Monday, September 15, 2003

Bitter De La Hoya says he'll challenge decision

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS - Concern was growing in Shane Mosley's corner as the rounds went on and it became obvious his fight with Oscar De La Hoya would be going to the judge's scorecards.

Jack Mosley wanted his son to do something spectacular - fast.

"My father was trying to convey to me since we're in Las Vegas and it's Oscar's town we had to pour it on in the last rounds," Mosley said.

It turned out the wrong corner was worried. In a city where De La Hoya scored his biggest wins, he stood in shocked amazement as the judges handed him his most disappointing defeat.

De La Hoya thought he should be celebrating. Instead, he now plans to start investigating.

"I just feel in my heart the decision should have gone to me," De La Hoya said. "I will put a full investigation into what happened. I'm fortunate I have the resources to put the best lawyers on it."

Just what De La Hoya wants to have investigated is unclear. All three judges scored the fight 115-113 for Mosley, and all three gave Mosley the last four rounds.

De La Hoya came to the news conference after the fight armed with punch statistics that showed him landing 221 punches to 127 for Mosley. But those statistics are compiled by two people pushing buttons when they think a punch lands - a process nearly as subjective as ringside judging.

Unless De La Hoya's lawyers can find some evidence of malfeasance, the Golden Boy will have to live with the fact he now has lost three times in his career - with two of those losses to Mosley.

"These are honest men and they scored the fight the way they did. To me, there is no controversy," said Marc Ratner, director of the Nevada Athletic Commission. "It's a close fight that could have gone either way."

The decision enraged the normally mild-mannered De La Hoya. He stood at the post-fight news conference and vowed to find out why he wasn't given the nod.

He might look at tapes of the ninth round, when Mosley battered him around the ring, or the final round, where Mosley gained the upper hand in some wild flurries, for some direction.

"You're a sore loser," someone yelled at De La Hoya.

"I'm not doing this because I'm a sore loser," he replied. "I'm doing this for the sport of boxing."

The fight was billed as redemption for De La Hoya, who lost a split decision to Mosley three years ago and desperately wanted to win the rematch to establish his place in boxing history.

In both fights, De La Hoya won early rounds and Mosley came on in the later rounds to win.

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