Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


Sergio Mora looking to defy the odds vs. Daniel Jacobs

Sergio Mora (L) during his 2010 fight against Shane Mosley, which would end in a draw. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP-Getty Images

Sergio Mora (L) during his 2010 fight against Shane Mosley, which would end in a draw. Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP-Getty Images

Ever since he won “The Contender,” a reality series in 2008, Sergio Mora has had a target on his back. He was the guy who lacked knockout power but was slick enough to be a problem for any opponent. His victories were rarely exciting for the casual fan, who likely expect a reality-show winner to be a bit more electric in the ring. Nevertheless, Mora does what he has to do to win and could care less if you appreciate how he does it.

A perennial underdog, Mora defied the odds stacked against him by beating the late Vernon Forrest for the WBC junior middleweight title in June of 2008 (he would lose a rematch three months later). His resume is an interesting one. From 2008-2012, Mora faced “Sugar” Shane Mosley (draw), Brian Vera (0-2) and Forrest (1-1). The peaks and valleys were extreme and Mora eventually found himself strolling on the outside fences between relevancy and retirement after losing to Vera in 2012. But with five victories in a row, Mora has landed a co-featured bout on this weekend’s PBC on ESPN card against WBA “regular” middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (29-1, 26 knockouts), whose last nine fights, all wins, never made it to the judges’ scorecards.

With Mora having never been stopped in 33 fights, some anticipate that Jacobs will be the first to strike down The Latin Snake when they square off at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“I would want to knock someone out like me,” Mora said to RingTV. “Shane Mosley and Vernon Forrest couldn’t do it. So I hope he gives it his best shot.”

Despite his 28-3-2 (9 KOs) record, Mora considers himself undefeated. Although he knows that there are blemishes on his ledger that could have gone his way. Only Vernon Forrest took home a unanimous decision victory, and even that is something that Mora disputes.

“In my stubborn and ignorant head I’m still undefeated,” the former titleholder explained. “Nobody has really dominated me but it’s a crazy business where people are always waiting for you to come down.”

The reality show certainly thrust Mora’s name into the limelight and the celebrity that came with being on a television show also drew a bevy of naysayers who waited for his downfall. But despite the average reality-show star’s expected 15-minutes of fame, Mora has managed to extend it and laughs at the skeptics who thought he was going to fade away completely.

“I’ve been dealing with negative criticism my entire career,” Mora explained. “Maybe it’s because I’m a reality-show winner or I can’t knock people out. If I had a way to inject power I would. But I think I’ve come a long way. It’s made me a better fighter. These are the things that the boxing purists need to understand. This is the sweet science. Power is not the No. 1 attribute to be a great professional.”

On Saturday night, Mora is ready to defy the odds again.

“The last time I fought for a world title was 7 years ago against Forrest and I was a 4-to-1 underdog,” he says. “I’m the underdog again against a younger and stronger fighter. All cards will be stacked against me.”

If Mora is to win, the expected method will be a decision in a technical fight that lacks the fireworks casual fans are looking for. And even if he has to stink it out, The Latin Snake isn’t interested in giving anyone what they want, unless it is all for his own benefit.

“I’m a spoiler,” he said. “I look to spoil his plans and the fans look for me to spoil their fun.”

(Note: THE RING recognizes only one world title per sanctioning body per weight division, and in the case of the middleweight division it is Gennady Golovkin’s WBA Super World title.)