High Atop The Staples Center
As the great Hall of Fame Baseball announcer, Jack Buck once said, “I can’t believe what I just saw.” 20,820 screaming fans packed The Staples Center to watch the WBA Welterweight title bout between Antonio Margarito and “Sugar” Shane Mosley on Saturday night in Los Angeles and established a new attendance record for the arena.
Shane Mosley did the unthinkable, the impossible as he delivered a one-sided beat down to Antonio Margarito, and knocked out the great Mexican warrior at .43 seconds of round number 9. My friends, this fight was not even close. I had Mosley winning every single round with a 10-8 round thrown in round 8. It was shear brilliance from “Sugar” Shane Mosley on this night. I’m still in awe of his incredible performance.
I talk to a lot of people within the Boxing community and very few even gave Mosley a chance to win at all. A few people said things like “he might have a chance to go the distance”, or “if he fights smart he might make it competitive.” I myself gave Shane very little chance to win.
For those who say they predicted a Mosley knockout victory, your either drunk or lying. At the risk of being too over dramatic, this was one of the greatest performances I’ve seen in last ten years. It will most likely be considered one of the biggest upsets in quite sometime but in reality, it shouldn’t be classified an upset, should it?
We “experts” should have known that the quick and talented Mosley could pull this off. I said before the fight, “He is too old to keep pace with “The Tijuana Tornado”. What I should have said is that Shane is too experienced and will toy with the lumbering Margarito. Before the fight I said “Mosley can’t hurt Margarito”. What I should have said is that Mosley will throw a million solid right hands and only one won’t land and he will overwhelm his opponent. Damn, if they do a compubox number for Mosley right hands, I’d like to see it.
What I said before the fight is “Mosley is a very good fighter, but not a great one.” What I should have said is that Mosley is one of the greatest boxers I have ever seen and deserves to be in the same breath as any great fighter who comes up.
Shane Mosley made history at Staples Center tonight, and I feel privileged to have been able to witness it live.
It is on a night like this when I realize why I love the Sweet Science. You can take your Super Bowls, take the World Series and the Masters is only a mere pitch and putt contest compared to the greatness of a historical title fight.
As far as the fight itself, it started out as most thought it would with Mosley coming out fast and out punching Margarito 3 to 1 and trying to establish respect by going right to the Champion. No surprise there. It was only a matter of time before Margarito would catch up and tire out the old man is what I thought.
Round two started and it was more of the same with a little added bonus. The challenger was staying inside and holding Margarito and as crazy as it sounds, Mosley was almost bullying the bigger and stronger Champ. In my mind it was a turning point in the fight. The savvy Mosley was not afraid of the big, bad wolf and was ready to blow his house down.
As round three began, the two fighters were consistently clashing with their heads and it was getting pretty rough in there, and Antonio Margarito was getting the worst of it. The right hand of Mosley couldn’t miss and the champion was not throwing anything back.
That’s ok though, no way in hell can Mosley keep this pace. I waited for the tide turn....and waited, and waited and waited.
The tide never did turn and by round six, it looked as if he had history in the making. Margarito looked tired, confused and yes, he was being stunned by power of the so-called light hitting Mosley.
Going into round 8, I had not given Margarito a single round. I have a great deal of respect for the Mexican and tried real hard to find a way, but it just wasn’t there. As round 8 was coming to an end, Mosley struck pay dirt as he landed a short left and Margarito stumbled towards the ropes. The challenger would follow it up with three humongous right hands and down went Margarito. I was screaming, Mexican fans were crying and the entire Boxing world was stunned. The man who can’t punch just put down the man who can’t be hurt.
Margarito would get up, but it didn’t look good for him. In his corner between rounds eight and nine, Margarito’s corner tried to convince the great warrior to throw in the towel. Of course he refused. “If I’m gonna die, die with my boots on”, as the heavy metal legends, Iron maiden once said. No way in hell would Margarito quit. He would in fact rather be knocked out than quit in his corner. That’s what warriors do, right Oscar?
Round nine began and it was only a matter of time. It was obvious that Margarito had nothing left. Mosley came right to him and delivered a vicious flurry that ended with a big right hand to put the former champion down and out for good.
“Sugar” Shane Mosley, WBA Welterweight Champion of the World!
In defeat, I expected Antonio Margarito to be classy and I wasn’t disappointed. He gave Mosley full credit for his victory and offered no excuses. His rabid fans in a surprising move actually cheered for Mosley and gave him a huge ovation following his destruction of their man. Why shouldn’t they. Mosley’s performance was nothing short of historic and any fan of Boxing or Boxers can’t help but recognize greatness when they see it.
My mom always taught me that if I have nothing nice to say, I should keep my mouth shut. I agree with her, but I’ll report the results of the undercard anyway.
In the first bout of the evening, Welterweights were scheduled for 6 rounds. Juan Carlos Salgado of Mexico City (19-0-1 13 KO) won a unanimous decision over Cristian Favela of Los Mochis, Mexico (15-17-6 9 KO) by scores of 59-55, 60-54 and 58-56.
Next up was Junior lightweights as Jerry Belmontes of Corpus Christi, TX. (6-0-1 1 KO) would defeat Jesus Hernandez of Riverside, CA. (2-4 2 KO) by unanimous decision. Two scorecards read 39-37 and third read 40-36.
Adrian “The Problem” Broner of Cincinnati, Ohio looked to stay unbeaten as he took on Jose Lugo from Mexico. “The Problem” is that this fight was horrible. Broner won a unanimous decision to improve to 6-0 with 5 knockouts. Lugo fell to 10-7-1 with 5 KO’s.
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero from Gilroy, CA. (23-1-1 16 KO) made his return to the ring and in quick fashion got Edel Ruiz of Mexico (29-22-5 18 KO) out at .43 seconds of round number 1 with a beautiful combination. A right shoulder to the head and a left hook to the body.
A young Russian Olympian that Bob Arum and Top Rank are quite proud of was on the card. Matvey (Matt) Korobov (3-0 3 KO) looks to be a promising young fighter. Jose Florentino of Indianapolis, IN. (3-3 3 KO) was the opponent that was thrown to the Russians....I mean lions. Korobov did his job and made quick work of his opponent. At 2:28 of round number one, referee David Mendoza saw enough and halted the bout. Korobov will next be fighting at Madison Square Garden on the Miguel Cotto show. Keep an eye on this kid.
As always a few celebrities were in attendance. Rocky Balboa was there talking to a guy that was either Joe Pecsi, or a bum that he pulled in from the gutter of Figueroa Street. Come on Joe, mix in a shave and a haircut.
The biggest ovation was given to comedian and Oscar De La Hoya lap dog, George Lopez.
San Diego Charger running back Ladanian Tomlinson was there. I heard he was sitting this one out, but apparently, that’s only applicable to Football playoff games.
Can’t decide who was booed more, The Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Oscar De La Hoya. It was close.
-Forget the Oscar De La Hoya statue in front of Staples Center, you better get that Shane Mosley statue cooking. He actually fights and wins at that arena.
-Pittsburgh Steelers 28
Arizona Cardinals 13
- More important than the fight itself was the fact that I rode in the elevator with all the Tecate Ring girls as they arrived. Kind of hard to focus on Boxing after that, but I managed.
-Is it Baseball season yet?
- “Sugar” Shane Mosley vs. Miguel Cotto is the fight I want to see next. It makes so much sense it hurts. You know Mosley will want his revenge and think he’ll get.