The only thing bigger than Ricardo Mayorga’s mouth is his ability to shove cigarettes into it. The WALL STREET JOURNAL reports on Mayorga’s unlikely comeback at almost 35 leading up to his fight on Saturday against Shane Mosley, but mainly about the fact that he is able to fight at an elite level despite smoking three packs a day.
Well, let’s not get carried away with “elite level” - his big win on his comeback was against Fernando Vargas, perhaps one of the few fighters who is more shot physically than Mayorga. Before that, the last we had seen of Mayorga, Oscar de la Hoya was turning his face into hamburger meat. Before that, it was Felix Trinidad’s turn to pound on Mayorga.
An interesting note from the article: the image of Mayorga as a guy who smokes and drinks came from one of Don King’s publicists, who saw Mayorga smoking in his dressing room after a big win before the press came in, immediately knew that would be an angle, and ran out to find him a beer. Which just goes to show that Don King isn’t just dangerous for fighter’s wallets, but their lungs as well.
Along with his declining boxing skills, his skill at using insults to get inside the head of his opponents seems to be waining as well - he’s been relatively light on Mosley, going as far as to hug him during their first press conference. As ESPN.COM notes, this isn’t like Mayorga, who has a history of running his mouth before, during and after fights:
The Managua mauler’s greatest hits would include offering Vernon Forrest a job sweeping his home in Nicaragua; threatening to send Cory Spinks to heaven to join his deceased mother; boasting that he would not only stop Oscar De La Hoya, but also stop his heart; and telling Fernando Vargas he would do his wife a favor and not let her cry anymore after he disfigured him.
It says a lot about the crummy state of affairs in boxing that two fighters in their mid-to-late 30s who have clearly seen their better days pass them by is what passes as a “big fight.” If I wouldn’t have known better, I would have thought these guys had fought once before. Or twice. But hey, Mayorga’s a colorful character, right?