Boxing: Margarito-Mosley jump start 2009

Jan 24, 2009 7:56 PM
by Mark Mayer | Finally, 2009 has its first compelling fight. Welterweight champion Antonio Margarito has never been higher in his boxing career than now as his prohibitive -330 favorite price tag indicates in tonight’s fight with Sugar Shane Mosley at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Each fighter is a three-time champion, though Mosley at age 37 is spotting seven years to Margarito.

Margarito became a marquee figure after stopping previously unbeaten Miguel Cotto in the 11th round at MGM Grand in Las Vegas last fall to win the welterweight title. The two are slated to meet again in June, provided Cotto wins his Feb. 21 bout against Michael Jennings. Supposedly, whether Margarito wins or loses won’t affect the Cotto rematch. We’ll see.

Mosley, a past lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight champion, lost a close decision to Cotto but rebounded with a 12th round knockout of Ricardo Mayorga. Still, it’s been nearly a year since Mosley last fought and his stature has been clouded by his admission in front of a grand jury to have used a steroid.

That said, the money has been coming on Margarito, who has climbed as high as 5-1 in offshore wagering. Renowned boxing writer and GamingToday contributor Michael Katz says it’s ridiculous to make Mosley that big an underdog, though he picks Margarito to win. Katz points to Mosley never having lost in his long career to a Mexican fighter.

Down the road there could possibly be a fight with Manny Pacquiao, who yesterday decided his on again, off again fight with Ricky Hatton was now on. Pacquiao had a disagreement over the percentage of the purse, but agreed last night to a 52-48 split. Thus, the fight as of now will take place May 2 at the MGM Grand.

The Margarito-Mosley fight is not a pay-per-view event and will be televised live on HBO.