In one of the most painful-to-watch displays of boxing in recent memory, “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Sergio Mora fought to a draw Saturday night in their junior middleweight match-up at the Staples Center.
One has to wonder if the draw came because the judges fell asleep at some point during the bout. They likely wouldn’t be alone in losing interest in a boxing match turned track-and-field exhibition, considering how the two boxers spent much more of the evening running away from each other than towards each other.
When they weren’t back-pedaling, the ugly match-up was filled with a lot of holding and wrestling. Yet, despite a lack of any real fighting throughout, both men looked exhausted towards the end of the fight.
When all was said and done, the judges could not decide a winner between the two fighters. Judge Kermit Bayless scored it 115-113 for Mora while David Denkin had it 116-112 for Mosley. Judge Lou Moret had it 114-114.
Speaking with reporters after the fight, Mora actually tried to argue that the reason for his lackadaisical effort late in the fight was because he thought he was winning and respected Mosley too much to hurt him. If nothing else, the comments were probably the most entertaining part of the evening.
"I came to win. I wanted to win but my respect for Shane got in my way," said Mora. "I should have listened to my corner. They were telling me it was a close fight, but I thought I was winning the fight. So because of my respect for him, I loosened up and didn't want to hurt him.
"He threw really good punches. He hit me with some hard shots. He's a smart fighter. I think going 12 rounds with Shane Mosley says something in and of itself, but honestly I thought I won that fight."
Mosley on the other hand was full of excuses for his lackluster performance, blaming it on the size advantage Mora had on him.
"This is a different fight because he's a middleweight and coming down and I had to move up," Mosley said. "This would be different if I was fighting someone my same size and height."
According to statistics released by CompuBox, Mosley fought the more efficient fight landing 31 percent of his punches while Mora connected on merely 18 percent.
Mosley ended up earning $1 million from the fight plus an additional $57,000 from Mora’s $285,000 purse because he missed his weight and was penalized by the California State Athletic Commission.
All in all, this fight did very little besides show why boxing is plummeting in popularity. A solid defensive bout can still be appreciated by fans, however, this display was just plain ugly. Half-hearted punches and scared defense is not the recipe for success or pleasant viewing in this sport.