Tow-may-to, Tow-mot-to, Pow-tay-to, Pow-tot-to. . . Just Call the Whole Thing off, Oscar.
Joey Knish
( )

Tuesday September 16, 2003 ? ????Fred Astaire sang how “you say tomayto, I say tomato, you say potayto, I say potato”; and after watching the De La Hoya – Mosley bout on Saturday many people were saying the same things the next day.

Personally, while watching the mega-fight this weekend between Oscar De La Hoya and new Super Welterweight champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley, I kept commenting to my lady-friend how every single round that went by was so difficult to judge. After the eighth round I had to admit that I really couldn't pick a winner at that point and nothing after that made the picture any clearer. Now, I wasn't keeping my own scorecard like the judges were – I just went from what I was seeing; and what I saw was a tough fight to call.

From the eighth round onward the fight was still a heck of a tough one to judge, and entertaining at that. Actually, the fact that you really could make a case for either boxer made it all that more exciting to me. At the time of decision, Sugar Shane received the nod. It was surprising to me that all three judges had the fight scored the exact same way: 115-113 for Mosley. It wasn't a complete shock that Shane won the fight, but a little different that all three judges had it the same way; although they took slightly different routes to come to the same scoring conclusion.

Since that time the Golden Boy has come out suggesting he was wronged, yet admitted that he himself thought that it could have been a draw. There has been talk of Arum being the “target” of the judges scoring and that people were out to “get him”, etc. The fact of the matter is this – watching a boxing match is open to interpretation and, as such, you are bound to get different opinions on a fight. Just as the value of a piece of art is very much in the eye of the beholder, a fight can be looked at differently depending on who is watching. If Oscar himself could suggest that the fight just maybe could have been a draw – 114-114 for each fighter – then how far-fetched is it that the three judges looking through impartial eyes had Mosley winning by a single point more that Oscar thought could have been accurate? Not far at all.

It all comes back to the “tomato, tomato, potato, potato” situation. You see it your way and I'll see it my way – we may not agree on the exact pronunciation but in the end we are talking about the same thing. And, just like our friend the potato, the fight served its purpose without a whole lot of glitz or glitter. When dressed up as best as it can, a potato is good, but not great. It fills the plate, gives you some substance in the belly that you needed and then you go on your way. I have yet to hear of anyone walking away from the dinner table and exclaim “wow, that was one helluva potato!” I haven't heard anyone talk about Saturday's title bout as being a “helluva fight” either. It served its purpose. It brought Oscar back into the ring to face the only active fighter to have beaten him in the ring and filled that void in the pit of Oscar's stomach, despite the mediocre feeling it left as a result.

Now, with respect to all this talk of challenging the decision and having his team of lawyers analyze it all…just “call the whole thing off”, Oscar.