Antonio Margarito vs. Shane Mosley, round by round


For Pomona’s Shane Mosley, Saturday night marked the first return to the scene of his greatest victory, a thrilling split decision over Los Angeles’ favorite boxer, Oscar De La Hoya in 2000. A massive Staples Center crowd of 20,820 relished the pre-fight festivities as Mosley entered to T.I./Rihanna’s “Live Your Life,” and Tijuana’s Antonio Margarito came in as a traditional Mexican song played, bowing to the crowd with his arms folded in front of him. Then the fight was underway:

Round 1

* What happened: Mosley’s camp said they found pads containing flecks of a substance containing a “plaster of Paris” type substance in Margarito’s hand wraps, which were cut off and sealed for further inspection by the California State Athletic Commission. Mosley was the surprise aggressor, snapping some scoring jobs and barreling a nice right straight to the champion’s belly. Another good combination and nice right to the body by Mosley made it his round, which Margarito seemed to acknowledge with a late smile toward the challenger.

* Pugmire’s take: Mosley looked fresher than he has in a few fights. Wearing black shorts as he did against De La Hoya more than eight years ago, he fought as if he has indeed turned back time.


* Judges: Max De Luca: Mosley, 10-9; Dr. James Jen Kin: Mosley, 10-9; Nelson Vazquez: Mosley, 10-9.

Round 2

* What happened: Mosley keeps the momentum, banging a right-left to Margarito’s head. Margarito sneaks in a solid overhand right, but Mosley throws him off and clearly is not intimidated by Margarito’s champion status.

* Pugmire’s take: Margarito looks as unprepared as Mosley was when he first faced Vernon Forrest after beating De La Hoya all those years ago

* Judges: De Luca: Mosley, 10-9; Jen Kin: Mosley, 10-9; Vazquez: Margarito, 10-9.

Round 3

* What happened: Mosley starts strong again with a scoring right and jab. Margarito charges forward and stings Mosley, who might be bleeding under the left eye. A big Mosley left is followed by his productive jab, and a nice combination to the head by Mosley is followed by a stiff right to Margarito’s chin. Three more strong scoring shots make the round Mosley’s.

* Pugmire’s take: Now, we’re three rounds deep, and Mosley is still charging, looking like the far sharper boxer.

* Judges: De Luca: Mosley, 10-9; Jen Kin: Mosley, 10-9; Vazquez: Mosley, 10-9.

Round 4

* What happened: Margarito’s steel chin is getting tested. Mosley unleashes an impressive flurry, starring two big rights. Margarito is forced to tie Mosley up to slow one barrage, but the Pomona product is teeing off, capping the round with a wicked overhand right to Margarito’s punished mug.

* Pugmire’s take: Mosley clearly still has world-class skills, and his training camp under Bernard Hopkins’ trainer Nazim Richardson did, as they said, produce a game plan of perfection.

* Judges: De Luca: Mosley, 10-9; Jen Kin: Mosley, 10-9; Vazquez: Mosley, 10-9.

Round 5

* What happened: Jab, jab, big right by Mosley at the start. An unexpected combination by Margarito loosens Mosley’s mouthpiece. It’s a temporary issue, as he rallies with a scoring jab and another right to the face. One more right by Mosley precedes a good flurry, prompting a ringside observer to express the sentiment of the night: “I don’t think [Margarito] expected this.”

* Pugmire’s take: My unofficial scorecard now has Mosley leading 5-0. Panic time for the champ.

* Judges: De Luca: Mosley, 10-9; Jen Kin: Mosley, 10-9; Vazquez: Mosley, 10-9.

Round 6

* What happened: The biggest fight of the night in the stands breaks out. Speculation is it’s a perturbed Margarito fan in the middle. Mosley lands a nice right. He slows a little, he is 37 after all, but continues scoring with left-punch leads. He strikes Margarito with three consecutive rights and adds two punishing overhand rights to affirm another winning round.

* Pugmire’s take: You can’t say Margarito’s finished at this point, but he clearly needs a knockout to win and he hasn’t delivered any indication that’s coming.

* Judges: De Luca: Mosley, 10-9; Jen Kin: Mosley, 10-9; Vazquez: Mosley, 10-9.

Round 7

* What happened: Mosley has to tighten up his left glove, causing a brief delay. He pounds Margarito’s body with a combination and shrugs off a good right by Margarito, pressing the champion to the ropes. Margarito delivers a few soft blows and charges at Mosley as they move off the ropes. A clean right by Margarito is answered by a better return shot by Mosley.

* Pugmire’s take: Another round in Mosley’s bank, although if I had to give Margarito a round as two judges did, I reluctantly would’ve given him this one.

* Judges: De Luca: Margarito, 10-9; Jen Kin: Mosley, 10-9; Vazquez: Margarito, 10-9.

Round 8

* What happened: Jab, jab, right by Mosley. Mosley pounds Margarito with two more overhand rights, and even though Margarito counters with a stiff right, a wild left by Mosley lands flush on the face. The punch of the night for Mosley -- his overhand right -- punctuates a punishing flurry and another backs up Margarito with two heavy left hooks rolling Margarito into the ropes. Margarito’s barely still upright. He stands and is met by two destructive overhand rights that knock Margarito down. Referee Raul Caiz Sr. seems as if he’s prepared to stop the fight as Margarito barely lifts a glove up to show he’s OK. Then the bell rings.

* Pugmire’s take: It’s almost over now. Mosley has broken down Margarito with a superb fight plan and boxing skill. As HBO analyst Larry Merchant would say minutes later, “Can Shane Mosley fight, or what?”

* Judges: De Luca: Mosley, 10-8; Jen Kin: Mosley, 10-8; Vazquez: Mosley, 10-8.

Round 9

* What happened: Mosley finishes the job. He outpunches Margarito 21-0 in the final round. The onslaught convinces Margarito’s corner to throw in the towel 43 seconds into the round and Caiz moves to stop it at the same time. A vicious Mosley right lands straight to Margarito’s head again, as the ex-champion slumps to the canvas and Mosley celebrates with his corner.

* Pugmire’s take: Another classic Mosley performance at Staples. He shouldn’t fight anywhere else, as he captures his fifth world title and second welterweight belt after first doing it against De La Hoya here. Mosley said before the bout that facing fast-forward, tough-chinned fighters is old hat, referring to “all the Mexican fighters” he met climbing his career ladder in California. Indeed, in the first half-decade of his career, Mosley fought 23 Latinos and knocked out all but one. Now, he has claimed Margarito. Most of those KOs might’ve been more than a decade ago, but Mosley showed he still has it.