By Ben Jacobs
Sergio Mora knows what it feels like to be a world champion, he held the WBC light middleweight title in 2008 when he scored a win over the late, great Vernon Forrest. Naturally the Los Angeles native would like to repeat that feat, competing at middleweight. Two of the top four governing bodies’ belts have changed hands in recent weeks after Sam Soliman dethroned Felix Sturm for the IBF belt in Germany. In New York, Miguel Cotto became the WBC champion following a surprisingly easy win over Sergio Martínez.
Like most boxing fans, Mora observed the fight and concedes that he didn’t envisage such a convincing performance from the Puerto Rican.
“I was very surprised, like everyone else,” he admitted.
“Martínez's injuries had a lot to do with Cotto's dominance. Then again, so did Cotto's left hook and body shots.”
‘The Latin Snake’ was last in the ring on May 31 in Las Vegas where he scored a fifth round stoppage over Samuel Rogers. That was his third victory in a row following a majority decision loss in a rematch against Bryan Vera. Would he entertain a third fight with Vera or is the 33-year-old on a different path?
“I respect Vera, always have. He's a big strong Texan. Just don't fight him in Texas!
“I felt eager to please in my last fight. When prepared I feel I can beat anybody.
“I went back to the "drawing board" and fought my way back to public opinion. No matter what your opinion of me is, one thing is clear, I'm a well known former champion, I can fight against any style and succeed and overcome the odds. So yes, I deserve another title shot. No one has convincingly proved me wrong yet.”
Sergio is currently ranked at number 11 by the WBA and 15 by the WBC, as such, he will likely have to fight a few more top contenders before being in with a chance against the respective champions. If his fight with Shane Mosley four years ago had gone differently, perhaps he would have had a more direct route to a title shot. Many fans felt that Mora deserved the win over Mosley, although the judges scored it a draw. Did the fight against the former three weight world champion hold his career back?
“It wasn't the fight, it was the commentary [HBO]. Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant have become very opinionated and biased in their comments. The average fan believes what is being narrated by the "experts." That, along with the lack of action buried me with the fans and networks. That was one fight, and it was versus a hall of famer, a legend. All I did was try to win. Everyone else picked Mosley to destroy me.”
One option for Mora could theoretically be against one of the several British middleweights on the scene.
“Billy Joe Saunders is really impressive. He's a hell of a fighter, he reminds me of myself. Martin Murray almost did enough to beat Martínez. But as I found out, almost isn’t enough. It's a cruel business.”
Mora also had a prediction for the July 26 world title bout between Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Geale.
“Golovkin will knock Geale out, if Geale comes to win. If Geale comes to survive, he might last the distance and ruin GGG’s knockout streak.”