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Dougie’s MASSIVE Mosley-Mora mailbag

20
Sep

SCORECARD VS. PERCEPTION

Hey Doug,
Been a while since I wrote in — life gets in the way of boxing sometimes. I'll get straight to the point and try to make it short.

Just finished watching the Mosley/Mora fight and let me first say I am Mosley's #1 fan; or at least thought so before tonight when the HBO crew showed how much love they have for the Sugarman. Mosley pressed the action and landed the harder shots (including body shots) for virtually the entire fight even in the later rounds when Mora came on a bit. That being said, many of the rounds (like the 1st for instance) were close and tough to score and I ended up with a draw. Even with the draw on my own scorecard, I was hoping Michael Buffer would say something different. To make matters worse, HBO (Larry, Jim and Harold) made me feel dirty about my draw score 🙂

Anyway, I was just wondering how you saw the fight and where you think Mosley and Mora go from here. My thoughts are that Mosley needs to seriously think about retirement – those last 2 rounds were tough for me to watch because even though he wasn't getting badly hurt, Mora landed a few clean shots and I couldn't help but think about the accumulation of such shots he's taken over his lengthy career. I don't care to watch Mora anymore. The attitude just doesn't match the style and that's why he rubs people the wrong way.



Keep up the good work, brother. Peace. — Bim

Thanks for taking the time to write in, Bim. You don’t have tell me that life gets in the way of boxing. I know how it is, brother.

I disagree with your opinion of Mora. He is what he is: an unorthodox boxer who has to rely on ring generalship against world-class fighters because he doesn’t have the power or brute strength to move them. I think gun slingers without “guns,” so to speak, have to possess a certain attitude just to have the balls to climb into the ring with fighters who are packing pistols. I don’t mind watching Mora fight again provided he’s in with an aggressive young talent who can effectively press the fight and set the tempo the way Mosley thought he could. I’m thinking about guys like Alfredo Angulo, Saul Alvarez, and James Kirkland (once he knocks off some rust).

I agree with your take on Mosley. I definitely think it’s time for him to walk away from the combat side of boxing. I’d love to see him stick around as a liaison for Golden Boy Promotions fighters and even as trainer understudy to Naazim Richardson, but I don’t care to see him take any more punches.

I think he’s lucky that Mora isn’t a puncher. If Mora had any power at all, I don’t think HBO’s crew or the majority of ringside observers who thought Mosley was robbed would have scored the fight for the future hall of famer.

As for your draw scorecard, you shouldn’t feel “dirty” at all. It was probably the right score for the fight. Mosley was the aggressor throughout the bout (big surprise) and he was busier, but his offensive effectiveness was generally shutdown by the constant lateral movement of Mora, who landed the cleaner scoring blows in my opinion. So the two boxers, in effect, neutralized each other.

I did the international broadcast of Saturday’s pay-per-view card with Dave Bontempo and we both thought Mora won the fight, although we weren’t surprised that there was a scoring disparity among the official judges; it was a difficult fight to score. Bontempo scored it 115-113 for Mora just as official judge Kermit Bayless did. I thought Mora won by a much wider spread, 117-111. I scored the first nine rounds for the Latin Snake and the final three rounds for Mosley. Were there earlier rounds that could have gone to Mosley? Absolutely. Rounds one, three and four could have just as easily been rounds for the 39-year-old vet. And had I scored those rounds for him my card would look like yours. However, I asked myself who was more “effective” in those rounds and I thought Mora was doing exactly what he wanted to do — and scoring whenever he wanted to — while Mosley was clearly frustrated and not getting off with any kind of leverage or power. In short, the first nine rounds of the fight was a Sergio Mora fight (which is why we heard so many boos from the crowd); not a Shane Mosley fight.

However, most of the ringside press scored the fight as you and official judge Lou Moret did.

RingTV.com co-editor Michael Rosenthal, The L.A. Times’ Lance Pugmire, MaxBoxing.com’s Gabe Montoya, and Fightnews.com’s Francisco Salazar all scored the bout 114-114. So you are in very good company, Bim.

David Avila, of the Riverside Press-Enterprise, scored it 115-113 for Mora, as Bontempo did.

Yahoo.com’s Kevin Iole, Robert Morales, of the L.A. Daily News, and HBO.com’s Peter Nelson scored it 115-113 for Mosley.

THE RING’s Ivan Goldman and Tim Smith, of the New York Daily News, scored the bout 1116-112 for Mosley, as official judge David Denkin did.

ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael scored it 117-111 for Mosley.

The scores were all over the place but the majority of press row either scored it a draw or had it 7-5 in rounds for either guy.

MaxBoxing boss Steve Kim had the best answer when I asked him for his score of the fight. K9 replied: “I got bored and stopped scoring it after a few rounds.”

TIME FOR MOSLEY TO GO

Dougie,
I saw a few things in tonight's main event. I saw Mora probably getting a gift draw, but I also hope (more likely wish) I saw the last fight of Mosley's hall of fame career. It may have been partly the weight, but it was likely his age and all of the hard rounds that made Mosley gas out early, throw mostly arm punches, and hold almost as often as Mora. It wasn't a pretty fight, and while he's not shot, I just don't want to see him hang on to get decimated by a young gun, or follow the path that Roy Jones is currently on. He's given enough, and he'd likely make an excellent trainer. Let's hope he has people around him that care for him, and can convince him to hang them up for good. Your thoughts? — Kwok, NYC

I thought Mosley got the gift on Saturday and it appeared like he knew it immediately after the scores were read.

However, the people around him believe he easily beat Mora, which proves (in their eyes) that Mosley is still an elite boxer with a few high-profile bouts left in him. Mosley called out Miguel Cotto at the post-fight press conference. Trainer Naazim Richardson told me that he’d like Mosley to take a two-or-three month rest and then get back to camp to prepare for a fight in early 2011. When I asked him who he’d like Mosley to fight next, he told me “Manny Pacquiao.”

I don’t want to sound negative and I certainly don’t want to be branded as a “Sugar Shane hater” because nothing could be farther from the truth but I think Mosley is headed for a brutal knockout loss and if he stays active he’ll definitely be on the same road that Roy Jones is currently walking.

I guess that’s the way it often is with the “legends” of the sport. I’ll still root for Mosley if he decides to continue fighting.

SATURDAY NIGHT

Hey Doug,
How is life treating you? I hope you and the family are doing well.

I had not watched a boxing fight in several months mainly because there really isn't much to get excited about in the sport and I started paying more attention to soccer after the world cup as the best play the best (unlike in boxing).

I ordered the PPV of last week featuring Erik Morales and last night's PPV as Morales and Mosley have been two of the fighters I admire the most. Neither fight got me excited about the sport as Morales is not the same he used to be and I really wasn't expecting him to be but he did show some flashes of his former self. I thought Mosley got robbed last night in a boring fight.

I did get excited following last night's undercard fights. Daniel Ponce de Leon looked scary and Victor Ortiz looked good as well. I was also impressed with Saul Alvarez who showed he could be the next great fighter from Mexico.

Who do you pick in a potential fight between JC Chavez Jr. and Alvarez?

Which crop of 126 pounders was better: the current one between JM Lopez, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Celestino Caballero and Ponce de Leon or the one from 10 years ago of Morales, JM Marquez, MA Barrera and the 126 lb version of Pacquiao?

Keep up the great work. Even though I stopped watching the sport for a while I continued to read your work at Ringtv.com. — Ricardo Garcia, Los Angeles

Thanks for the kind words, Ricardo. Don’t worry, boxing will come back. The future looks bright with the current crop of young contenders and prospects, and I definitely believe that Ortiz and Alvarez are integral parts of that future.

David Rodela, who sparred with Ortiz in preparation for the Vivian Harris fight, told me that “Victor has his swagger back” before Saturday’s fight, and I believe the 130-pound fighter was correct in his assessment. The poise and form that Ortiz showed against the former titleholder reminded me of the version of Victor that knocked out Carlos Maussa in one round back in November of 2007. Ortiz is a few years older and wiser thanks to his devastating loss to Marcos Maidana. I think the scrutiny and pressure he’s had to deal with since that loss, plus the busy comeback schedule Golden Boy Promotions put him on, has matured him beyond his 23 years. I would strongly favor Ortiz in a rematch with Maidana and I would not count him out in matchups with any of the young 140-pound titleholders.

Alvarez is a young stud. I like the jab and well-timed right hands he exhibited against Baldomir and the way he closed the show once he noticed that he hurt the 39-year-old former champ at the end of the sixth round. He’s got very good finishing instincts, which should serve him well in the ring and in terms of fan appeal. I don’t know if he’s going to be the next “great” Mexican fighter but he’s definitely on his way to being Mexico’s next star.

I favored Ponce-DeLeon over Antonio Escalante but I thought the former 122-pound beltholder would take the exciting Texan out late or win a decision. Instead, the awkward southpaw vet blasted the kid out in awesome fashion. DeLeon is back and better than ever. I don’t know if I would favor him over Lopez or Caballero in revenge rematches, but I know he’ll be a lot more competitive in those return matches and they will be a lot of fun to watch.

The featherweight crew from 10 years back (Marquez, Barrera, Morales, and Pacquiao — all of whom are future hall of famers and arguably great fighters) beats the current crop. No contest.

PLEASE RETIRE MOSLEY

Hey Dougie,
I hope things are well.

I have enjoyed Shane Mosley's career since 1997 when he beat Philip Holiday. He has fought everyone and forged a Hall of Fame career. He has been a great ambassador for boxing. He has made life changing money, and hopefully he has saved some.

Physically Shane is in great shape. He was bringing it home all over the top of Mora over the championships rounds. Remember Mora is 10 years Shane's junior.

However, mentally something is missing with Shane. He didn't attack effectively earlier enough in the fight for mine. Between rounds Brother Naazim was preaching the right advice, urging Shane to let his hands go, but he just couldn't do it for some reason until round 10. It wasn't due to conditioning. It seemed like a mental block or a lack of confidence. To his credit he won 10 through 12 for mine, but I still felt he left it too late.

I agree with you that Shane's speech is becoming a little slow and harder to understand than five years ago. I hope Naazim, Jack Mosley, Shane Jnr, Oscar de la Hoya, someone whom Shane has great respect for can advise him to retire while he is still on top and has all his faculties in place.

Shane you are a legend! You don't have to prove anything to the fans anymore.

(P.S. — We had the pleasure of receiving your commentary on the broadcast down here. Very well done on all the fights. You have a very promising career as a broadcaster. Good luck with that. I only urge you to keep producing great written articles as your broadcasting career takes off.)

Thanks heaps Dougie. — Choppa B, Sydney, Australia

Thanks for the kind words regarding Saturday night’s broadcast, Chop. I’ve been very lucky to work with veteran commentators on the international feeds I’ve done in the past (Rich Marotta, Alan Massengale, Wallace Matthews to name a few) and my partner for Saturday’s card, play-by-play man Dave Bontempo is as seasoned as they come. Those guys (and the producers we work with) make my analyst job easy.

I agree with your take on the fight 100 percent. Physically speaking, Mosley’s got the body of a 29-year-old fighter. I don’t consider him to be a “shot” fighter. How can I? Look at his record since his back-to-back losses to Winky Wright. He’s 7-2-1 in his last 10 bouts. Mosley defeated former champs Fernando Vargas (twice) and Ricardo Mayorga and beat top welterweights Antonio Margarito and Luis Collazo in that stretch. His losses were to a 40-0 Floyd Mayweather Jr. and a 30-0 Miguel Cotto.

Mosley’s still a formidable athlete but his mind doesn’t respond to certain tactical challenges in the ring the way it did when he was in his prime (1997-2001). Skillful boxers and taller fighters have always given him trouble but he used to know how to break them down (see his knockouts of James Leija, Manuel Gomez and Wilfredo Rivera, and of course, his first decision over Oscar De La Hoya, for examples). It doesn’t seem like he can handle a sharp jab or lateral movement at all these days, and that’s sad.

And it doesn’t bode well for his future because I don’t expect him to hang up his gloves anytime soon. He wants to fight, the people around him still think he’s got it, and who knows, maybe he needs the money due to his divorce with Jin. All I know is that a world-class stick-and-move boxer with a good jab and decent power will do a lot more than frustrate Mosley as Mora did for most of their fight; a guy like Sergio Martinez will brutally dominate Shane. I’m not even sure if power is necessary for a boxer to bewilder Mosley at this point. If Yuri Foreman’s knee can be rehabbed to 85 percent of its effectiveness I think he’d literally box circles around Mosley.

The best option for Mosley in terms of making money and being involved in a major event would be a rematch for Cotto. That fight could be an attraction in New York City, and perhaps Cotto has slowed down enough for Mosley to catch him and hurt him. Of course a problem with that option is the on-again cold war between GBP and Top Rank. Can they get along enough to make the fight? Probably. What the hell else are they going to do with those faded veterans? Personally, I’d rather see Cotto-Mosley II than watch either vet get served up as a stepping stone for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. or Saul Alvarez.

Mosley vs. Alfredo Angulo would also be an attraction in Los Angeles (at the Staples Center, where else?), and because of “El Perro’s” straight-forward pressure fighting style it would be a hell of a fight, one that Mosley could possibly win, but it’s also a potentially punishing affair for the older man.

NO MORA MOSLEY

Doug,
I’ve been hearing conflicting reports about the Mosley-Mora scoring since Saturday. ESPN had it 117-111 (Mosley), but The Ring had Mora winning. About the only thing everyone can agree upon is that the fight itself stunk.

I'm not surprised Mosley didn't look impressive. He's never looked particularly good at 154 lbs and Mora was just an awful draw for him at this stage in his career. I used to think that Mosley could beat guys like Margarito well into his 40s, but Maywether didn't have to use his legs at all and pretty much walked down Shane in their fight. This is two fights in a row now that he's been unable to pull the trigger. I'm not sure where he goes from here.

I refuse to believe even at this stage in his career Shane Mosley can't beat the likes of Cornelius Boundrage, Yuri Foreman or Sechew Powell. But those are all small money fights. A Cotto rematch is an interesting fight and given Cotto's wear and tear, very winnable. Kermit Cintron and Angulo are each even money fights I think, but after that the rest of the top guys Pacquiao, Mayweather, Paul Williams and Martinez are all out of his league right now.

Now that his career is winding down, what is your overall impression of where he stands? He's definitely a Hall of Famer, but he lost (in most cases in one sided fashion) to just about every elite fighter he faced with the exception of Oscar De La Hoya, who came up short himself in most of his big fights. I just remember how huge his future looked after that first De La Hoya fight. He's certainly had a lot of huge highlights, but I think his career is going to be looked back upon with a little disappointment.

And after three fights against world class opponents (Forrest twice & Mosley) we still don't know what Mora is. He seemed to prove himself as world class in the first fight with Forrest, but he went out meekly in the rematch and turned last night's fight into a track meet from what I've read.

Does Sergei Dzinziruk have anything scheduled for the near future? I've only seen him fight twice on Showtime, but I think he's an absolute beast, what a left hand he has.

As a fellow Marvel comics fan, I would like to get into the Top 5 lists that other readers have been throwing out in the mailbags.

How about your Top 5 favorite Cross-over Storylines… I'm not as big a DC fan, but used to read their books a lot when I was younger and I have to say 'The Great Darkness Saga' and 'Kingdom Come' are two of my very favorites of all time. — Tom G.

I’m always surprised to find fellow (or former) comic book collectors among current boxing fans, but I probably shouldn’t be. We were attracted to the grand heroes, spectacular violence and good-versus-evil themes that are found in comics as kids and we discovered real-life versions of those pop-art/pulp fiction morality plays in boxing later in life (or at the same time).

The “Great Darkness Saga” is also one of my all-time favorite cross-over stories. The Legion of the Super-Heroes, which that arc played in, was one of the D.C. titles that collected for many years. I bought any comic that featured that great Jack Kirby-created antagonist, Darkseid.

I assume by “cross-over stories,” you mean arcs that play out in more than one title. I should remind you that I stopped collecting comic books from 1987 through 2007. The whole crossover thing was just getting started in the mid-80s, and though I’ve gone back and caught up with my old favorites (mainly the X-Men) by purchasing trade paperbacks collecting titles from the 1990s and early part of the last decade, I still missed a lot. Anyway, here’s my top five Marvel cross-over stories:

1. Civil War (which played through a limited series and almost every damn title Marvel had at the time)
2. Mutant Massacre (Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, New Mutants, Thor, Daredevil and Power Pack)
3. House of M (almost every Marvel title)
4. Secret Wars (the first mega crossover that I’m aware of, which played though a 12-issue limited series and every major Marvel title at the time, 1984-85)
5. Asgardian Wars (Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants and Alpha Flight)

(Honorable mention: Fall of the Mutants, Second Coming, Necrosha, Messiah Complex, and World War Hulk.) Lot of “wars” going on in the Marvel Universe, huh?

Sorry 90-percent of those were mainly X-Men related, but I’ve been a hopeless X-geek since the late 1970s. I’m taking a break from collecting the post-“Second Coming” X-titles (because I’m pissed that they killed off my all-time favorite mutant, Nightcrawler, during that story arc), so maybe I’ll have the time and dollars to check out some of the non-X-men related crossovers (other than Civil War and WWH) that have taken place in recent years.

By the way, since it’s going to be kind of slow the next two weeks (thanks to the implosion of the Super Six tournament), my next two mailbags will feature all of the Top Five list questions I’ve been receiving over the past two weeks (and don’t worry, folks, they’re all boxing related).

Anyway, back to what happened on Saturday.

I don’t think you can officially say “THE RING” scored the fight for Mora. According to Eric Raskin’s column this week, he, Bill Dettloff and Joe Santoliquito all scored the fight for Mosley by a couple of points. Ivan Goldman scored it 116-112 for Mosley. Michael Rosenthal scored the fight a draw. The only person affiliated with THE RING who scored the bout for Mora was Yours Truly.

I think it’s safe to say that the majority of viewers thought Mosley won by a little bit. However, that might just be the case for North American viewers who watched the HBOP PPV broadcast, which I hear was very much slanted in favor of Mosley.

A poll on EastsideBoxing.com’s forum, which is populated with mostly European-based fans who watched the international feed of Saturday’s card, revealed that a slight majority (57%) of its members thought Mora won.

The bottom line on the fight is that it wasn’t terrible interesting to watch and it was hard to score. I had a feeling the decision would be controversial. In the “Outcome” portion of the RingTV.com Head to Head analysis I predicted a close decision victory for Mora but an unpopular one with the fans, who would favor Mosley’s aggression over the younger man’s ring generalship.

I was almost right. One thing I was very wrong about (aside from thinking press row would have it for Mora) was the amount of drama in the bout. I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch a replay of the fight if I were you. You pretty much have the gist of the bout: Mosley was unimpressive and Mora didn’t prove much in giving the veteran fits.

Still, my guess is that Mora is at least deserving of a lower top-10 ranking at junior middleweight, if that’s the division he wishes to stay in. Anyone who goes 1-1-1 versus Vernon Forrest and Mosley, even at the tail-end of their careers, is beyond an average pro boxer.

As for Mosley, if he fights on think he'll struggle to beat guys like Bundrage, Powell and Foreman. I would pick Cintron over Mosley because of his height, reach, jab, power and athleticism. I don't know what to think about a Cotto rematch, but I know Mosley will eat some hard freakin' shots from the Puerto Rican star and I don't want that to happen to him. Same deal with an Angulo showdown.

I have no clue as to what's next for Sergei Dzinziruk, but I know that he'd win every round against Mosley if they fought.

What's my “overall impression” of Mosley's legacy? I think he’s a first-ballot hall of famer. I don’t think Mosley’s an all-time great (I don’t believe De La Hoya or any of the guys who beat Shane are either). He just wasn’t versatile enough. Who knows how good Mosley could have been had his father signed his ultra-talented son with a major promoter right out of the amateurs, or had he allowed for a more experienced trainer to join their team. I think the potential was there for greatness. It simply wasn’t cultivated enough (or correctly).

I’ll say this, I think Mosley has the mentality of a great fighter. He’ll fight anyone, no matter how strong or talented or difficult their styles are. He’ll fight them twice, back to back. That willingness to challenge himself didn’t wane with age. I respect that. And though he lost to Forrest, Wright, Cotto and Mayweather, I give him credit for having the balls to get into the ring with those guys. Go to Boxrec and look at their records when Mosley fought them. It’s impressive.

Also, Mosley had great form as lightweight contender and titleholder, and he probably could have made some serious noise at junior welterweight had he decided to campaign there instead of jumping directly to welterweight in late 1999. As it is, I feel honored to have been able to see him fight when he was a prospect back in ’94 and ’95, witness his amazing prowess in the gym when he was an unsung contender and newly minted beltholder in in ’96, ’97 and ’98, and then watch and cover his rise to the top of the sport in ’99 and 2000.

I’m not disappointed in how his career has turned out. Sure, I could think about what could have been, but then I remember all of the thrills he delivered in the ring — from those scintillating “power-boxing” (remember that term?) displays that resulted in brutal knockouts during his lightweight title reign to his performance in the first De La Hoya fight that had 20,000 fans on their feet in Staples Center during the final round to the Ray Leonardesque stoppage of Antonio Diaz in Madison Square Garden’s Theater to last year’s beatdown of Antonio Margarito — and I’m more than satisfied with what Mosley has given to the sport.

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