By Keith Idec
Sergio Mora and Daniel Jacobs engaged in some long-distance sparring Tuesday regarding the effect of the final punches Jacobs landed to end their middleweight title fight nearly 13 months ago.
Los Angeles’ Mora maintains that his ankle already was twisted before Jacobs’ right hand “grazed” him in the second round. Brooklyn’s Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) is convinced Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs) was well on his way to a clearer technical knockout defeat before his ankle injury prohibited him from continuing last August 1 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
“It was no knockdown,” Mora said during a conference call to discuss their September 9 rematch for Jacobs’ WBA world middleweight title. “I’m the one getting punched, by the way. I didn’t feel the punch. It definitely was just me twisting my [right] ankle and it was Daniel Jacobs pushing me down as well. The referee [Gary Rosato] kept warning Jacobs also for pushing me down with his elbow. I normally go down low like that, so it’s not the first time it happened.
“So it was a lot of things, but it wasn’t a clean punch that knocked me down. It was all my ankle. If it was a punch, then why didn’t I stay down? I was up at the count of two or three, on one foot. So it definitely was no punch.”
A disbelieving Jacobs disagreed.
“He’s saying that last shot wasn’t a punch that put him down,” said Jacobs, who floored Mora in the first round, but also was knocked down during that round. “I don’t know what my eyes were seeing or I don’t know what my fist felt. But in my opinion, and I think clearly if you go to the video and the replay, it was a punch that put him down. It was the [left] uppercut that started it, which had him withdrawing and [backing] up. And then it was the overhand right that put him down.”
Mora immediately interrupted.
“The overhand right grazed the back of my head, yeah,” Mora said. “The overhand right grazed the back of my head, but my ankle was already twisted.”
Jacobs countered quickly.
“It could be a graze,” Jacobs said. “It could be whatever you want to say it could be, but it put you down.”
The ever-resilient Mora wasn’t finished.
“But it didn’t keep me down,” Mora said. “If I was hurt, I wouldn’t have gotten up.”
Jacobs implored Mora to allow him to speak because it was his turn for opening remarks. The disagreement figures to continue when the 29-year-old Jacobs and the 35-year-old Mora arrive in Reading, Pennsylvania, next week for their 12-round rematch at Santander Arena (Spike).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.