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One Guy's OK With Decision

September 16, 2003|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

So Bob Arum is accusing and Oscar De La Hoya is investigating and George Foreman is questioning and some fans are protesting, but what about Shane Mosley?

Remember him?

He's the guy who won Saturday night's blockbuster super-welterweight title fight at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena by unanimous decision over De La Hoya. It is a decision that has caused De La Hoya, his promoter, Arum, and Foreman, a former heavyweight champion turned commentator, to charge possible improprieties in the judging or the Nevada State Athletic Commission or the gaming industry.

De La Hoya has considered retirement and Arum vows he won't promote again in the state of Nevada until a federal boxing commission is formed to regulate the sport.

All of which has left Mosley where he has been through most of his career -- in the background while De La Hoya gets the spotlight. But Mosley insists he doesn't mind.

"Everybody has been a little emotional," Mosley said. "But I think Oscar wanted to retire anyway to pursue a promotional career and I think Arum wanted to retire. It was a close victory for me and they are not taking it too well.

"I think it will all blow over. I don't have anything against them. It's just their emotions talking."

Gary Shaw, Mosley's promoter, said his fighter set an all-time record Saturday night.

"He is the only fighter I know," said Shaw, "to score two knockouts in one night, sending both Arum and De La Hoya into retirement.

"I'm very sorry to see Oscar diminishing himself with what he has said since then. He is hurting himself. You can disagree with the judges, but you have to understand, it's like any sport. When a guy slides home and the umpire says, 'You're out,' then you're out."

Mosley agreed.

"I thought I beat Vernon [Forrest in their rematch], but when the judges said Vernon won, it was back to the drawing board for me," Mosley said. "I put that in the past and looked to the future. This is my future."

It appears to be a bright future for Mosley, who beat De La Hoya for the second time Saturday, having won their first fight on a split decision three years ago.

Shaw has a long list of possible opponents: Mosley could fight De La Hoya a third time, he could challenge International Boxing Federation 154-pound champion Winky Wright, or face former champion Fernando Vargas, or offer World Boxing Council and World Boxing Assn. welterweight champion Ricardo Mayorga a shot if he will move up seven pounds. Or Mosley could agree to fight undisputed middleweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins if Hopkins will come down six pounds.

Whatever happens, Shaw, hired by Mosley for the De La Hoya fight, will stay on.

"I definitely like the way Gary works," Mosley said. "I feel very comfortable with him in my corner."

The man who works Mosley's corner in the ring, his father and trainer Jack, could be heard on the pay-per-view telecast warning his son in the later rounds that he was losing the fight. Was that the perception on the Mosley side?

"He was just trying to get me fired up," Shane said, "because he knows what can happen in a De La Hoya fight. He knows De La Hoya has a history of getting close decisions. He was not worried about me winning. He was worried about my getting the decision. This was Oscar's home turf. Nine times out of 10, everything goes in Oscar's favor."

Was Mosley surprised at the verdict?

"I knew I won the last few rounds," he said. "I believed I won the fight, but I didn't know what to expect. It's funny. When the camera gets in your face as you walk around in the ring after a fight, it usually means you won. The two times I lost to Forrest, the camera was on him when we were waiting for the decision. That was a little signal to me. I said to myself, 'I think I will receive this victory,' and I did."

While Mosley is African American and De La Hoya is Mexican American, Mosley thinks they reversed roles Saturday night.

"He was trying to fight more like a black fighter," said Mosley, "moving and jabbing, getting in a few combinations and then getting out of there. I was more like a Mexican fighter, trying to get in there and mix it up."

He did so, said Mosley, because he didn't feel De La Hoya could hurt him.

"He wasn't putting power on his shots," Mosley said. "He was flicking his hand out there, trying to score points.

"But by the fourth and fifth rounds, his power was gone. He had nothing. Even with a good snap, I didn't feel bone in there in his glove.

"But he's a great fighter, a Hall of Fame fighter. The only guy he can't beat is me."

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