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Dougie's Monday mailbag
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Fans have different opinions on Sergio Mora's upset loss to Bryan Vera and what it could mean for the middleweight's career.
NEXT FOR VERA, MORA?
I hope all is well. Sergio Mora and Brian Vera engaged in a very exciting fight on Friday Night Fights. Credit to both fighters for putting forth a mettlesome effort.
I agreed with the scorecards that Vera narrowly defeated Mora. Teddy Atlas correctly noted that Mora, although throwing a lot of punches, was fighting too defensively. He tried to slip a lot of punches, which is fine, but he did not counter very well. Mora also needed to jab more to control the tempo and keep Vera from coming forward.
The fight could have been better if the referee allowed the fighters to fight inside by not braking them up so quickly and often. The infighting between Mora and Vera was entertaining. The referee also failed to warn Vera about his rabbit punches.
Mora and Vera are no spring chickens. What is next for them? How about a fight between Peter Manfedo Jr. and Vera on FNF? Is Andy Lee interested in a rematch? Mora showed that he can be entertaining, but who can he be matched with around 160 pounds, Danny Jacobs, Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams?
What is the story on Mora now training with Jeremy Williams? Best. -- Jaime, South City
I guess he parted ways with longtime trainer Dean Campos. I’m so used to them being together I assumed that Williams was just overlooking the sparring session I watched at the Fortune Gym about two or three weeks out from the Vera fight. I had no idea J-Will was going to work Mora’s corner. I didn’t even think to ask.
Regarding what Vera and Mora do next, I think either guy would make for an entertaining fight with Manfredo. Vera-Manfredo matches two aggressive boxers with strong wills and underrated boxing ability. Mora-Manfredo III is a competitive boxer-pressure fighter matchup and there’s a storyline to go with it thanks to their first two bouts. The first bout was entertaining and the rematch was controversial (most observers watching on TV thought Manfredo deserved the nod).
I doubt Lee is interested in a rematch with Vera. If the talented Irishman beats Craig McEwan in the HBO-televised co-feature to the Martinez-Dzinziruk fight he might earn a middleweight title shot in his next bout or very soon. If that turns out to be the case I doubt his management will want him to risk that shot by taking on a dangerous dude like Vera.
If I managed Vera, I’d push my fighter to be Kelly Pavlik’s opponent on the Pacquiao-Mosley PPV undercard on May 7.
If I managed Mora I’d have a serious talk with him regarding his motivation and desire from this point forward. If he really wants to remain in the game and he still wants a belt around his waist I’d try to get him down 154 pounds, where I’d offer him up as a name opponent for Alfredo Angulo or James Kirkland. If he gets himself into optimum shape I think he’s got the style and the chin to spring an upset on one of those junior middleweight badasses.
And even fans who hate Mora (which I’m sure there are a lot of) would want to see those fights so they can watch him get punished.
The guys you mentioned (Jacobs, Margarito and Williams) are also good options for Mora. I don’t see Jacobs’ management risking him against a difficult stylist like Mora just yet. The New Yorker recently took on a new trainer (Freddie Roach) and he’s still in the “re-building” stage from last year’s KO loss. Margarito is a Top Rank fighter who Bob Arum is saving for Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley. In other words, Mora’s a little fish to the disgraced former welterweight titleholder. Mora vs. “the Punisher” is a very interesting idea, however. Nobody knows what’s left of P-Will’s chin following his KO of the Year loss to Martinez. He needs to get back into the ring ASAP, and an opponent with some name recognition but very little punching power seems perfect for his first comeback fight.
Williams-Mora is an interesting matchup (one that was discussed briefly back in 2008). Both guys are coming off losses that have put their futures into question. Both need to win. I like it.
I agree that we got a good fight with Vera-Mora but could have seen a better one had the ref allowed more infighting. I also think this would have helped out Mora, who appeared to hurt Vera to the body in the ninth round.
I scored it 96-94 for Mora. Rounds 1, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 went to the Latin Snake. I thought a draw or 96-94 for Vera was fair. Rounds 1, 8 and 10 could’ve gone to Vera.
Yup, and having the pay-per-view show produced and distributed by Showtime with some commercials and a Fight Camp running on CBS won’t change the fact that we’re all probably going to witness a welterweight version of Holmes-Ali.
I agree that it’s going to be tough for Mora to become a serious player (at 160 or 154 pounds) following Friday‘s loss. However, I don’t think it will be hard for him to land another TV date (it will just be hard for him to get paid a lot of money for his next televised appearances because I doubt they will be on a premium cable network).
Mora’s got some industry juice behind him with Golden Boy Promotions and co-manager Cameron Dunkin. He’s also got more name recognition than your average fighter and some decent past televised performances to help get him back on TV. And since most of his compelling bouts took place on ESPN2, my guess is that we’ll see Mora on Friday Night Fights again. Mora has made for interesting bouts on ESPN2 whether he won, lost or drew against his opponents (and he’s done all three on the basic cable network vs. Archak TerMeliksetian, Elvin Ayala and Vera). If we don’t see Mora on FNF next, I bet you he’ll pop up on Telefutura‘s Solo Boxeo Tecate series.
And Tom, the fact that a lot of fans (and let’s not forget much of the media) hate Mora isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sports fans are a little bit crazy. Most of them will religiously tune into to watch (or even buy tickets to see live) the guys they hate in hopes of witnessing them fail.
Hector Camacho made millions while playing the role of the boxer that everyone loved to hate. The more obnoxious and less entertaining he became the bigger his fights and purses were. You could say the same thing about Floyd Mayweather, come to think about it. Now, I realize that Mayweather and Camacho are/were exceptional (arguably great) talents and Mora isn’t, but the same principle applies. Hated boxers with moderate talent and erratic performances can make a good living. For a prime example, look no further than the guy who worked Mora’s corner on Friday.
It seemed like EVERYBODY hated Jeremy Williams when he was fighting (except for Yours Truly). He generally underperformed in his high-profile bouts and he never won a title, but the Long Beach boxer-puncher made good money for many years. (The fact that he campaigned in the heavyweight division certainly didn’t hurt, but I trust you get my point.)