Mosley vs. Mora: Judges disagree and fight ends in a draw
Shane Mosley and Sergio Mora staged a dull bout Saturday night at Staples Center, packed with holding, hugging and inside fighting where it appeared there were more missed punches than those landed.
The deserved winner was neither.
A draw was declared, with judge Lou Moret scoring the bout 114-114 afterpeers Kermit Bayless scored it 115-113 for Mora and David Denkin had it 116-112 for Mosley.
The bout featured no knockdowns, minimal blood (only a slight cut from a head butt near Mora’s right eyebrow) and no compelling exchanges.
Te mostly tentative Mora fell to 22-1-2 and Mosley, looking all of 39, suffered his first draw and is now 46-6-1.
Here's a round-by-round recap by The Times' John Cherwa:
The crowd at the Staples Center is, as you might expect, very pro-Latino on a card labeled a celebration of Mexico’s bicentennial. And as the main event approached the crowd was clearly riding a high as Daniel Ponce de Leon and Saul Alvarez, both from Mexico, had easily won their fights.
Sergio Mora was the first to enter the ring, wearing black trunks with red trimming. The reception for Mora was slightly less than expected and when Shane Mosley entered the ring a few minutes before 8 p.m. there was a very strong reception for the Pomona fighter punctuated by boos. Mosley was wearing white trunks with red and green stripes and looked much looser than Mora, who stalked around the ring during introductions.
The third man in the ring is Pat Russell.
Round 1: The usual feeling-out period lasted about a minute before Mosley tried to act like the aggressor without landing any significant punches. Midway through the round the crowd started to chant “Mora” but it did little to make the round any more interesting. The round ended with no damage done to either fighter but Mosley establishing himself as the favorite. The Times gives the round to Mosley, 10-9.
Round 2: The second round started as a carbon copy of the first, with Mora’s corner coaxing him to come forward and attack Mosley. About a minute into the round the crowd started to get restless with the ever-present chorus of “boos” in a fight that so far has delivered little action. Mora came out of a clinch late in the round with a flurry that missed but Mosley, once again, prevailed as the aggressor. Mosley wins round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 20-18.
Round 3: Mosley started to push the action early in the round, at one point chasing Mora several steps into a corner. Mosley had a soft connect with a right midway through the round and his years of experience were showing. The crowd again expressed their displeasure with the lack of significant action in the fight. Mosley wins round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 30-27.
Round 4: Mora came out a little more aggressive but that only allowed Mosley to land a few punches inside, neither of which did any damage. There was an extended clinch midway through the round where the fighters exchanged some body blows but it wasn’t until about a minute left when Mosley landed a solid right. Mora suffered a cut over the outside corner of his right eye. It did not appear to hinder his vision. Mosley wins the round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 40-36.
Round 5: Mora seems to be getting more comfortable in the ring and more willing to square off with Mosley. Mora’s corner did a good job to stop the bleeding of the cut until the end of the round. Mora’s mocking of Mosley got the crowd excited but the round proved to have little action. Mosley win the round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 50-45.
Round 6: Mosley’s dominance in the fight so far has been due to him being the aggressor rather than any series of significant punches. The biggest ovation was before this round when Magic Johnson was shown on the video board. Mora landed his first good right to Mosley’s chin with about a minute left. Mosley wasn’t hurt and chased him to the corner, but Mora seemed bolstered by the punch. Mora wins the round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 59-55.
Round 7: Mora came out with a bit more confidence and Mosley seemed to be slowing down a little. Still, Mosley was able to land a flick to the face but Mora came back strong with some non-damaging counters. Both fighters slowed the fight down in the final minute with Mora becoming the aggressor. But is it too late? Mora wins the round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 68-65.
Round 8: Mosley, perhaps sensing the tide was turning, came out stronger at the start of the round, continually backing Mora onto the ropes. Both fighters, certainly not punched out, were starting to show some fatigue. Mosley was able to regain control of the pace in this round and won it by being more active. Mosley wins the round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 78-74.
Round 9: Mosley was able to show a brief flurry early in the round when he had Mora backed into a corner, but no real damage was done. Later in the round Mosley repeated the flurry as Mora spent more time on the ropes. It’s looking like Mora will need a knockout to come back and win this fight. But, to do that, he’s got to land some punches. Mosley wins the round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 88-83.
Round 10: Midway through the round Mora connected on a nice combination but Mosley answered with his own shot. Most of the action has been reserved for the ropes where Mosley landed several jabs that lacked velocity. It was the first good round as the fighters tiring led to more punches being landed. Mosley wins the round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 98-92.
Round 11: About 45 seconds into the round there was a nice exchange between the fighters, both clearly tiring and letting their guard down. Neither fighter is really the aggressor at this point as it just seems easier to fight near the ropes. The last 30 seconds of the round the fighters were exchanging punches as the cheering rose to its loudest volume. Mosley perhaps had the most damaging shot, a right to the face. Neither fighter has really been hurt, just rendered exhausted. Mosley win the round, 10-9. Mosley leads, 108-101.
Round 12: If there was desperation in Mora it was quickly snuffed as Mosley continued to drive his opponent toward the ropes, where they would exchange non-damaging punches. Mora was able to land a few short jabs but Mosley continued to be the aggressor. By the end Mora was clearly spent as Mosley was throwing twice as many punches. Mosley wins the round, 10-9. The Times' final score: Mosley 118, Mora 110.The judges however surprised everyone tonight at Staples Center, seeing it as a draw with one judge having Mosley winning, 116-112, another saw it Mora winning, 115-113, and the final judge calling it a 114-114 draw. The decision seemed to shock the crowd, who thought they watched a very different fight than the one scored by the judges.
Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez showed the promise that caused his fans to erupt in applause as he entered the ring by leaving it with an assassin-like sixth-round attack of veteran former world welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir.
Alvarez (34-0-1, 26 KOs) belted the 39-year-old Baldomir with a few impressive counter-punches and other selections through five rounds in which the 20-year-old’s former Miss Mexico girlfriend, Marisol Gonzalez, generated more ringside conversation than the fight.
In the sixth, Guadalajara’s Alvarez got everyone’s mind out of the gutter by turning his junior-middleweight bout into a street fight with consecutive overhand rights followed by a hard right that got Baldomir’s attention. Earlier in the bout, Baldomir had tapped on his chin after a clean Alvarez shot to show it could handle a pounding.
Alvarez wanted to prove he could handle a former world champ, and he did by delivering a big right and a left hook that might be the sport’s knockout of the year. Baldomir had started throwing a right when struck, and he collapsed to the canvas at the 2:58 mark. Baldomir (45-13-6) hadn’t been knocked out since 1994.
“It’s true that he hits hard … really hard,” Baldomir said. “His power really surprised me. This kid is the real deal and he’s going to be a champion. No one has hit me like this kid hit me.”
That credibility in the U.S. heaps the attention upon Alvarez has in Mexico, where he has packed venues and draws staggering television ratings. He’ll return to the welterweight division next.
“This is for Mexico and all of my fans,” Alvarez said. “He wasn’t very fast. That was a favor for me. I want to be a world champion. I want to be the best in the world.”
Ventura’s Victor Ortiz claimed the sensational victory he needed over Vivian Harris at Staples a year after he wilted in his main-event loss at the arena to junior-welterweight Marcos Maidana.
The 23-year-old Ortiz (28-2-1, 22 knockouts) knocked the veteran Harris (29-5-1) down three times in the second round before dropping him for good with a hard right uppercut 45 seconds into the third round.
In the second round, Ortiz dropped Harris with rapid-fire left hands, then knocked him down again with a right hand to the head. Ortiz tried to finish former world champion with a combination that dropped him, but Harris rose to survive the bell – a moral victory at best.
Ortiz, jeered by fans after his Maidana as not a “real Mexican,” rallied to adoring support after Saturday’s showing, eliciting cheers and ensuring he’ll remain a major player in boxing’s best division: junior-welterweight.
“The fans love me or hate me,” Ortiz said. “Hopefully, they love me now.
“I progressed and learned a lot since the fight with Maidana and I still want him, wherever he is. I’m not dodging anyone. I’m ready for everyone.”
Mexico's Daniel Ponce De Leon hammered Antonio Escalante with a brutal right to the jaw, winning by third-round knockout in an outcome that leaves him poised as the mandatory challenger to world featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez.
The southpaw Ponce De Leon (40-2, 32 knockouts) usually dismisses foes with his lefts. After landing two clean lefts, he belted Escalante (23-3) with the clean right, sending him to the canvas at the 2:40 mark of the third round.
East Los Angeles' Frankie Gomez, 18, improved to 6-0 with six knockouts with a third-round knockout of Ricardo Calazada.
Mosley and Mora are in the building, and we'll update the action at key points, with The Times' John Cherwa ready to file round-by-round updates when Mosley-Mora begins.
Photo: Shane Mosley and Sergio Mora trade blows during their junior-middleweight bout at Staples Center on Saturday night. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press