Shane Mosley, Sergio Mora draw fire
The fight fans at Staples Center vocal in their dissatisfaction with this hugfest
LOS ANGELES -- It is often said a draw or a tie in sports is like kissing your sister. If that is the case the disgruntled crowd at Staples Center called the outcome of the painfully dull fight between Shane Mosley and Sergio Mora fairly early in their uninspired affair.
As Mosley and Mora engaged in their umpteenth clinch in a fourth round that more closely resembled a slow dance than a must-win match for both fighters, the crowd of 13,591 began to chant "beso!" -- Spanish for "kiss!"
The decision of a draw served as yet another black eye for a sport that doesn't have enough cut men in the corner to tend to the self-inflicted wounds.
It's easy to say Mosley should have won this 12-round bout with Mora. It's debatable whether he truly deserved to win. Saturday night's snoozer was probably the worst pay-per-view main event of the year and seriously hurt Mosley's ability to headline another pay-per-view card.
The fans at Staples Center -- some paying upward of $400 -- continually booed both fighters after each round.
They saved their loudest ovations for Magic Johnson, seated ringside next to Oscar De La Hoya, the ring girls and 20-year-old boxer Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, who knocked out Carlos Baldomir in the sixth round of an undercard fight.
This was a make-or-break fight of sorts for Mosley and Mora, for different reasons. Mora, the 29-year-old East L.A. native who won the first season of "The Contender" reality show five years ago, was trying to establish himself as a legitimate fighter after fighting only twice in the past two years. Mosley, the 39-year-old native of Pomona who had been one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the world, was trying to re-establish himself as a contender after a listless loss to Floyd Mayweather four months ago.
In the end, no one got what they wanted. Everyone could agree the main event was a dud; even the promoters kept harping on how good the undercard was. In the end, the lone suspense was the final decision. Judge Kermit Bayless scored it 115-113 for Mora, David Denkin had it 116-112 for Mosley and Lou Moret had it 114-114.
Either way, the final result of the HBO pay-per-view event only highlighted a fight so bad that HBO will not air a replay as it normally does, choosing instead to show it on HBO Latino next Saturday night when hopefully most of their viewers are out doing almost anything else.
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After the fight Mora (21-1-2, six knockouts) felt as if he had won, going so far as to say he may have eased up on Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) late in the fight out of respect for him and because he felt as if he was ahead on the scorecards. But by all appearances, it looked as though Mora started fighting harder late in the fight, as if he knew he needed a strong finish to win.
"I thought I won the fight," Mora said. "I thought I should have gotten more points for my defense. I'm a defensive-minded fighter and I controlled the pace. Then again I forgot where I was fighting. You guys want to see banging. You don't want to see defense."
The CompuBox statistics, which don't factor in defense, favored Mosley and highlighted how poorly both fared. Mosley connected on 161 of his 522 punches (31 percent) while Mora connected on 93 of his 508 punches (18 percent).
For an aging fighter who will need an opponent like Manny Pacquiao to salvage another pay-per-view payday after Saturday night's performance, Mosley didn't seem overly concerned by the result.
"I was expecting to get the knockout," Mosley said. "I believe I won the fight but it is what it is. That's what happens when you don't knock the guy out."
During the post-fight news conference that took place on the Staples Center floor, some fans again began to chant the name "Canelo." Mosley smiled.
"There's a lot of big fights out there for me," Mosley said. "Canelo is a great up-and-coming fighter. I'm looking at Pacquiao and [Miguel] Cotto right now. Maybe Canelo can be later in the future."
We can only hope not.Arash Markazi is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.