Mosley TKO 9 Margarito Revisited—9 Years Later

By Marc Livitz on January 24, 2018
Mosley TKO 9 Margarito Revisited—9 Years Later
On January 24, 2009, we were treated to an infamous affair before the bout commenced.

Boxing is a sport which can lead to the death of a participant, so plaster laden gloves could only mean one thing. A cheat was in the house…

There are some fights which can serve as a flashbulb of sorts in our pugilistic memories. Thanks in large part to advances in technology such as the DVR, we can go back and watch iconic bouts a day or so after the actual live telecast had fit nicely beside pizza and cold beer. Some contests are rewatched for purposes of scoring, such as last September’s middleweight clash between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Without question for many, however, are the epic nights which ultimately end up being so one-sided that we almost have to pick our jaws up from the floor. Nine years ago on January 24, 2009, such a contest occurred at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. A capacity crowd of nearly 21,000 crazed boxing fans packed the home arena split among the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers of the NBA as well as the Kings of the NHL.

Antonio Margarito was riding high at the time, as he’d thoroughly pummeled then unbeaten Miguel Cotto for the WBA welterweight title six months earlier in Las Vegas. In a bout which started in Cotto’s favor, Margarito slowly turned the tides and forced Miguel’s corner to call it quits in the eleventh round. So, what—as many wondered at the time would we see that January evening when “The Tijuana Tornado” stepped into the ring to face Shane Mosley?

Prior to his meeting with Antonio, “Sugar” Shane had been narrowly topped by the aforementioned Cotto in late 2007 in an all-action contest and then proceeded to knock out boxing’s resident wild man, Ricardo Mayorga in the final second of a twelve-round showdown in Carson, California, in the fall of 2008. As we well remember in regard to Shane’s night against Margarito, we were treated to an infamous affair before the bout even commenced.

As per the custom before a high profile contest, a fighter’s dressing room is often visited by the opposition’s corner staff to make sure all is going according to the rules. Shane Mosley’s trainer at the time was Naazim Richardson and he discovered what appeared to be dampened pads in the handwraps of Margarito, the type of which were known to harden over time. In other words, the man from ‘TJ’ was about to walk into the ring with loaded gloves. Boxing is a sport which can lead to the death of a participant, so plaster laden gloves could only mean one thing. A cheat was in the house that night in Los Angeles. After the beating Mosley put on Margarito for the better part of nine rounds that night, perhaps neither plaster nor even concrete would have helped the disgraced fighter from Baja California.

The bout started out at a bit of an even pace, as Margarito was hell-bent on making Mosley fight in close quarters. They did so at times, yet the rapid pace of of jabs and counter shots from Shane would tell much of the story. Somewhere around the third or fourth round, the “Sugar Shane” show was in full swing. This was a case of professional against amateur and perhaps rightly so, a case of cheater’s justice. In round eight, Mosley knocked Margarito to the canvas and the bout should have been stopped at this point because it was nothing more than target practice for the Pomona, California, fighter. Less than a minute into round nine, referee Raul Caiz stepped in to save Antonio from even further embarrassment.

With the win, Shane Mosley grabbed the WBA super world welterweight title and raided the ring of the victorious Floyd Mayweather, Jr. eight months later in Las Vegas. He did so after Mayweather’s comeback bout against a much smaller man in Juan Manuel Marquez proved to be the best choice of foe after a ending a 21-month retirement. Mosley would square off with Mayweather almost a year and a half after his dazzling stoppage of Antonio Margarito.

Aside from a few shots in the second round which shockingly buckled Floyd’s knees, Shane did next to nothing that night in May of 2010. He’d lose by way of a resounding unanimous decision. He’d have a few more landslide decision losses (Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez, respectively) before he finally called it quits at the age of 44 in May of 2016 with a final record of forty-nine wins (41 by knockout) against ten defeats and one draw. Although he will always be remembered for the triumphs earlier in his career against Oscar De La Hoya, his January 2009 crushing of Antonio Margarito may have been his most epic night simply because it wasn’t supposed to happen. Margarito was a 4 to 1 favorite according to the oddsmakers.

Neither Antonio (41-8, 27 KO’s) nor his reputation fully recovered. In the eyes of some, his attempts to load his gloves greatly put into question some of the victories earlier in his career. He returned to action in May of 2010 in his native Mexico, as the California State Athletic Commission turned their backs on him. His next two fights brought smiles to many faces. He was pummeled by Manny Pacquiao in November of that year and Miguel Cotto exacted righteous punishment upon him thirteen months later in New York City. His last three fights have all been in various locations in Mexico and he last fought in September of 2017. At age 39, who knows if he will continue.

Regardless, we’ll always remember the words of HBO’s Jim Lampley on that night nine years ago in L.A. “Shane Mosley has annihilated Antonio Margarito!”

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2009-01-24 Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito

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  1. Pete The Sneak 12:46pm, 01/26/2018

    Geez Marc, was it really 9 years ago? I was rooting for Shane about as hard as I ever rooted for anyone in a fight. I always liked Margo, but was devastated when he beat Cotto the way he did. Puerto Rico/Mexico always a big deal/rivalry in boxing and being of Puerto Rican descent, I was of course rooting for my guy, though not necessarily hating on Margo..But when the whole wraps thing came out before the Mosley fight, it hit home as to the vicious brutality of that Cotto beat down. I’ve seen that first Cotto/Marg fight over and over after the Mosley/Marg fight and seeing those punches land and do the damage they did on Cotto spoke volumes. Nice write up Marc….Peace.

  2. Alfonso Bedoya 03:33pm, 01/25/2018

    God only knows how many punches like the one pictured above Margo receipted for in his career…..and you’re expecting him to act right?! They have a concussion protocol in the NFL where players are kept out of full contact action for weeks at a time if it is determined they have suffered a concussion. Players get fined if they initiate helmet to helmet contact when tackling because it’s unsafe and likely to cause injurious concussion. In this “sport” if someone doesn’t get concussed at least once each three minute round boxing nutz in the crowd 90% of whom suffer from ADHD will get restless and start whining like a son of a gun!

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