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Mosley hook is a sinker

With a devastating late flurry, he knocks out Ricardo Mayorga in a super-welterweight bout at the Home Depot Center.

September 28, 2008|Lance Pugmire | Times Staff Writer

"Sugar" Shane Mosley says he's saved the best for the last years of his career, and he applied the same formula on Ricardo Mayorga Saturday night.

Mosley knocked out Mayorga with one second remaining in their 12-round non-title super-welterweight fight at Home Depot Center in Carson, landing a devastating left hook on Mayorga's jaw that came only seconds after he had sent Mayorga to the canvas with a three-punch combination highlighted by a stiff left hook.

"I wanted a knockout," Pomona's Mosley said. "I wanted to give the fans what they deserve."

The crowd-roaring ending punctuated a lethargic second half that allowed Mayorga to enter the 12th round leading Mosley by one point on judge Pat Russell's scorecard and trailing Mosley by one on judge Nelson Vasquez's. Judge Tony Crebs had Mosley leading Mayorga, 107-102.

"I will tell you one thing," Mayorga said after spending several seconds flat-backed on the canvas after the knockout punch, "he hit harder than I thought he would."

Mosley, 37, had a compelling ringside audience that included world welterweight champion Antonio Margarito and Leonard Ellerbe, manager of the retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mosley, who earned $1.5 million to Mayorga's $550,000, said, "I have to try and find fights now."

What he proved Saturday is that he's capable of knocking out a true super-welterweight who's a former world champion. Mayorga (28-7-1) reportedly inflated from his weigh-in size of 153 1/2 pounds to 170 when he stepped on HBO's pre-fight scale.

But Mosley (45-5, 38 knockouts) didn't leave without criticism. Mayorga's flinging punching style made the former four-time world champion appear uncomfortable in the early rounds.

Mosley responded with well-placed rights that blunted Mayorga's enthusiasm, and ended the fifth round getting the better of a flurry.

Mosley dominated the sixth, picking off hooks and jabs in a routine manner that thrilled the crowd of 5,798 and indicated a knockout was coming shortly.

Um, no. The next four rounds were dominated by inaction, missed punches, Mayorga showboating and Mayorga's claiming -- or feigning -- a low blow, a kidney punch and pain due to a rabbit punch behind the head.

Mosley didn't return to the sixth-round groove until the 11th, admitting he felt Mayorga tiring. He delivered flurries, ducked out of Mayorga's attempts to wrap him up and swarmed him in the 12th, setting up the late dramatics that closed with Mosley standing impressively over his victim and looking at the crowd as if asking, "Next?"

Earlier, recently crowned World Boxing Council welterweight champion Andre Berto relied on his right-handed power to trump the boxing finesse of Steve Forbes, gaining a unanimous decision.

"Steve's a real slick kid . . . it was my speed that won it," Berto said.

Berto (23-0), who won the vacant belt in June, backed up Forbes in the first round and drew blood from near the challenger's left eye in the fourth. His harder combinations blunted Forbes' effort to score with body blows, and the judges awarded him a 118-109, 118-109, 116-111 triumph as Forbes (33-7) dropped his second fight in less than five months in Carson.

In May, Forbes suffered a unanimous-decision loss to Oscar De La Hoya at Home Depot Center's soccer stadium.

In other action: Former world welterweight champion Luis Collazo (29-3, 14 KOs), who lost to Mosley by unanimous decision last year, scored an eighth-round technical knockout over Russell Jordan in a super-welterweight bout; Golden Boy Promotions prospect Daniel Jacobs (10-0) knocked down Emmanuel Gonzalez twice en route to a six-round unanimous decision; heavyweight Ray Austin (25-4-4) beat Dominic Jenkins by unanimous decision; and Scotland's Craig McEwan remained unbeaten (12-0) with a one-sided decision over Hilario Lopez.

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lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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