Smack-talk. The pre-fight propaganda of verbal sparring between boxers can be a diverting prelude to a bout and, in some cases, a good trash-talk can turn a mediocre matchup into a highly anticipated main event. Some fighters rarely, if ever, insult their opponent. They only parry their rivals' comments like a lazy jab, choosing the sticks-and-stones route and claiming they want to do their talking in the ring.
Then there are the pugilists who provide most of the verbal fireworks and generate the anticipation for the bout. Their words are meant to sting as much as a perfectly executed one-two.
But there's one man, one fighter -- "El Matador" they call him -- whose words are as piercing as a bullfighter's sword, loaded with as much intent to hurt his opponent as his powerfully wild hooks. He leaves no stone unturned, no subject untouched.
The first taste of
But it was his two fights against
Before his first fight against "The Viper," Mayorga said, "Forrest is nothing to be scared of. He can't knock me out. I was thinking I would [knock him out] inside seven, but now I think it will be even earlier."
And he was right. Mayorga closed the night in three and celebrated winning his second world title by smoking a cigarette -- in the ring -- after the decision was announced.
In their rematch -- a win via decision for Mayorga -- the brash basher decided to prove that Forrest couldn't knock him out even when he dropped his hands and let Forrest hit him cleanly with three crisp two-punch combinations.
With Mayorga, it hasn't been his talent as much as his mouth that has kept him at the forefront of boxing. Lately, he has become the measuring stick for fighters at the tail end of their careers: if they beat him, they fight on; if they lose, they retire.
El Matador's trash-talking, limited boxing ability and kill-or-be-killed approach have led to lucrative fights against
Even after losing by knockout, Mayorga has come back with a full arsenal of insults. And in advance of his bout against
"It'll be a good knockout," said Mayorga in a conference call earlier this week. "If he stands and fights me, I'll knock him out in one round. If he runs, in two or three. I'm going to send him home to wash dishes."
Even in his insults toward Mosley, Mayorga managed to insult fighters he's faced before. He referred to Mosley as De La Hoya's daddy and Forrest's son, and then referred to Forrest as his own son.
In his last fight, Mayorga took on Vargas, one of three opponents he shares with Mosley (the other two being De La Hoya and Forrest, each with different results against them). With
Against the 37-year-old Mosley, Mayorga's strategy will most likely be the complete opposite. Both fighters will come in at the junior middleweight limit, which means Mayorga will look to pressure Mosley, the naturally smaller man, with his unorthodox bruising style and will undoubtedly attempt to club Mosley to sleep.
"I'm ready to fight," said the 34-year-old Nicaraguan. "I feel very strong. I'm very focused to knock him out."
This Saturday, when the two take the ring at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, Mayorga will have the chance to, as he puts it, prove to "Sugar" Shane who his daddy is. Win or lose, rest assured, El Matador will be back, with wild hooks and insults just as sharp and crass as ever.