Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Betting On Boxing - Margarito vs Mosley

Our in-house betting expert, Michael Nelson, gives his thoughts on the Margarito-Mosley fight taking place next Saturday night. It's a difficult fight to handicap as both fighters are tough, determined professionals who are sure to swap a lot of leather. Read on for his opinion on how to maximize your cash.

Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito

Betting line - Margarito: -500 Mosley: +350
My adjusted line - Margarito: -300 Mosley: +240
Hot prop - Over 10 1/2 rounds: -140

Needless to say, this is an intriguing match-up. Mosley is quicker and more experienced than anyone Margarito has faced. But more importantly, he might be the most durable opponent Margarito has encountered (although Joshua Clottey and Paul Williams have
extraordinary chins as well). The main question going in is how well Shane Mosley will remain intact under the blistering pressure the Tijuana Tornado is forecasted to bring. Simply well enough to survive? Or well enough to win crucial rounds during the final

Body punching is key in resolving that question. Antonio Margarito may possess the most intense body attack we've seen since... well, a young Shane Mosley. Mosley will have to deal with a cocktail of uppercuts to the sternum, right hands to the rib cage, and left hooks to the liver that he's not accustomed to dealing with. On the flip side, while Mosley's lack of commitment to the body against Mayorga was disappointing, he's still very dangerous when he has his mind set on putting in work downstairs. It should also be noted that on close review of Antonio's fight with Sebastian Lujan, Lujan briefly doubled Margarito up a few times in the early going. Mosley's new trainer Naazim Richardson is a notorious liver shot lover (listen to him scream for a body shot right before Bernard Hopkins KO'd De La Hoya). It could stand to reason that he's training Shane to do what I feel is his best shot: rip into Antonio's midsection, early and often.

Another fact that you have to consider is how much clinching and wrestling Mosley has initiated in recent years. The Collazo, Cotto, and Mayorga bouts all had its fair share of grappling. Antonio's strengths lie in beating opponents into disfigurement on the inside, but expect Mosley's newfound tendency to clinch to at least partially neutralize that. It should play a large role in his preservation for the last half of the fight.

Shane's still an elite, superbly conditioned athlete, as evident by his last second knockout of Mayorga. But it's hard not to notice that Shane, now in his mid-thirties, has become increasingly tired during the final quarter of his fights as he has gotten older. For that reason, I see Margarito taking a hold of the fight after an evenly contested 7-8 rounds to win a hard decision. Look for Mosley to gut out the last round and make things close.

My recommendation: In all likelihood, this is a grueling 12 round affair. Double down on the over.


Anonymous said...

I like Mosley and then the double on the over as a hedge. I think fight plays out exactly as you do. But Shane is a great value play here. With the over being a lock in my opinion. A play on Shane, and doubling the wager on the over.

Mark Lyons