Sergio Mora Has Texas-Sized Indigestion
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Aug 16, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
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Sergio Mora
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.
 
But 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.
.
There’s 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.
 
“We 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.”
 
Little 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).
 
There 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.
 
“I 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.”
 
Perhaps 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 their favor.
 
“I 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 inning.
 
According 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 that.’”
 
What 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).
 
Again, 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?
 
“I 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.”
 
Perhaps 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.”
 
While 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 years ago.
 
Now what?
 
Mora 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.
 
“But 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?”

 
More of Steve's recent work below his contact info...
Steve can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and he tweets (and enjoys “Competitive Tweeting”) at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing.

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