American Shane Mosley claimed the World Boxing Association’s welterweight championship on Saturday with a stunning ninth round demolition of Antonio Margarito.
Five-time world champion Mosley backed Margarito into his own corner early in the ninth round with a flurry of punches that caused Margarito’s trainer to throw in the towel.
Mosley landed a short right that sent Margarito reeling, and referee Raul Caiz stopped the fight 43 seconds into the round in front of a crowd of 20,820 at the Staples Center arena.
“I went into the fight thinking that my speed would be a factor,” Mosley said. “My speed was just too much for him.”
Mosley, who came into the fight a three-to-one underdog, showed on Saturday that at 37 he remains a force in the welterweight division.
He upset the favored Margarito in the same Staples Center arena where he won the World Boxing Council welterweight title with a victory over Oscar De La Hoya in 2000.
“I did it again. Right here at Staples Center,” Mosley said. “It was a great night for me. I am always looking for the knockout.”
Mosley knocked Margarito down for the first time late in the eighth round with some devastating shots to the head. Margarito got up from the knockdown and stumbled backwards just before the bell ended the round.
Mosley showed he still has some of the quickest hands in the business. While the 30-year-old Margarito was the aggressor and continued to come forward, he kept getting hit with body shots as well as head shots.
It was a classic boxer versus brawler matchup and Mosley did most of his damage with combination punches while Margarito looked for the big punch.
“People underestimate my strength,” said Mosley, who had trouble making the weight. “I fight the big guys and I am able to knock them out. People just can’t understand that.”
Margarito’s game plan was to take a punch to land a punch and then impose his will on Mosley in the later rounds. It was the same game plan he used to upset Miguel Cotto six months ago for the title, but his time it failed.
Mosley wasted no time figuring out Margarito who was unable to defend against his smaller but faster opponent.
Both fighters exchanges jabs in the first two rounds before things heated up in the third. Mosley dominated throughout the next six rounds as he came into the fight with a game plan and stuck with it. Right from the opening bell he was able to slip inside Margarito’s jab and land hard short punches.
In the final three rounds, Mosley loaded up with powerful overhand rights that snapped Margarito’s head back.
“I knew he would be looking for my left hand because I have been so successful with it in my last few fights,” Mosley said. “I am equally powerful with both hands.”