By Chris Cella
On this week’s edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, former junior middleweight champion and the first Contender champion Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (23-3-2, 7 KO) will look to make his way back into title contention as he faces Grzegorz “Super G” Proska (29-2, 21 KO) in a 10-round middleweight contest.
The fights will be aired live from the Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
Since winning a Majority Decision over Vernon Forrest in 2008 to capture the WBC Light Middleweight Title, Mora has struggled to find consistency between the ropes. In the subsequent six fights since earning the hardware, Mora has gone 2-3-1, with his last trip to the ring last August resulting in a second loss against Brian Vera.
At 32-years-old Mora will be looking to show that he still has another title run in him against the hard-hitting Polish southpaw.
For Proska it will be about showing that he has the talents to hang with the quality fighters of the division. Last September he fought against the toughest opponent of his career in Gennady Golovkin, and was stopped in the 5th round of the WBA World Middleweight Title Fight.
In his only fight since he went six rounds and won a unanimous decision against 13-20-3 opponent Norbert Szekeres, so Mora will certainly be a much tougher task at hand, so it will be interesting to see how Proska handles going from 6 rounds to 10 rounds against a former champion.
“I know a lot about Mora,” Proska said. “He’s a good fighter, who wins on points. He’ll be a tough fight. I’m happy to get that kind of fight. I have a lot of respect for him. But the respect will end at the time we go to the ring. I can’t wait to fight.”
Both fighters have quite contrasting styles; Proska has relied heavily on his power and ability to get to opponents early and stop them, while Mora is a marathon fighter who uses each round to wear down his competition and accrue points.
Mora will need to establish his own pace of the fight early and not allow Proska to be the aggressor and make it a street fight. By doing so he will be able to subdue the southpaw’s power and force him into a more technical boxing match.
In the co-feature of the night undefeated Brazilian middleweight Patrick Teixeira (19-0, 17 KO) will square off against “Magic” Marcus Willis. Over his last 7 wins Teixeira has allowed opponents past the second round once, so fans can expect him to continue with his explosive starts and aim to get Wilis out of there to make it an early night. Willis has been stopped once in his career, and if he is unable to use his feet to stay out of range of Teixeira’s power, he will be in trouble. But he has shown that his conditioning has always been top notch when he comes into the ring, so he will undoubtedly be ready to go the scheduled 10 rounds if necessary.
An interesting fact coming into this 10-round contest is that neither fighter has gone past 8 rounds, so if Willis is able to avoid Teixeira’s heavy hands, it may come down to who has more gas in the tank late in the fight.
The action begins tomorrow night live on ESPN2 at 9 p.m.