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Ring Magazine

Concannon's Corner

Personal Biography

Sugar Shane and the Golden Fleece…
By Paul Concannon

It's taken me a while to drag myself back to my keyboard.  After watching Sugar  Shane Mosley being awarded that diabolical verdict over Oscar De La Hoya I almost decided it was time for me to announce my retirement from covering the sport of boxing (okay, that wouldn't have left a great dent on the sport, I admit).

It has been said already, I know, but as long as I live I will never know how Mosley got that win; he didn't think he had won, his dad didn't think he had won and anyone with a basic understanding of what it is that scores points in boxing knew that Oscar De La Hoya won that fight.  Mosley is a great guy and a good fighter, but being kind to him, the best I could do in scoring was 116-112 the other way.

Similar to Ricardo Mayorga's debatable win over Vernon Forrest recently, it seems that the guy going forward was picking up the points as opposed to the guy moving and landing the punches, a term I believe they call boxing.

The most frustrating thing is that a few Mosley dissenters are claiming it was a just verdict; they talk about how Mosley was stronger and he hit harder. I haven't heard anyone say that he landed more punches in most of the rounds.  I know boxing can be subjective, but even allowing that, the fact remains is that this sport is about hitting and not being hit and doing it more than the other guy does it to you; it's not rocket science.

If anyone else can watch that tape with the sound on or off and justify why Mosley was awarded rounds for walking into jabs, then I think the whole way boxing is scored needs to be looked at, because that isn't a fight winning tactic in my book.

When Tito got the verdict over Oscar back in 99, I was surprised, but that verdict looks like an object of beauty next to what happened in Vegas this month. 

I feel sorry for Oscar, his millions in the bank notwithstanding, he deserved better than this, his second loss to Mosley who lost twice to Forrest who lost twice to Mayorga.  It can be a funny old sport sometimes…

                                *                             *                             *

Moving on to Friday the 27th in Reading, UK the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Danny Williams scored his second stoppage win over hometown hero Michael Sprott, but only in bitterly controversial circumstances. 

Their first encounter some 19 months back had seen Williams stop a very late notice Sprott in seven rounds.  Since then, Sprott, who was challenging for Williams two titles, had gone 8-0 (6 Ko's) and was in the form of his career while Danny had been badly stopped in a European title bout against Sinal Samil Sam and had struggled against Aussie veteran Bob Mivrovic in his last two bouts.  Many were predicting an upset this time round.

After a fast start from both which saw good jabs go in, the 28 LB lighter Sprott got the better of the first landing with some quick right hands.  Williams was warned for a blatant low-blow at the end of the first and was made to pay by a perfect uppercut just seconds before the bell.

The action over the second and third was edged by the challenger who while smaller, lighter and coming off second best in power was clearly the quicker.  Another low blow by Williams at the end of the round, followed by a punch to the face as the challenger complained, brought a torrent of booing from the crowd and genuine anger from the Reading man. 

After seemingly edging a tight fourth round, Sprott was again hit low and again belted by a right hand as he turned to complain to the referee, this time he hit the canvas face-first and was saved by the bell, much to the displeasure of the crowd.  Sprott's corner was furious with both Williams and the referee for allowing the flagrant south of the border shot that resulted in the knockdown. 

Things got much, much, worse in round five as again the champion strayed low and again the challenger complained to the referee, this time with devastating results.  A monstrous left hook pole-axed the challenger giving Williams the controversial win. It was one of those bad knockouts too, though thankfully Sprott recovered quickly.

It was a strange one, the referee should have warned Williams on the first two occasions he struck low and followed up and then he should have disqualified him for the low blow that lead to the knockout, Williams as he rightly pointed out afterwards, was within his right to keep punching if the referee hadn't cried foul or called break and as for Sprott, he broke the golden rule, defend yourself at all times.  When you combine all this you have a pretty confusing situation and every man has something of a case.

Personally, I wasn't happy with Williams flagrant and tardy hitting blow the belt and his unsportsmanlike behavior in bringing up KO blows seconds later, I think he should have been thrown out.  The result, however, stands at Williams KO 5 Sprott, and while a third fight would be welcomed I have the feeling that Danny might always be that bit too powerful for the talented Sprott.

Another strange one on the undercard saw red-hot British cruiseweight prospect David Haye score a bizarre fourth round stoppage of the extremely game Congoan Lolenga Mock. 

Mock had been down early from a cuffing right in the first but had blazed back to have Haye down in the second from a lovely right to the temple.  Haye was in some trouble but had just about boxed his way back into control before being hurt again in the fourth.  He responded in style with a terrific uppercut to floor the muscular Mock.  Mock arose quickly, his eyes clear and ready to box on when the referee, for no discernible reason, called a halt and marched the bemused Danish-based light-heavyweight back to his corner.  It was, frankly, a disgraceful stoppage. 

Haye's, who himself concurred that Mock should have been allowed to continue, had been much more hurt when down earlier in the bout. 

The talented Britain moves to 7-0 (7) and despite this hiccup is one to watch, while Mock, who I recently saw robbed blind against Kai Kurzawa in Germany, must be cursing his bad luck.  He is a tough man who comes to fight.  Lets hope we see more of him here in the UK; he deserves the work.