Seconds Out

Mosley – Mora: Winners and Losers


By Jason Pribila: On Saturday Night, “Sugar” Shane Mosley looked to rebound from his one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. when he returned to the ring in the building where his career peaked twice, The Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Sergio Mora entered the ring as a live underdog possessing a style that has always given Mosley fits. And although Mora was the pre-fight pick of several experts, no one could deny that this fight was a no-win situation for Mosley. Few hoped the same would not be said about those who purchased the pay per view.

5. Victor Ortiz – Ortiz returned to the ring where he suffered a crushing defeat in a slugfest against Marcos Maidana. He successfully exorcized some of his own demons while thrashing the shell of Vivian Harris. While questions remain as to how Ortiz will react the next time he is faced with adversity, he at least ensured that we will get the chance to find out. The junior welterweight division is loaded, and there are very few soft touches that Golden Boy could hand pick to next face Ortiz.

It needs to be mentioned that Vivian Harris had no business being on this pay per view. Harris last fought for a title in 2007, and he was knocked out by Junior Witter. After a year off, he started his comeback fighting in New Jersey, at a Medieval Times restaurant. He survived being floored twice in the opening round by Octavio Narvaez (7-4-1). Watching that fight on-line I was reminded of the classic quote from “The Cable Guy” when Ben Stiller’s character asked for a knife and fork.

“There were no utensils in medieval times; hence there are no utensils at Medieval Times.”

Same could be said about pay per view worthy junior welterweights.

4. Golden Boy Promotions: The promotion of a PPV main event that failed to capture the imagination of even hard core boxing fans could be difficult. GBP deserves a ton of credit for incorporating the Mexican bicentennial into a weekend full of activities for fight fans. Not only were tickets priced from $20 to $200 for Saturday Night’s fights, but they also offered an evening of boxing on Friday night across the street in the outside of the Club Nokia Theater. GBP was unable to put shine on its main event, but by making ticket prices available for real fight fans they again cultivated the sport in downtown Los Angeles.

3. American College Football Fans: Fight fans are hoping the final quarter of the year will make up for a dismal 2010. I realized that trying to find friends to gather for a fight card that I was reluctant to purchase was a losing battle, especially when I was competing with a slate of college football games and Major League Baseball pennant races. Turns out that the water cooler talk was dominated by those who preferred to watch battles waged on the gridiron. Not only did they get to see Iowa’s rally come up short on the road in Arizona, but they also got to witness Notre Dame lose in overtime to Michigan State on a fake field goal. In each case the fans knew who was victorious when the clock read 0:00.

2. Daniel Ponce de Leon: The Mexican slugger has been an afterthought in the loaded featherweight division ever since he was knocked out in the opening frame of his contest with Juan Manuel Lopez. His bout against the fan friendly Antonio Escalante was dubbed by many as the best fight on the card. De Leon possesses the power to make it a short night against anyone in the division, but he surprised many by showing off improved boxing skills against the game Escalante. A counter right hand closed the show in the third, and vaulted de Leon back into title contention.

1. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez: The easiest fight to predict on the card was that Alvarez would out-box the steel-chinned Carlos Baldomir to a wide unanimous decision. Baldomir was a step-up in competition that once upset Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti by forcing them to fight his fight. It was going to be interesting to see how Alvarez would be able to control his emotions down the stretch with a guy that refused to go away, while trying to impress an adoring crowd. Prognosticators were damned when Alvarez delivered an uppercut that sent Baldomir face down to the canvas where he was counted out.

The 13,000+ fans at the Staples Center were on their feet, and remained energized when Alvarez appeared ringside during the main event. Fans took the time to chant “Canelo, Canelo” long enough to break up their harmony of boos.

Alvarez has a long way to go, but Golden Boy plans to have him fight again in December. Not sure how high Alvarez’ ceiling is, but in five-plus rounds he’s already accomplished something Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. failed to do. He made me want to see him fight again.

5. PPV Audience: Everything would have had to gone right in order for this card to justify $44.95 ($54.95 in HD). While the live crowd was energized by witnessing three knockouts prior to the main event, the energy did not translate to those watching at home. Once again a Golden Boy PPV featured early stoppages that forced HBO announcers to kill almost an hour of time because the main event won’t start before 11pm EST.

This is yet another example of why folks that purchase a UFC PPV get more bang for their buck. Early stoppages during a UFC PPV allow producers to show bouts that took place prior to the arrival of the live audience. Of course, UFC fight cards feature enthusiastic fans that are in their seats long before the main event.

4. Ringside Judges: Kermit Bayless and Lou Moret: Shane Mosley deserved a comfortable win on the scorecards. I understand that making your opponent miss is a critical part of the sweet science, but when a person refuses to throw punches, he does not deserve to win a round. Mosley was not landing a lot of punches, but he was at least trying to make a fight. Mora ran from the opening bell, and failed to land anything of significance early, other than his lead shoulder. A closer look at the scorecards reveals that Mosley swept the final two rounds on the judges’ cards to salvage the draw. That is actually ammo for the visually impaired that felt that Mora won the fight. Round 11 was the one round that Mora let his hands go, and landed clean punches on an exhausted Mosley.
Perhaps I should have spent the extra $10 for the HD feed, because I obviously saw a different fight.

3. Andre Berto: The common sense of taking the short money now in order to make big paydays in the future never entered Berto’s mind. Rather than fighting in front of an enthusiastic audience, against a vulnerable Hall of Famer; Berto remains on the sidelines waiting to see if he’ll get the chance to fight again in 2010. I know that there was more to the deal than a 60/40 split, but it had to beat the alternative. I’m not saying that Berto should have given the money back that he was overpaid for fighting in an empty arena against Carlos Quintana, but I probably would have nodded and accepted the next deal dangled by a network that wanted to air my next fight.

2. Sergio Mora: I did pick the “Latin Feint” to pull the upset against Mosley. I believed when he said he was going to use the PPV platform to make up for lost time squandered during his career. Instead, he showed up three lbs. heavy at the weigh in, he ran for nine rounds, and then he actually suggested a rematch takes place during the post fight press conference.
There is no doubt that the gift draw will ensure that Mora gets another fight on TV. He is, after all, promoted by Golden Boy. I wish Mora well, but I will only tune in if his fights are first heavily edited with the theme song of “The Contender” playing in the background.

1. “Sugar’ Shane Mosley: Mosley won the fight, but he had much more to lose going into this bout than Mora. Mosley hoped to again silence critics that suggested he should hang up his gloves. He hoped that a victory would set him up for the winner of Pacquiao – Margarito, or perhaps a rematch with Miguel Cotto. Mosley’s chances to be matched against a Top Rank fighter went from slim to none as soon as Golden Boy’s latest lawsuit against Top Rank was announced. I thought Alfredo Angulo would provide Mosley with the chance to prove he could still pull the trigger against a pressure fighter, but there have been reports that Angulo was deported to Mexico earlier this week.

My advice for Mosley is to move back to welterweight and stay there. He has moved between welterweight and junior middleweight throughout his career, but he has always been more effective at 147 lbs. If the Berto fight does not get made, perhaps someone from junior welterweight will come forward. At this point there is no longer any reason to chase anyone outside of or inside of the ring.


Jason could be reached for questions or comments at

September 23, 2010

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