Sergio Mora: “This Is A Huge, Calculated Risk By Canelo”
By: Sean Crose
“Kovalev looks relaxed,” Sergio Mora tells me. “I didn’t expect him to be this big in person.”
If there’s one thing a brief conversation with former WBC junior middleweight champion Mora can convey it’s the fact the guy is personable with a capital “P.” It’s just a few seconds into our talk when it becomes obvious why DAZN picked the Californian up as a broadcaster. He’s a natural talker, one unafraid to let his thoughts and words flow. “It’s been the chance of a lifetime for me,” he says of DAZN, who he’s been with since it’s US debut last year. “It’s really great to be a part of something from the foundation.”
It’s been an interesting year for the 38 year old Mora, and for DAZN, as well. For it was the streaming service that covered Andy Ruiz’ stunning upset of Anthony Joshua last June at Madison Square Garden live. And it was Mora who was right there at ringside as part of the broadcast team when it happened. Now, just a few months later, Mora will be on hand to cover another high level matchup for DAZN, this time in Las Vegas rather than New York.
“This is a huge, calculated risk by Canelo,” he says here in the lead up to Saturday’s bout between boxing’s top star, Canelo Alvarez, and WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Still, Mora’s been in the game too long, be it as a broadcaster, a titlist, or as the star of The Contender, to be under any illusions. “We know that Canelo, he’s a 5-1 favorite,” says Mora, adding that “Vegas never loses.” And Mora also has other reasons for thinking Canelo should have the edge walking into Saturday night, as well.
“Only great fighters come back from brutal knockouts,” he says in reference to Kovalev, whose been stopped not once, but twice in the ring. Mora adds, though, that the Russian fighter has “greatness in him.” Mora can also empathize with Kovalev in the sense that neither man has been a star of Canelo’s caliber. “I can relate to what Kovalev is going through, but not Canelo,” he says.
Although Mora knows better than most how surprising the sport of boxing can be, he makes it clear during our brief chat that he wants to be consistently good at his job ringside. “I know when I’m stepping out of line with BK,” he says honestly. Whether it’s in or out of the ring, this is a man who enjoys stepping up his game.
Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs and Robert Easter, Jr. Win in Reading!
Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs and Robert Easter, Jr. Win in Reading!
By: Ken Hissner
Big time boxing returned to Reading, PA, at the Santander Arena with two world title fights. Marshall Kauffman’s King’s Promotions and Corona brought the show here and aired it over SPIKE TV. An estimated attendance was about 4,000 fans.
Middleweight WBA World champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 32-1 (29) out of Brooklyn, NY, in a mismatch and a rematch with Sergio “the Latin Snake” Mora, 28-5-2 (9), out of L.A., scored a stoppage with 3 knockdowns in the seventh round.
When this rematch was signed the WBA placed Mora in at No. 15 so it would be sanctioned as a title fight. The other 14 contenders must be asking “what do we have to do to get a title fight?”
In the opening round Mora was hitting “air” for over a minute while Jacobs wasn’t throwing a punch just stalking. By the end of the round less than a half dozen punches landed. In the second round Jacobs went to the body hurting Mora who almost hit the canvas. Jacobs switched to southpaw. In the third round Jacobs continued to stalk but is less impressive as a southpaw. He rocked Mora just prior to the bell with a right hook to the jaw.
In the fourth round a left uppercut on the chin by Jacobs dropped Mora. In the fifth round a chopping right by Jacobs was half on the side and half behind Mora’s head knocking him down. In the sixth round you knew by now Mora didn’t have the power to hurt Jacobs. In the sixth round Jacobs went back to orthodox trying for the knockout. A frustrated Jacobs pushed Mora to the canvas when he came in low and ruled a no knockdown. In the seventh round a pair of right hands by Jacobs dropped Mora twice. On the third knockdown referee Gany Rosato put us out of our misery. At best this should have been a non-title fight. No. 6 Tureao Johnson would be a much better opponent in Jacob’s next outing. For Jacobs to “call out” Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is a joke! If he is serious sign on the bottom line.
Lightweight 2012 Olympic alternate and ranked No.4 Robert Easter, Jr., 18-0 (14), out of Toledo, OH, took the vacant IBF lightweight title by split decision over No. 3 ranked Richard Commey, 24-1 (22), from Ghana, over 12 rounds. The No. 1 and No. 2 spots are vacant.
In the opening round Easter’s height and reach seem to be bothering the shorter Commey in a feeling out round. In the second it was more of Easter up until the final seconds of the round when Commey landed a left upper cut that rocked Easter. In the third round Commey went after Easter and having a good round. There are as many misses as hits.
In the fourth round of a non-descript fight the fans are standing in the aisles cheering Easter on shouting “USA, USA”. In the fifth round Easter controlled with his jab while Commey kept ducking to get inside. In the sixth round Easter was scoring well with the jab and an occasional right. He rocked Commey with a lead right at the bell.
In the seventh round Easter landed 4 unanswered punches to the body of Commey. In the eighth round a short right by Commey to the jaw of Easter rocked him making his right glove touch the canvas counting as a knockdown by referee Benjy Esteves, Jr. The knockdown in the previous round seemed to wake him up. He had Commey covering up.
In the tenth and eleventh rounds Easter continued to have his way with Commey who was doing more retreating than fighting. In the twelfth and final round Easter had Commey’s knees buckled forcing him to hold on. At the bell the fans were on their feet yelling for an Easter knockout that didn’t come. Neither fighter looked like a champion. Anthony Peterson is 37-1 and can’t get ranked. Go figure. Maybe this 72 year-old writer has been around too long and seen so many good fighters in the past like my all-time favorite Carlos Ortiz.
The judges had it 115-112 Easter, 114-113 Commey and 114-113 Easter with this writer having it 116-111 Easter.
Heavyweight Travis “My Time” Kauffman, 31-1-1 nc (29), out of Reading, PA, stopped Josh “Jaw Breaker” Gormley, 22-6 (21), Torrence, CA, at 0:47 of the second round when Gormley took a knee with what seems to be an injured left shoulder by a Kauffman right. “I don’t think he wanted to fight. I wanted someone better but we had a lot turning us down. I will be lighter the next fight,” said Kauffman.
Kauffman entered the arena to a hugh reception to the hometown fighter. In the opening round Kauffman controlled switching to southpaw and back after landing a good right on the head of Gormley. In the second round Kauffman landed a power right to the left shoulder of Gormley dropping him. When he got up he was holding his shoulder and moved about 10 feet away from Kauffman and took a knee without getting hit. Referee Clark waved it off. It was a disappointment for both Kauffman and the fans.
Super Middleweight Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker, 11-1 (5), out of Philly, won a majority decision over Elvin Ayala, 28-8-1 (12), out of New Haven, CT, over 8 rounds.
In the opening round the much larger Brooker against the slick Ayala didn’t live up to what we hoped to possibly be the fight of the night. In the second round the usually exciting Brooker was having his hands full with the much more experienced Ayala but still did enough to take the round. In the third round there was too much holding. In the fourth round Ayala seemed to out work Brooker inside.
In the fifth round they could have held this one in a phone booth. Ayala has taken away the power of Brooker but not good enough to be ahead. In the sixth round Brooker continues to maul Ayala but can’t get enough space to land a big punch. Ayala continues to be the stalker though he is the lighter puncher. In the seventh round the mauling continued. Brooker usually runs over his opponents so this fight will be a learning fight. This one could have been on WWE. In the eighth round the fans are once again yelling “Elvin, Elvin” who was raised in Reading before moving up to New England. There was very little action in the last round. “This was a learning experience and he had many more fights than me and even though I thought I won 7 rounds I was glad to get the win,” said Brooker. He’s a very likeable young man.
Judges had it 76-76, 77-74 and 79-73 while this writer had it 77-74.
In the final fight of 11 bout the former IBF welterweight champion Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron, 38-5-2 (29), out of Reading, stopped Manny “Shake em’ Up” Woods, 15-6-1 (5), out of St. Petersburg, FL, at 2:28 of the seventh round of a scheduled 8.
In the first round Cintron did enough to pull out the round in a feeling out round. In the second round it was close with Woods best punch so far was a left hook to the jaw of Cintron. In the third round a clash of heads opened up a small cut along the left eyebrow of Woods. In the fourth and fifth rounds Cintron continued to control the fight but it seems he’s not pulling the trigger. It’s possibly to an old hand injury. It’s his third fight back and he’s a fan’s favorite in Reading. In the seventh round Cintron hurt Woods who fell into Cintron and both went down. Shortly thereafter Woods decided to retire for the night. Cintron did not go without injury but his cut-man the ever popular Rich Ormsbee sealed up the cut by his left eye.
“I felt better tonight than I did in my two previous fights and the opponent was even better this time,” said Cintron. His trainer had this to say “the first three rounds were excellent for he did exactly what I told him to do. In the fifth and sixth he let his opponent get his way. I got a flash of his greatness tonight and his punching power showed well,” said Joe Pastore, Jr.
Light heavyweight Earl “Flash” Newman, Jr., 10-0 (7), out of Brooklyn, NY, won an easy 6 round decision over Leo “Young Guns” Hall, 8-2(7), out of Detroit.
In the first round Newman controlled with a jab. They took turns who was the aggressor. In rounds two and three it was more of the same with Newman landing a hard right to the jaw of Hall in the third. In the fourth round a right hook by Newman dropped Hall. In the fifth round Hall rocked Newman with a straight right to the jaw driving Newman back several feet into the corner and with that had Newman holding on. In the sixth and final round it was Newman going for the knockout while Hall danced around like he had the fight won.
Scores were 60-54 and 59-54 twice with the writer having it 59-54.
Super featherweight southpaw Frank Santos De Alba, 20-2-2 (9), out of Reading, PA, scored two knockdowns with right hooks and Evans could not beat the count of referee Esteves, Jr. at 3:04 of the second round over Kiun Evans, 12-3-1 (6), out of Little Rock, ARK, in a scheduled 8. It was a good showing for De Alba who is a local favorite.
In the first round De Alba got started after about a minute and was having his way with combinations. In the second round De Alba scored a pair of knockdowns with right hooks. Evans struggled to get up while referee Esteves wisely waved it off.
No. 1 WBC middleweight contender, southpaw Jorge Sebastian
“El Gaucho” Heiland, 28-4-2 (15), out of Buenos, Argentina, scored 3 knockdowns stopping Angel “The Upset” Hernandez, 17-19-1 (13), Gary, IND, in the second round at 0:46 in a scheduled 6. I can’t see Heiland challenging Gennady “GGG” Golovkin at this stage of his career being No. 1 or not.
Heiland got off to a slow start but dropped Hernandez halfway through the round when a left uppercut from Heiland dropped him. In the second round Heiland scored a pair of knockdowns causing the fight to be stopped by referee Benjy Esteves, Jr.
Super welterweight southpaw Nicholas Hernandez, 5-1 (1), out of Lebanon, PA, scored an easy 4 round decision over Randy Hedderick, 1-6 (1), out of Gulfport, MS.
Hernandez took the first two rounds with accurate punching over the shorter Hedderick who had no quit in him. In the third round it was all Hernandez until halfway thru the round Hedderick landed a good lead left to the head. Hernandez landed another lead left causing Heddericks nose to start bleeding. In the fourth and final round it was all Hernandez trying for a knockout but Hedderick hung right in there.
All 3 judges and this writer had it 40-36. Clark was the referee.
Super lightweight southpaw Kashon Hutchinson, 2-0 (1), out of Reading, PA, won a hard fought decision over Jordan Morales, 1-2 (1), out of Bethlehem, PA, over 4 rounds.
In the first round the taller Hutchinson used a good jab while Morales landed lead rights to the chin of Hutchinson. In the second round Hutchinson landed more punches. In the third round a right from Morales to the chin of Hutchinson rocked him. In the fourth and final round they exchanged punches on several occasions. Morales got a right hand in just before the bell.
All 3 judges had it 39-37 as did this writer. Shawn Clark was referee.
In the opening bout super welterweight southpaw Erik Spring, 8-1-1 (1), Reading, PA, won a majority 6 round decision over Simon “Bullet” Henriksson, 4-1 (1), out of Ystad, SW.
“It was a good opponent and a good win for me,” said Spring.
In the first round both boxers had their moments. In clinches Henriksson is getting away with hitting behind the head without warning from referee Clark. In the second round Spring went to the body with success taking a close round. In the third round both boxers were letting it all hang out at the bell after a round dominated by Spring.
In the fourth round Spring was still having his way but it wasn’t easy. At the 10 second warning Spring landed a four punch combination. In the fifth round Henriksson came back well though Spring used his long jab and lead left’s to the head. In the sixth and final round Henriksson seemed to tire but still used his best punch “the rabbit punch” right up to the end. Spring just had too much energy for Henriksson.
Judge Braslow scored it 57-57. He was overruled by Bruni and McKaie had it 58-56 as did this writer for Spring. “It was a good win for me tonight,” said Spring. This was probably the most competitive fight of the night.
Jacobs vs. Mora II and Easter vs. Commey at Santander Arena in Reading, PA, Friday!
Jacobs vs. Mora II and Easter vs. Commey at Santander Arena in Reading, PA, Friday!
By: Ken Hissner
Two World Title fights headline Friday night at the Santander Arena in Reading, PA! King’s Promotions bring’s big time boxing to Reading on SPIKE TV with co-features starting at 9pm. Jacobs-Mora II and Easter and Commey for vacant title should be nothing but fireworks!
Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 31-1 (28), of Brooklyn, NY, defends his WBA World middleweight title against former WBC super welterweight champion and No. 15 contender Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora, 28-4-2 (9), of L.A. in a rematch from August of 2015. In December Jacobs scored a sensational knockout over former WBO champion Peter Quillin in the first round. Mora has not fought since August. Several weeks ago on a conference phone call Jacobs said “If he’s saying I didn’t knock him down that caused him to twist his ankle I felt the contact it in my hand,” said Jacobs. “He grazed the back of my head but my ankle was already twisted,” said Mora. Both boxers are managed by Al Haymon. The call ended with “Go F yourself. I’ll see you in two weeks old boy,” said Mora. “Well let’s do it on September the 9th. You already know Sergio I’m coming for you brother,” said Jacobs. There is obvious bad blood between the two since their first fight which should make for a very interesting contest.
In the other co-feature 2012 Olympic alternate Robert Easter, Jr., 17-0 (14), of Toledo, OH, and Richard Commey, 24-0 (22), of Accra, GH, fight it out for the vacant IBF Super lightweight title.
“Yeah I am very excited coming to Reading and fight for the IBF title. I hope Richard Commey is bringing his A game because I will be bringing mine,” said Easter. “I’ve worked very hard to get this opportunity as I’m sure Robert Easter, Jr. has too so it should be a great fight,” said Commey. Commey is No. 3 and Easter No. 4 with both the No. 1 and No. 2 vacant.
There are a dozen bouts on the undercard at this point but several will fall out or the Boxing Director Greg Sirb will see to it you don’t have much more than 7 bouts. In 8 round bouts former IBF welterweight and interim WBC champion Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron, 37-5-2 (28) of Reading continues his comeback. Local favorite super featherweight Frankie De Alba is in an 8. Another local favorite super Heavyweight Travis “My Time” Kauffman, 30-1 (22), of Reading is in a 10.
In a pair of 8 round bouts from Philadelphia crowd pleaser super middleweight Christopher “Ice Cold” Brooker, 10-1 (5) steps up to meet Elvin Ayala, 28-7-1 (12), of New Haven, CT. Light heavyweight Earl Newman, 9-0 (7), of Brooklyn will meet Leo Hall, 8-1 (7), of Detroit. Also scheduled yet without an opponent is Argentina’s Jorge Sebastian Heiland, 27-4-2 (14), who is the No. 1 WBC middleweight contender.
Super welterweight Erik Spring 7-1-1 (1), super welterweight Miguel Martinez, 2-2 (0), and super lightweight Kashon Hutchinson, 1-0 (1) all of Reading are in 6 round bouts. Also, from Philadelphia, the popular super featherweight Thomas “T.J.” Velasquez, 5-0 (4) out of the Danny “Swift” Garcia camp is in a 4 round bout. He is still without an opponent.