His nickname is The Latin Snake but today, it is Sergio Mora who is feeling the effects of being bit.
On Friday, Mora got the shock of his career when he was told that he weighed 157 pounds, three pounds over the junior middleweight limit. He absorbed that smackdown, after he hopped on a treadmill for about 20 minutes, and lost 3 1/2 pounds, and then tried to get his head straight, so he could get in the right frame of mind to fight Shane Mosley.
His mindset was never really right the next night, he told TSS on Tuesday afternoon, but he did what he does, he boxed, he moved, he used ring generalship, and he thinks, he did enough to get the win against Mosley, the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer.
He wasnt overjoyed, not by any means, with his showing. I didnt let my hands go enough, he told us. But word filtered to the 29-year-old Californian that the remarks from critics, during and after the bout, were severely venomous.
HBO play by play man Jim Lampley certainly didnt pull his blows when he laced into the former reality show contestant. This is a pathetic performance in a big-opportunity fight by Sergio Mora, Lampley said during the PPV broadcast. If Moras performance was embarrassing before now, I think it was even worse.
Mora hasnt watched the tape of the event, not yet. Hes still trying to wrap his brain around that weigh in, on that digital scale which told him and the other non-favored fighters, Carlos Baldomir and Vivian Harris, that they were overweight. He told us he was on weight ten days before the bout, in fact. And hes still trying to make sense of the reaction to the draw, which he believes is no blemish on his record. To the contrary, he sees it as something to be reasonably proud of, seeing as how Mosley holds wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Antonio Margarito, among others.
Mora explained that some of his fire was quelled with the weigh in debacle. I wasnt sapped, I wasnt weak, he explained. But I didnt have that moment of accomplishment. Making weight is half the battle. It validates all that work you do, your dieting, everything. I was disappointed, about how unprofessional people thought I was. And I was just think, What the hell happened?
Mora doesnt look back and rue the whole of his performance. I followed my gameplan, which was to wear him out, make him miss. I followed that. But I didnt let my hands go like I normally do. For two reasons..I showed him too much respect. Second, I didnt know losing the weight would impact me in the later rounds, so I held back. Thats not how you win a fight. Youre supposed to let it go. In round five and six, I was holding back.
TSS readers likely were struck by Moras postfight comment: I came to win and I wanted to win, but my respect for Shane Mosley got in the way.I got hard headed and should have listened to my corner. They were telling me it was close and I thought I was winning the fight and my respect for Shane got in the way.
Mora amplified his remarks on Tuesday. People misunderstand, its not that I dont want to hurt him, but its hard to hurt someone who is so friendly, someone whos a great guy, and I have so much respect for his ability. Are we friends? Weve never been friends, but hes a warm blooded killer.
I dont recall the last time I heard a fighter admit that he didnt have some of that eye of the tiger, because he was a bit fond of his foe. Maybe Mora is lacking some necessary ruthlessness, I wonder. Is that something that can be honed? Are there methods a fighter uses to help him compartmentalize, and separate the personal with business? Because it was clear Mosley had no problem loading up with power shots and wanted to remove Moras head from his shoulders. He was stronger then I expected, and he caught me with some shots, Mora admitted.
Mora wont log on to the computer, and troll the net for all the critiques which followed the Saturday bout. I think I won 7 to 5. Why am I gonna read from people who dont know s--t about that night. Any other fighter getting a draw with Mosley wouldve been praised.
No, Lampley will not be getting a holiday card from Mora, in case you were wondering. The fighter feels like Lampley and some others dont care for his style, and go overboard in making that clear to one and all.
Its hard to hear, Mora said of the HBO announcer. I heard he got carried away. I cant wait to see, he went out of his way to blatantly insult me. It came across negatively on his part. I heard he started ripping me in the third round, I got nine to go. Really Jim? When someone doesnt want you to win, they will do what they can to make that clear. Lampley disgraced himself and the sport. S-----g on me for a draw, saying it was the worst performance, I did something Oscar, Vargas, Margarito didnt do. So I didnt punch enough. Give me credit for the rounds I did win. I feel Jim and Larry Merchant since I turned down Jermain Taylor have been down on me. They wanted Berto to fight Shane and didnt want this fight. The classiest person in this whole thing is Shane.
Maybe, I posed to Mora, it isnt a personal animus, but more of a style preference situation.
I have the same KO percentage as Paulie Malignaggi, Mora said. He gets praise for what he does. I dont run, I box, I fight on the inside, I move when I need to. Whats the big difference between me and Paulie? They give him credit, they cant give me credit. Why dont they criticize Mosley, Im a nobody reality show guy, Im the guy with no KOs.
The Snake, three days after the bout, is still slightly rattled. Hes working on making sense of the scale, the weigh in, the fight, the critics. Maybe, he is told, it would make sense to simply step away mentally, and enjoy the check, which comes to $285,000, minus $57,000 for the extra weight. What about getting away from the sport, all the politics, all the hassle? Maybe spend some of that dough on some classes, widen the scope of interests and focus?
But this is what I love doing! Mora says.
LOL. Sounds like it! We check back with the Snake in a month or so, after some of that venom has dissipated.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV