Ricardo Mayorga with WBA welterweight titleThe undefeated world champion has become a rarity in the sport of boxing. Saturday night, Andrew "Six Heads" Lewis became the latest fighter to lose his belt and his zero after brash Costa Rican Ricardo Mayorga unleashed a series of vicious right hands to his head. As Lewis tried in vain to regain his senses, Mayorga's stock shot through the roof. He's now not only the new WBA 147 lb. champion, but also the prime candidate for a fat payday against the winner of Mosley-Forrest II.

Lewis and Mayorga had met in the ring before. For one action-packed round on the Roy Jones-Julio Gonzalez undercard, Lewis and Mayorga traded heavy punches before a nasty clash of heads early in the second opened up Lewis' forehead and stopped the fight. Somewhere in that heated four minutes, Ricardo Mayorga became convinced that he could defeat Six Heads Lewis, and in the days leading up to their rematch he told anyone who would listen that he would win and that it would be easy. He was right.

"Six Heads" Lewis, despite 19 knockouts in 21 straight victories, had done little to cement himself among boxing's elite. His lone impressive outing was a demolition of inactive titlist James Page. In that fight, Lewis showed that his quick hands, awkward stance, and active style could work wonders against a fighter who was barely fighting back. Paired with Mayorga, who was drooling over the thought of heated exchanges, Lewis was completely ineffective.

Lewis opened the first round by tripling up with his jab time and again. Most trainers lust for a fighter with a triple jab... but Lewis' version leaves a little to be desired. At its best, it's a flicking range finder, thrown from an extended elbow and used to set up Lewis' best weapon, the straight left. At it's worst, however, Lewis' jab consists of little more than Lewis waving his wrist towards his opponent as pure distraction. Early in the opening round, Lewis' jab resembled that first version... and indeed a few solid left hands landed for the champion.

Ricardo Mayorga was not going to be distracted by a few left hands. The glare he was shooting Lewis in the opening round had begun at the weigh-in, continued through Lewis' ring entrance, and was now leading the charge as Mayorga leapt into range and fired his awkward clubbing punches. Mayorga glanced a few shots off Lewis' head early in the round, then followed up with some heavier shots as the first came to an end. The effort was enough to tilt a close round to him on our scorecard.

Another close round emerged in the second, the only round that Lewis banked on our unofficial card. Mayorga was swinging and missing for most of the first minute before getting trapped on the ropes and eating a perfect Lewis left cross. Lewis followed with a right uppercut, a punch that landed flush, momentarily buckled Mayorga's legs, and made the challenger taunt Lewis for more. Lewis backed towards center ring, where his style should have had the advantage, but Mayorga kept it close by popping Lewis with a loud, flush right and left seconds before the bell.

The first two rounds were very close, but the third was not. Mayorga quickly established a rhythm, countering Lewis' flicker-jab/left cross/bearhug offense with big overhand rights. Time and again, Lewis stepped right into Mayorga's power shots and each time the blows seemed to stop Lewis in place for a fraction of a second longer than the previous clean punch. In the power department, this fight was no contest. Lewis' best lefts had no effect on Mayorga, while Riicardo's power shots all seemed to hurt Lewis.

After swinging and landing with a number of wrecking ball rights, Mayorga's confidence erupted. Taking a page from the Roy Jones book, Mayorga even willingly backed himself into a corner and invited Lewis to come at him. When Lewis finally accepted the offer and launched a huge left hand, Mayorga slipped the blow, stepped around Lewis and pounded him back with a chopping right. The sequence drew a huge cheer from the crowd and pumped Mayorga with even more self-confidence.

Mayorga lands the rightLewis was looking tired as the fourth round began, and Mayorga may have caught Lewis resting when he swept a long left uppercut across the distance and tagged Lewis' face loitering unprotected. The punch again buckled Lewis' legs and forced him to clinch hard. Lewis was now fighting completely ineffectively. His jab was reduced to the aforementioned wrist-snap, his legs rarely planted when he threw, and his left hand couldn't hit the target, let alone the bullseye. Time and again Mayorga would load up with the right hand and land it on Lewis' head. Sometimes the punches were counters to Lewis' misses, but other times a confused Lewis seemed to be sitting there waiting to get hit.

After two minutes of eating Mayorga bombs one at a time, Lewis sparked his attempt at a rally. Mayorga, perhaps needing a break, stopped throwing punches as Lewis finally let his hands go in combination. Mayorga was on the receiving end of more than a few blows in this flurry, but Lewis' power was anything but concussive, and after 30 seconds Lewis was the one in need of a break. With time running out, Mayorga waited for Lewis to stop his assault, then busted him in center ring with two gigantic bombs, one from each hand. The punches hurt Lewis, who turned and walked slowly back to his corner after the bell.

With Mayorga successfully throwing and landing his biggest shots, and with Lewis doing little in the way of defense, the end seemed near. It was. 45 seconds into the fifth round, Mayorga again clubbed Lewis with a big right hand. Lewis stepped back, bounced out his legs, and then stepped forward again just as Mayorga was launching a downward angled left hook. The punch landed knuckles-first and stunned Lewis in place. He froze in front of Mayorga squared up, and then the real big shots came. Mayorga pounced on the frozen Lewis, leading with a left hook that rattled Lewis' head. Mayorga followed immediately with another hook, and then a right. The three punches all landed flush in a second's time. Lewis had already begun falling over backwards with the second hook. The final right hand made sure that the fight was over.

Lewis crashed backwards onto the canvas, but somehow managed to pull himself up to his feet before referee Rudy Battle had reached the mandatory eight. Lewis may have been up, but he was not in good shape. Arms down, he was staring off into space. Lewis was looking right through Battle, who was now standing in front of him, asking him if he could continue. Lewis was unable to even acknowledge the referee. He simply stood there, hands still down, as Battle twice asked him if he was able to fight on. After the second question, Lewis lightly shook his head as if to clear the cobwebs... but he still didn't appear to even know Battle was in front of him. That was it. Battle waved the fight off and embraced Lewis, who could do little more than embrace him back. Mayorga KO5.

After a minute on the stool, Lewis had regained his senses. Soon he was on his feet and engaging in a four-alarm screaming match with Don King. King had been rebuffed by Six Heads during recent contract negotiations and was all too happy to see Lewis lose. The Don has options on the new champion (what else is new?) and was genuinely thrilled at the chance to tell Lewis just how badly he had screwed up.

Ricardo Mayorga couldn't thank King enough after the belt was strapped around his waist for the first time, but that tune will change. King allegedly promised to buy Mayorga a new Corvette if he won. Good luck collecting on that one, Ricardo. Perhaps Mayorga's praise of boxing's godfather was sheer delirium. After all, the once poverty-stricken Mayorga had hit boxing's equivalent of the lottery: a shot at big money against a bigger name. Mayorga may not have the boxing skills to out-Sugar Mosley or the major-league power to upset the bigger Forrest... but he has heart, and that counts for a lot. He also has the WBA welterweight title. And that means that no matter who he fights next, we'll be hearing more from Ricardo Mayorga.


.....Chris Bushnell
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See also: 

7/28/01: SixHeads Lewis vs. Mayorga I (scroll down)
SixHeads Lewis vs. James Page




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