By Monday afternoon, Sergio Mora still hadn’t fully come to grips or
digested what had taken place this past weekend at the Illusions Theater
in San Antonio, Texas. Taking on Brian Vera - who had defeated him back
in February of 2011 - a much better and more focused version of “The
Latin Snake” evaded most of Vera’s two-fisted attack and counterpunched
effectively throughout the night. It was an entertaining affair (about
as much as a fight with Mora can be) and it seemed as though he had done
enough to win this hard-fought contest.
when the scores were announced, two judges, Ruben Carrion and Rafael
Ramos, had the scores in favor of Vera - a native and resident of the
Lone Star State - by the scores of 118-110 and 117-111, respectively.
The third judge, Wilfredo Esperon, had the fight a draw at 114-114.
The fight, in their eyes, was a one-sided affair.
no digestion needed,” said Mora, still frustrated a few days after. “I
have indigestion. Man, this is incredible; I went out there and people
think I had the same game plan because I laid against the ropes. But
first of all, I’m fighting a big, strong guy in his hometown that takes a
great punch. I hit this guy with some really good shots and I realize
I’m not Julian Jackson but when I’m hitting a guy consistently and he’s
just coming and smiling at me - you’ve got to give him credit for having
a good beard. But aside from all that, giving Brian credit, I just
thought I won the fight unanimously. I was confident, then when I
watched it on television and I heard Ronnie Shields say that they needed
a knockout to win and then Brian Vera saying that he would’ve been
happy with a draw, I mean, that just confirms how me and my trainer,
Dean Campos, felt.
won at least eight rounds to four and then when we got the scorecards,
that’s when we realized…actually, we realized something was fishy. The
decision took so long. It really took about seven minutes; the referee
[Mark Calo-Oy] was holding our hands and then he let ‘em go and then
they were blaming it on the commercials but it was a very long decision
for them to tally up the cards. Finally, when they read the cards and I
heard ‘114-114’, I knew something was going to be fishy and then I heard
‘118-110’ and then I just relaxed. I’m like, ‘Whew, wow; alright,
good.’ Then I heard ‘117-111’; that really put me at ease.”
did Mora realize that the draw was the most charitable score he had
received. Vera was announced as the majority decision winner.
“Then when he won, I was like, ‘Hoooooolllly sh*t,’” recalled Mora, who saw his record drop to 23-3-2 (7).
were a lot of close rounds where Vera carried the action with his
aggression and volume but the precision punches were landed by Mora, who
found a home for his counter rights all evening. Mora was a much better
version of himself than the one who labored versus the tough Texan last
year. He was much sharper and in superior condition and it seems the
only one in Texas who really saw that was Shields, who was in the
opposite corner with Vera. As the 12th and final round began, Shields admitted to the Telefutura audience that his charge needed a knockout.
gotta go back and look at the fight because I talked to so many people
and everybody saying, ‘Man, Vera won that fight. He didn’t win it by
much - but he won the fight,’” said Shields to Maxboxing on Monday. “I
mean, everybody is calling me, man, ‘I’m sorry, dude; you were wrong.’ I
said Brian needed a knockout because I felt we needed that last round,
so I just knew he needed to go out there and do something that last
round. But in the corner, you’re just looking at the fight and Sergio
was always making the last-second runs at the end. So I’m just trying to
get Brian up for the fight.”
Shields was exaggerating to his boxer what they needed in an effort to
exhort him. He still doesn’t sound confident of the verdict rendered in
gotta look at the fight again because I’ve had over a hundred people
call me and not one of them say that Brian lost,” he said. But Shields
did admit he felt Mora was up by a couple of points going into the last
to Mora, after the fight, Shields, “had an embarrassed , guilty look on
his face. Me and Dean went up to him. I went, ‘Ronnie, look, you’re a
professional; we respect you,’ and before we could even finish our
sentence - and they’re interviewing Vera at that time - he said, ‘You
got robbed, son. What can I tell you? You’re in Texas.’ I said, ‘Ronnie,
please, please tell it on camera,’ and he took like a step-and-a-half
towards the camera and then he realized the problem he was getting
himself into. He turned around and said, ‘Serg, I live here; I can’t do
was really telling to Mora was the contrasting reaction he got from the
live audience from the first hook-up with Vera (where he was loudly
booed and heard catcalls as he left the ring) to this fight (where he
said he received nothing but plaudits and praise).
you could make a case that Vera won the fight closely but the wide
margins on the cards almost make it seem like the results of this
contest were predetermined. Mora never had a chance to win a decision.
Texas is a great boxing market but it has a troubling history of
protecting its house fighters with downright bad decisions and other
cases of favoritism.
Did Mora not realize where he was?
did,” he says, “but [Vera] didn’t hit me. He pressured me but the last
time I checked, you don’t get points for pressure; you get points for
effective aggression. But f**k, he just pressured me. He threw a million
punches and you have to give it to him; he put the pressure on me. He
didn’t let me have a second of breathing. OK, great, but he was hitting
my elbows, my shoulders, my back and that’s not effective. The shots
that were landing effectively were on my end. I really think I got
robbed. If you’re getting judged on effective aggression, defense and
ring generalship, I have to take that decision in or out of Texas.”
Mora was being naive. There’s a reason why some in boxing don’t ever
want to mess with Texas. “Common sense isn’t as common as some people
think,” he stated. “I went out there thinking differently and y’ know
what? I got the same result and we know what that’s called - insanity.”
this wasn’t a big fight to most boxing fans, it was a big one for Mora,
who, less than two years ago, was headlining a pay-per-view card
against Shane Mosley in his hometown at the Staples Center. A victory
over Vera would not only net him the NABO middleweight title, it would
give him much needed momentum in a career that had come to a standstill.
Winning the first season of “The Contender” might as well have been 20
says he has emailed several members of Golden Boy Promotions to see
what can be done and may also file a protest with the Texas authorities
(good luck with that). What was done to Mora has been done for years and
will take place for years on in. That’s boxing, unfortunately. The more
things change, the more they stay the same.
if they care about the sanctity and purity of boxing, then something
needs to be aired out here. Because 118-110 means I only won two rounds
out of 12. Two rounds out of 12! That’s an outrage, so that by itself
should be looked into and then the fact: What are you scoring? Are you
scoring pressure or effective aggression?”