Big-time boxing returned to Los Angeles on Saturday night, as a local hero and one of the most popular boxers of his generation in Shane Mosley took on the colorful Ricardo Mayorga. And Los Angeles boxing fans responded by staying at home in droves, with only 5,798 showing up to the Home Depot Center.
To put that into context, that’s about three times less than the crowd who showed up to the Chivas USA soccer game at the big stadium that night. Those who did show up had some excitement in the final round, as Mosley knocked Mayorga down late and then finally out with one second left in the fight. (You can see video of the final round after the jump:)
You could argue as to why the ref would call the fight a TKO as the bell was ringing to the end fight - shades of Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Meldrick Taylor. But in this case, it really wouldn’t have mattered - ESPN.com notes that with at least a 10-8 round for Mosley assured in the 12th, he would have won a unanimous decision.
But despite the fireworks in the final 30 seconds, the rest of the fight was primarily grade A boring, with giant stretches of inactivity interspersed with occasional burst of action. And lots of fouls, primarily by Mayorga, who fought like a fighter who smokes three packs a day as part of his training regiment.
Mosley is hoping to use this win as a springboard for a title shot against current WBA welterweight champ Antonio Margarito. But Mosley hardly showed that he has the skills left to compete with the younger, stronger Margarito. Or as promoter Lou DiBella put it:
“If they let Shane Mosley fight Antonio Margarito they should be arrested,” said DiBella, promoter of Andre Berto, who defended his WBC welterweight title with a 12-round decision over Steve Forbes on the undercard.
If Ricardo Mayorga could land on Mosley, imagine what Antonio Margarito could do.
“Margarito would put Shane in a pine box. I would put Berto in with Shane Mosley right now.”
So we’re heading towards a fight where a fighter with diminishing skills is likely to get pummeled into retirement in a lousy fight that you’ll have to pay $50 to see. Boxing - it makes hockey seem like a vibrant, flourishing, well-run sport!