Originally created 09/15/03

De La Hoya wants investigation of decision that cost him fight



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 - and 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. "On Monday 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. The Associated Press had Mosley ahead 116-113.

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. This is the way the judges saw it. If it went the other way, Mosley's camp would have been the ones protesting."

The decision enraged the normally mild-mannered De La Hoya. He stood at the post-fight news conference, a bandage over his right eye, 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."

For De La Hoya, the decision was a bitter end to a fight that meant far more to him than his $17 million purse and the two gaudy plastic 154-pound title belts he held from the WBA and the WBC.

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.

"Oscar's a Hall of Fame fighter," Mosley said. "I'm just the one person he can't get by."

Indeed, De La Hoya was frustrated at times again by Mosley's speed. Ad it seemed as if Mosley was also the stronger fighter in a tactical bout that was often fought with the two men circling each other in the middle of the ring.

"I was in control physically," Mosley said. "I think I was the stronger fighter."

De La Hoya was cut next to his right eye by a head butt in the fourth round and appeared to be rocked on several occasions by right hands from Mosley. But he also landed some good left hooks to Mosley's jaw and got the better of Mosley in some occasional heavy exchanges.

While Jack Mosley was telling his son to pick up the pace and not let the judges get involved, De La Hoya's corner was happy with the way the fight was going.

"We were never concerned in the corner," said De La Hoya's trainer, Floyd Mayweather. "We never even thought of losing. It never crossed our minds."

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.

Even the pro-De La Hoya crowd that packed the MGM Grand hotel arena didn't seem all that disappointed, though there were scattered boos. That might be because their fighter spent much of the fight going backward while Mosley was the aggressor.

De La Hoya's promoter, Bob Arum, though, was so angered he said he would stop promoting boxing. Of course, Arum has made similar vows after his fighters lost other fights.

"This is such an outrage that I'm never, ever, going to be a party to this again," Arum said.

De La Hoya wasn't so ready to quit himself, despite promising before the fight to retire if he lost.

"I love boxing. I love fighting," he said. "We'll see what happens with my future."