Mosley shocks Margarito, wins belt with TKO

LOS ANGELES (TICKER) —“Sugar” Shane Mosley put the distractions aside and earned one of the biggest wins of his career on Saturday.

Mosley took it to Antonio Margarito from the opening round to the end of the fight, winning the WBA welterweight championship with a ninth-round technical knockout before the largest crowd ever to attend an event at the Staples Center.

A substantial underdog entering the ring, Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) virtually won every round before scoring a knockdown at the end of the eighth.

Margarito (37-6) had nothing left when the ninth began, and Mosley continued his assault before referee Raul Caiz stepped in at the 43-second mark as the Mexican slumped into the ropes.

“We trained very hard for this,” Mosley said. “Focused on the game plan. This was my night.”

It was the first time Margarito has been stopped in his career. The 30-year-old was coming off an 11th-round TKO of the previously unbeaten Miguel Cotto in July.

Mosley, who has won titles in three different weight classes over his illustrious career, has dealt with steroid accusations over the past few months.

The New York Daily News reported in December the 37-year-old testified before a grand jury in 2003 that he injected himself with EPO before his victory over Oscar De La Hoya. According to the newspaper, Mosley admitted he used the “cream” and the “clear” despite constant public denial that he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.

After Saturday’s fight, he admitted the reports may have added a little extra incentive.

“I think it did motivate me a little bit,” Mosley said of the distractions. “I had a great camp. We did have a plan and a strategy on what to do with the fight. And we executed it.”

Mosley, who also went through a divorce from his wife and manager Jin Mosley, started fast with well-placed body shots against a notoriously slow starter in Margarito.

“Sugar” Shane continued to land punches with authority through the rest of the early rounds, while Margarito never was able to land anything of substantial impact.

“All credit to Mosley,” Margarito said through an interpreter. “I know he has great experience. When we got in close, he would clinch and I was unable to get (punches) off.”

Continuing to dominate his opponent, Mosley badly hurt Margarito with a big right hand late in the eighth round and followed it up with a left hook and more rights before the champion went crashing to the canvas.

Margarito beat Caiz’s count just before the bell and talked his corner out of stopping the fight before gingerly going out for the ninth.

It was an emphatic end to the night for Mosley, who was coming off a 12th-round knockout victory over Ricardo Mayorga in September. He lost a close unanimous decision to Cotto in November 2007.

“I was fast and I had a lot more power in my punches,” said Mosley, who mentioned he would like a rematch with Cotto. “I showed tonight that I can knock out just about anybody.”

Mosley landed 178-of-507 punches (35 percent), while Margarito connected on 108-of-485 (22 percent) in front of a crowd of 20,820.

Prior to the bout, Margarito had his hands rewrapped three times after Mosley’s trainer, Nazim Richardson, complained during the pre-fight inspection.

Wet pads were found in Margarito’s wraps, which were compared to a plaster-like substance, and given to Dean Lohuis of the California Boxing Commission for further study.

Follow Yahoo! Sports' boxing coverage on Twitter.
Updated Sunday, Jan 25, 2009