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This Saturday It's Over.

BY Joey Knish ON May 11, 2004
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Every now and then I like to dabble in the arena of sports betting, and my favorite venue is always boxing. When it comes to the De La Hoya-Mosley fight on Saturday there is only one way to look at it - Over. The lines-makers have set the total number of rounds the fight 'will' or 'will not' go at 10.5, to bet the Over 10.5 right now you have to risk $260 to win $100. I wagered early and laid $200 to win $100 and still see value at the current -260 price. Here's why:

De La Hoya is being pegged by odds-makers to win this fight and he is a -265 favorite at most betting shops. He has fought 38 times and knocked out an impressive 29 opponents in 36 wins and has never been knocked out himself. That is an impressive ratio of KO's-to-Wins, but we are talking about an entirely different league now that the fight is at 154 and considering how strong of an opponent he is facing this Saturday.

Since moving up in weight to 154 pounds, Oscar has a decision win over an average looking Javier Castillejo who was there merely to surrender his title. He TKO'd Fernando Vargas who had lost his chin since the Trinidad fight, and then went on to stop an old Yori-Boy Campas who basically quit - or had his corner do it for him. Suddenly the impressive number of knockouts on the resume of De La Hoya is not so daunting. It is also worth noting that these recent stoppages were by TKO - and not KO - meaning it has been an accumulation of punches that has worn down his opponents and those opponents have been easier to hit than . . . well, than I am!

Shane Mosley also brings with him a nice ledger reading 38 wins and 35 of those victories coming by knockout. He has lost twice by decision to Vernon Forrest and that's it. Mosley has only had one fight at 154 pounds and that was stopped in the third round due to a clash of heads when he took on Raul Marquez. Sugar Shane did not look very impressive in that fight as he took a lot of time to get his groove, and may not have found it yet. Consider this, the last time Mosley won a fight was July of 2001 versus Adrian Stone - a fighter who was unknown before that fight and is even lesser known now.

When two world-class fighters such as these two meet, they each bring a lot of respect for one another and the bout often is tactical and about the sweet science of "boxing" as opposed to "fighting". In June of 2000 Mosley defeated De La Hoya by split decision in a fight that neither man was in serious trouble in at any point during the night. Mosley seemed too fast for Oscar and merely got the better of what exchanges they did have.

Despite the added weight I don't see either fighter bringing more firepower to the table nor will it slow either of them down. Finally, De La Hoya has had soft hands lately and recently let it be known he had hurt a hand again in the gym preparing for this fight. With soft hands I don't expect Oscar to win by knockout. Mosley is not the type of guy who gets caught flush very often, and if he does, he seems to have demonstrated a very solid chin. Not much of a chance that the Golden Boy gets stopped which means this one goes Over the 10.5 rounds, easy. The only caveat might be a stoppage on cuts but at this level I don't see a mega-fight of this magnitude being stopped by a ringside physician. You can bet on this - it's Over before it starts.

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