mayorga against Cotto, promoters Bob Arum and Don King are perhaps creating an unpredictable and volatile matchup.
In contrast to his opponent, Cotto has experienced resurgence in his career – at least in the light middleweight division. Currently ranked #1 among light middleweights, Cotto is now being trained by boxing commentator and trainer Emanuel Steward. It’s been stated that he hasn’t been the same since his defeat by Margarito.
I’d like to think he has become better because Cotto has determined he is not going to let the loss against a potential cheater be his legacy. Against Yuri Foreman, Cotto showed a good jab, footwork, and ring generalship. Even though he won by TKO in the 9th round, I don’t doubt that he would have won by unanimous decision over 12 rounds. Foreman will go up against Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak for the vacant NABF Light Middleweight title on the same night Cotto fights Mayorga.
Even with 23 KO’s, I still have to look at Mayorga’s losses. And, I give credit for the notable losses because his record is by no means padded. Over the course of his career, Mayorga’s losses obviously reveal a weakness to his boxing. I’d even argue that while his unpredictability and fearlessness adds a bit of swag to his boxing, he is exactly that – a streaky and unpredictable boxer that when he loses, it’s pretty bad and when he wins it’s out of his KO ability. This again does not necessarily fare well for a boxer to consistently win against those boxers that might actually present a challenge.
2003 proved to be a pivotal year for Mayorga.
He started out the year with two victories over the late Vernon Forrest. He first fought Forrest to a 3rd round TKO then fought again later in the year and scored a 12 round MD. Finally, in December 2003, Mayorga fought against fellow champion Cory Spinks and lost by 12th round MD. So, Mayorga did successfully hold title belts and successfully defended them.
Later in October 2004, Mayorga fought against now retired Puerto Rican Champ Felix Trinidad. He lost by an 8th round TKO for the then vacant NABC Light Middleweight belt. This is where I think Mayorga reveals weakness. Mayorga is a fighter that is aggressive and constantly goes forward. He is pure aggression and he takes what boxers give him. But based on points, he may need more than straight aggression and power. He doesn’t put up much a fight and it’s strictly upon the impact of a power punch, or even against a champion caliber fighter, Mayorga is really not that good.
Two years later in 2006, Mayorga lost to Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya in the 6th round by TKO. Mayorga had been down twice in the bout (once in the 1st and later in the 6th).
Two years later in September 2008, Mayorga lost against Sugar Shane Mosley with a 12th round KO. I imagine this might have been a demoralizing fight for Mayorga. He had fought a tough fight but took a Mosley left hook that knocked him out in the 12th and final round.
Finally, after two years, Mayorga made a return to the ring in December 2010 and defeated Michael Walker with a 9th round TKO. Hopefully the fact that he’s lost every two years actually might mean he may win.
But I just have to wonder on the part of Arum and King. Why would anyone buy into this fight? To date, the card for the March 12th evening is filled with some possibly entertaining fights, including a 10 round light middleweight bout between Joshua Clottey and Calvin Green.
I’m sure there will also be a round of hearty applause and cheers as recent attack victim Christy Martin makes a return to the ring and will be fighting against Dakota Stone. Martin last fought and defeated Stone back in 2009 for the then vacant WBC Women Light Middleweight title belt.
Prediction for the fight?
Mayorga has to strike early in the fight because I think he doesn’t have the expertise to actually fight. Unless his style has drastically changed to include boxing strategy and actual tactics, he won’t stand a chance. So, does Mayorga have a chance against Cotto? None really. But it is boxing and it is Mayorga – anything can happen.