by Cliff Rold
32-year old former Jr. Middleweight titlist Sergio Mora (23-3-2, 7 KO) of Los Angeles, California, got back to winning with a decisive ten-round victory over former Middleweight title challenger Grzegorz Proksa (29-3, 21 KO) of Jaworzno, Poland, on Friday night at the Veteran’s Coliseum in Jacksonville, Florida.
Both men came in below the Middleweight division limit of 160 lbs., Proksa at 159 ½ and Mora at 159 ¾.
The awkward Proksa struggled in spots with the speed and bodywork or Mora in each of the first three rounds but really started to find some range in the last of them. His straight left from the southpaw stance was starting to get in, even if a nasty body shot from Mora had Proksa shaking his head to say it didn’t bother him.
Proksa couldn’t keep any momentum going into the fourth, the jab of Mora dominating the frame. In the fifth, Mora’s ability to land at will meant multiplying punishment and Proksa was stunned. In the closing seconds, Mora landed a heavy overhand left and Proksa, hands low, could do nothing but eat it.
The one-sided boxing lesson continued in the next two rounds, Proksa growing as frustrated as he was outclassed. In the eighth, a Proksa slip left an opening and Mora pounced. Ignoring a halt call from the referee, Mora stepped forward with some of his hardest shots of the night, seemingly unsure if a knockdown was underway. The referee waved it off and both men continued in agitated fashion. Only Mora was able to use it to advantage.
In round nine, Mora appeared to again rattle Proksa late. He certainly had no trouble finding him. Proksa would take a warning for kidney punching in the tenth and it was the best offense he could muster. Mora, still working off an able jab, tattooed Proksa with right hands and closed the show with a little theatre. As Proksa lunged with a wild shot in the closing seconds, Mora slipped the shot and Proksa fell clumsily into the ropes. Mora laughed and did a little dance, breaking out a victory step early.
The scoring ended up much closer than the fight looked in the ring with twin scores of 96-94 and a more appropriate 98-92, all for Mora.
Proksa loses for the third time in six starts after starting his career at 26-0. Mora rebounds from a debated decision defeat to Brian Vera, his second decision loss to Vera, in his last contest. Mora is best recalled for winning the first season of the “Contender” series and an upset of the late Vernon Forrest in 2008 for the WBC belt at 154 lbs.
The televised opener featured a big banger getting a full night’s work.
22-year old Middleweight Patrick Teixeira (20-0, 17 KO), 157, of Sao Paolo, Brazil, had won a pair of six-round split decisions earlier in his career but never been any deeper than into an eighth round. Friday, he heard the final bell on a ten round fight and handled the distance well despite some moments where he appeared winded and a cut over the left eye. To his credit, 26-year old Marcus Willis (13-3-2, 3 KO), 154 ¾, of Fort Meyers, Florida, weathered some nasty stuff and won some rounds along the way.
The highlight of the bout was round seven. Teixeira landed big and Willis was in big trouble. With referee Frank Santore Jr. looking on intently, Willis kept his hands up, held, slipped, and survived. By round’s end, he was digging deep to find whatever he had and firing back. It wasn’t nearly enough to win, but it was more than enough to earn his check for the night.
The scores were academic at 98-92, a surprisingly close 96-94, and 97-93, all for Teixeira. Teixeira entered the bout unrated by any of the major sanctioning body organizations but inches closer to consideration with another win.
The contest was televised in the U.S. on ESPN2 as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by Banner Promotion.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]