Whenever Ricardo Mayorga enters a boxing ring you are sure to find your share of theatrics. The Nicaraguan slugger has left a lasting impression over the years because of his pre-fight trash talk, aggressive and crude style in the ring, and ability to absorb and dish out heaps of punishment. Bombastic and rude in his actions, there will never be another Ricardo Mayorga.
These days Mayorga has become more of a spectacle than anything else as the 37-year old has drifted further away from the championship level of the sport. But that certainly doesn’t mean he would be one to turn down an encore, as the latest news, as reported by our friend Lem Satterfield at BoxingScene, have him among the short list of pugilists being considered for Miguel Cotto’s March 12th ring return at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
<— Slideshow: Images of Mayorga vs. De La Hoya, Trinidad, Mosley and others
You can’t help but be a little curious about this encounter if it does push through. Mayorga has a reputation based on his fearless nature inside of the ring as well as his trash talk outside of it. Seeing him try to rile up the modest-mannered Cotto would serve for great theatre if anything else. And inside of the ring Mayorga would attack with such abandon against the polished Puerto Rican that there couldn’t be anything else except notable suspense in the air.
Cotto was left for dead by some following his horrific TKO loss to Manny Pacquiao in November of last year but he rebounded well with a 9th round stoppage over wounded Yuri Foreman at Yankee Stadium. That contest netted him the WBA junior middleweight bauble and while Cotto would be favored a look back at Mayorga’s career shows he is no stranger to playing the spoiler.
Mayorga burst onto the scene in early 2002 when he chopped down Guyana’s Andrew ‘Six Heads’ Lewis in five rounds to capture the WBA welterweight crown in a rematch of their no-contest six months prior. The win put Mayorga in the spotlight and over the following years he would find himself trading verbal barbs and fistic blows with some of this generation’s best.
His biggest triumph was likely his January 2003 thrashing of the late Vernon Forrest in Temecula, California. Forrest’s stock couldn’t have been higher at the time, as he was coming off of back to back victories over Shane Mosley, but he had no answers for Mayorga’s looping bombs and was planted on his seat and stopped in the third. Forrest would fair better against Mayorga in their rematch but still only mustered a majority draw.
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Mayorga has also shown that his bark is bigger than his bite as well, as he has had some humbling defeats inside of the squared circle.
In December of 2003 he laced St. Louis’ Cory Spinks with some distasteful words about his recently deceased mother and went on to be outboxed over twelve frustrating rounds.
Nearly a year later a red-haired Mayorga lit up Madison Square Garden as he threw caution to the wind against come backing Puerto Rican legend Felix Trinidad. Mayorga was systematically picked apart and stopped in the eighth round despite showing a granite chin and tremendous bravery.
In May of 2006 Mayorga found himself in with a riled-up Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand and this proved to be one of his poorer performances, as he was beaten to the punch by the multi-division champion all night. A sweet left hook from Oscar floored Mayorga in the first and the inevitable end came in the sixth.
Mayorga’s last showing on the big stage came against Mosley in September of 2008 and he faired well but was starched with a chilling left hook with just seconds remaining. At the time of the stoppage Mayorga was leading on one card 105-104 and trailing by the same margin on another.
Just a few days ago Mayorga found a way to defeat fringe contender Michael Clark via 9th round TKO in Miami, Florida on the undercard to the Odlanier Solis-Ray Austin heavyweight main event. If anything else that victory shows that Mayorga is still a willing combatant but he weighed in for the contest at 162 ½ pounds and it remains to be seen whether or not he can squeeze himself down to 154 to challenge for Cotto’s belt.
You really can’t think of two more contrasting characters in the sport other than Mayorga and Cotto. Miguel is one to always don sharp attire while Mayorga was often found drinking a beer and smoking a cigar in center ring following his victories. Cotto speaks with a classy tone while Mayorga’s tongue is unforgiving as they come.
One reason why the fight would be intriguing is simply because Cotto has seemed to show some chinks in his chin following his July 2008 stoppage loss to Antonio Margarito, a bout in which he took tremendous punishment, and if Mayorga were to catch him clean it could spell trouble. If Cotto does find a way to weather the storm the contest would likely look like a repeat of the Trinidad-Mayorga scuffle, a fight that saw Cotto’s countryman break Mayorga down with body shots while drilling him with power shots upstairs.
Who knows how serious of a contender Mayorga is to land the Cotto bout but he has definitely made the sweepstakes a bit more interesting. Undefeated contender Vanes Martirosyan and Poland slugger Pawel Wolak are also in the mix but you won’t find anyone who would make the build up to fight as much of a spectacle as would Mayorga.
Over the years Mayorga has talked a lot of trash and traded much leather with the sport’s best. For images of Mayorga facing off with Vernon Forrest, Fernando Vargas, Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley please check out Wild man Mayorga faces the world’s best
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at Trimond@aol.com