Shane Mosley drew with Sergio Mora tonight in Los Angeles. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Some felt Sergio Mora had won convincingly. Others felt Shane Mosley had won clearly if not exactly "convincingly."
The judges decided to split the difference. One inexperienced judged (Kermit Bayless) scored it 115-113 for Mora. Another inexperienced judge (David Denkin) scored it 116-112 for Mosley. The only experienced judge on the panel (Dr. Lou Moret) scored it 114-114.
A draw. A draw, in a terrible fight. A terrible fight that had the Los Angeles crowd booing through most of the first eight rounds of alleged action. Mora (22-1-2, 6 KO) came in to stink out the joint and try to win an ugly decision, and he accomplished the first part. And 39-year-old Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KO) was so gassed out by the ninth round that everything he threw was without steam.
The California officials were roundly criticized by the HBO team, and in pretty much all ways, California's boxing commission and their officials do deserve the majority of the criticism they get. But as much as I felt Mosley "won" this fight, I'm just not able to conjure up any great outrage, because I'm seeing too much past the actual outcome of this fight, or what I think it should have been, or what anyone thinks it should have been.
I admit I have shown bias for Shane Mosley and against Sergio Mora in the past. But I want to say this as clearly as I can. Yes, I scored it 117-111 for Mosley, same as HBO's Harold Lederman. At the end of the day, I don't really care about who won this fight, or if nobody win, because the fact of the matter is this: neither one of these guys looked good tonight.
This was a fight where people who tend to go crazy over what they perceive to be "great defense' will have likely scored it for Mora. But I didn't see what Mora did as "great defense," or even particularly "good" defense. The sweet science is a wonderful thing, and I know a lot of folks like to trumpet that as a reason to love so-called "boring" fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Winky Wright. Mora, however, is no Mayweather or Wright. Those guys create offense off of their defense, even if not the most thrilling offense. Mora only creates more defense. Mora is, simply put, not a fun fighter to watch at all. I honestly believe, without meaning to offend anyone, that anyone who trumpets a performance like Mora's tonight as effective is fooling themselves, or allowing themselves to be fooled.
As for Mosley, he's 39 years old and looked every hour of it in this fight. He was jerky offensively, couldn't pull the trigger, and had enormous trouble finding Mora. I kept giving him rounds because at some point, he'd usually land something -- anything -- and that was more than Sergio Mora was doing. Mosley was the aggressor almost every second of this fight.
As a fan, I just don't care to ever see Sergio Mora fight again. Also as a fan, I honestly don't care to ever see Shane Mosley fight again. HBO's Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant were very much pro-Mosley after the fight, hoping to see him in another big fight, and all but openly praying that this draw in this clunker of a boxing match wouldn't ruin that possibility.
I am a huge Shane Mosley fan, and I've got no interest in seeing a visibly worn-out, old, and tired Shane Mosley get in the ring with Andre Berto or Manny Pacquiao or anyone. I know how those fights end at this point, and it's not pretty. Shane Mosley has taken a lot of damage over his Hall of Fame-bound career. The time to get out is now. I don't mean to knock Mora when I say this, but if Shane Mosley can't convince three ringside judges -- no matter their experience level -- that he won a fight with Sergio Mora, it's time to hang it up. He'd be getting out while the getting is as good as it's going to get.
Rather than the scoring of the judges, the California boxing officials as a whole, or Mora's performance, Lampley and Merchant might have been better served to rail against the company that employs the two of putting this rotten show on pay-per-view for $50. Their love of Shane Mosley should be put aside, because the main event was terrible. The three undercard fights produced exciting knockouts, but those knockouts become a little less exciting when you take them for what they were, or at least that's the case with Alvarez over an out-of-shape Baldomir who looked like he was 50 years old (tough or not, he did not look good), and yet another Victor Ortiz showcase fight, as if we needed to be shown that Vivian Harris can't hang with Victor Ortiz anymore.
That's where the outrage belongs. What the outcome of this fight deserves is disappointment even from its greatest pre-fight critics. Both fighters gave poor performances. Mosley looked finished. Spirited, yes, but finished. Mora was ... well, he was Sergio Mora. He spent the first half of the fight wanting nothing to do with a fight breaking out, and he spent the second half going more or less even with a washed-out, old fighter, who has never been particularly good at 154 pounds in the past, and now doesn't even have a punch up there.
For all the potential rage that this is going to cause, I just feel calm and ever so slightly depressed. Mosley is a long-time favorite and he doesn't have it anymore. I was hoping against logic that we'd see a good Sergio Mora show up again tonight, and we didn't. If Mora is an example of a top-class defensive fighter, then you can keep top-class defensive fighters. If the shop-worn and exhausted Mosley is who we're looking to for heroic and gutty performances, then there is trouble with the fights being made.
I don't have a way to close this out, really. I just hope Shane Mosley looks at his career and says, "You know what? I gave my all to boxing, and did my best. There's nothing more I need to do." And I hope Sergio Mora, the next time he's on TV, uses all of the skills he does have, which we've seen very occasionally in his career. But this fight stunk. It was just not good.