By Eric ‘Sugar Foot’ Duran
ESPN Friday Night Fights travels to the Beaux Rivage Resort and Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi tonight as Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora returns to action in a middleweight bout.
Mora, of The Contender reality show fame, was originally scheduled to face former middleweight kingpin, Jermain Taylor, for the IBF middleweight title. However, with Taylor now facing criminal charges and mental health issues, the Al Haymon-advised Mora will now face late replacement Abie Han of El Paso, TX.
Mora rose to fame in 2004 when we he competed in and won the aforementioned reality boxing series, beating veterans Ishe Smith and Peter Manfredo Jr in the process.
In 2008, Mora defeated the late Vernon Forrest to capture the WBC Light Middleweight title. This was considered a mild upset, as Forrest was riding a 5-bout winning streak since losing his title to Ricardo Mayorga. It has been, safe to say, a roller coaster of a ride since capturing the WBC strap, as Mora has faced questionable decision losses and also turned in poor performances.
At 27-3-2 (9 KOs), with the elusive Haymon now in his corner, “The Latin Snake” again looks to return to prominence on Friday Night Fights.
Taylor replacement Abie Han is a hardworking, come-forward fighter from the tough streets of El Paso, TX. Han has flew under the radar for most of his career, fighting on Top Rank undercards around the country. Blessed with hands of stone, Han has complied a record of 23-1 with 14 KOs. Han’s only loss was to the once highly regarded prospect, hard-hitting Glen Tapia.
Having won 4 straight since his lone defeat, Han is confident heading into his last-minute replacement bout with Mora.
“I’m always training,” Hans explains, shrugging off the pressure of stepping in for the troubled Taylor.
“It will be a big challenge, I’ve never starred in a big main event against a fighter of Mora’s prestige.” The heavy-handed Han is well aware that he can catapult his name to the bright lights with an impressive victory tonight.
On the undercard, the fast rising prospect Erickson Lubin returns to action. Lubin, who was expected to medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics, chose the pro ranks instead, quickly popping up on the boxing world’s radar in 2014.
Originally signed by Iron Mike Productions out of the amateurs, Lubin was recently signed by Al Haymon when Iron Mike Productions folded.
At 8-0 (6 KOs), the 19-year-old power-punching prospect from Orlando, Florida, will face Michael Finney of Columbus, GA, in a Super Welterweight bout.
Finney, 12-1-1 (10 KOs), took the fight on a day’s notice,
“It’s a dream come true”, Finney stated about the opportunity of fighting on national TV. Finney is coming off a draw against Wilkins Santiago in October of 2014.
With the cameras rolling tonight in Biloxi, Mora, Han and Lubin will all look to shine bright on the big stage.
ESPN Friday Night Fights airs on ESPN 2 at 9:00pm EST.