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Shane Mosley the excecutioner

January 24, 2009 |  8:45 pm


Shane Mosley, at 37 a senior citizen by boxing standards, came into the ring at Staples Center tonight wearing black trunks for his welterweight title fight against champion Antonio Margarito. And Mosley picked the right color because he pounded Margarito throughout the fight with right crosses and left hooks and knocked him out in the ninth round in a major upset.

Several boxing writers at ringside did not give Margarito a single round in the fight. I scored only one in his favor.

In the eighth round, Mosley knocked down Margarito, who barely beat the count. Between rounds it looked like an "ER" episode as Margarito's cornermen shook and rubbed his head and neck and poured water to try to revive him.

But in the ninth round, Mosley hit Margarito so hard and so often that I saw sweat fly off the champion's head 19 times before Mosley ended it with a seven-punch flurry. In an instant, the referee stepped in to stop the fight just as Margarito fell to the canvas and one of his cornermen threw in the towel.

Mosley, who twice beat Oscar De La Hoya, was considered too old and too small to beat Margarito, who is known as the "Tijuana Tornado." But it was Mosley who had the faster hands and landed most of the big blows in the fight, much to the shock of the pro-Margarito crowd, who kept chanting his name to try to spur him on.

The fight drew a record 20,820 to Staples Center. The arena was filled with Mexican flags and when Margarito was introduced the place sounded as if the Lakers had just beaten the Celtics to win the NBA title. But Mosley, the executioner, is the one who left the ring with a boxing career that is still very much alive.

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: Shane Mosley finishes a flurry of punches just before Antonio Margarito falls to the canvas and as Margarito's corner throws in the towel in the ninth round Saturday night at Staples Center. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times