Shane Mosley and Mike Tyson each had an off week.
Mosley walked into the ring drowsy Saturday night and woke up when Vernon Forrest started firing straight right hands into his chin and forehead.
Helped back to his corner by the referee after being knocked down twice in the second round, Mosley displayed a granite jaw and lasted 12 rounds against a lethally accurate Forrest. Although Mosley was inexplicably listed as possessing an inch and a half reach advantage, it became clear early that Forrest was longer, stronger inside and surprisingly sharp defensively.
Time after time, Mosley lunged and rushed toward Forrest rather than jab his way in and rake Forrest’s ribs with left hooks. Patiently, Forrest fended off Mosley’s charges and glazed his eyes with brutal uppercuts in close.
In the sixth and seventh rounds, Mosley seemed to compose himself, but Forrest weathered the few combinations Mosley put together. In the 10th round, Forrest staggered Mosley again. That Mosley survived to the final bell is a testament to his pride and holding skills.
For Mosley, considered by some the top pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, a return to the disciplined-attacking style shown in his come-from-behind victory against Oscar de la Hoya is in order.
Roy Jones can get away with leading with his chin and letting his hands go because nobody in the light heavyweight division has the skill and speed to properly greet him as he rushes in. Forrest, de la Hoya, Fernando Vargas, Felix Trinidad, Ike Quartey (if he’s still alive out there somewhere), all of these fighters are quite capable of cutting Mosley down when he gets cute.
Speaking of cute, Gentleman Mike Tyson is back in the news. Yes, I know, none of you had heard. The irrepressible Tyson decided to get a little live sparring in with Lennox Lewis before their scheduled bout in April.
From all the commentary on Tyson’s alleged biting of Lewis and whether the fight should go on, I especially liked Friday Night Fights with Max Kellerman’s personal appeal to Tyson. Kellerman basically begged Tyson to get his head together so that he would have some sort of life after boxing, where he could grow old and be happy.
It got me thinking. What have we, as people in Mike Tyson’s global village, done to prepare him for life after boxing? He needs direction. He needs counseling. He needs suggestions on what to do after retirement.
Tyson could open a mosque. “Pwaise be to Allah.” Or work with kids. Or eat children. Or eat Islamic children.
Now that I think of it, maybe there aren’t a lot of options.