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Mosley Defeats De La Hoya in Rematch

Same Result; More Controversy

By

Updated September 16, 2003
On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Shane Mosley scored a close, controversial unanimous decision over Oscar De La Hoya to take De La Hoya's WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles. All three judges scored the fight 115-113 for Mosley. In their first meeting, Mosley held a slight statistical advantage according to punch stat numbers and was awarded a narrow majority decision. This time around, De La Hoya had an overwhelming statistical advantage and the judges awarded a unanimous decison to Mosley.

There was no disputing that Mosley deserved a win in the first fight. However, the decision rendered this time around generated a good deal of controversy. In fact, De La Hoya and his promoter, Bob Arum, have threatened to launch a "full investigation" into the scoring -- whatever that means. Both have also threatened to leave the sport. Don't hold your breath on either man sticking to that threat (or promise, depending on how you view it).

Also, HBO's coverage of the bout demonstrated incredible bias towards De La Hoya, the network's biggest PPV attraction. HBO's Jim Lampley, George Foreman and Larry Merchant would have you believe that the Golden Boy was robbed. He wasn't. The decision could have gone either way. It just didn't go the way De La Hoya, Arum and HBO would have liked it to go.

Random Notes and Comments:
* De La Hoya was cut from an accidental clash of heads in the fourth round and bled for the remainder of the fight. Were the judges influenced at all by the sight of Oscar's blood?

* De La Hoya was the beneficiary of a close, controversial decision over Pernell Whitaker largely because he fought as the aggressor and initiated the majority of the exchanges. In this bout, Mosley was the aggressor (though not always the effective aggressor) and - particularly in the second half of the fight - De La Hoya showed signs of tiring and becoming more reluctant to exchange with Mosley. Lesson for De La Hoya (which he should have learned after the Trinidad fight): Judges award aggressiveness.

* Another observation about judges. In a close fight, they often look for rounds to "give" to the fighter who is slightly behind in the early going, thereby creating scorecards which tend to be somwhat closer than the action in the ring. Result: If one fighter takes charge during the second half of a bout, the fighter who was ahead early generally does not have as much of a cushion as he believes he has and runs the risk of losing a close decision. Another lesson De La Hoya should learned in the Trinidad fight.

* Punch stats are an innovative attempt to provide some quantitative data with which to analyze what takes place during a fight. However, the judges do not (and should not) have that data at their disposal when scoring a fight. Plus, since punch stats are basically compiled by two people sitting at ringside pushing buttons whenever they think a punch lands, how is that process any less subjective than a ringside judge selecting the winner of each round based on his opinion of who he thinks was the superior fighter?

* In a poll of 28 sportswriters at ringside, 16 scored it for Mosley, eight for De La Hoya and four had it as a draw.

* The Associated Press had Mosley winning 116-113.

* Decide for yourself who was the winner when HBO replays the fight this Saturday night, Sept. 20, at 9:45 PM ET.

Fight-by-fight career record for Shane Mosley

Fight-by-fight career record for Oscar De La Hoya

Complete Punch Stats for Mosley-De La Hoya II

Official Round-by-Round Scorecards for Mosley-De La Hoya II

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