So the IBF yanked the crown from Jermain Taylor who is…otherwise detained.
According to Gary Hyde, the Irish dealmaker who manages Guillermo Rigondeaux, the sanctioning body has now decided to have No. 1 ranked Hassan N'Dam, from Cameroon, fight Brit BJ Saunders (No. 4) for the vacant crown. Now, N'Dam promoter King World and Saunders' guy Frank Warren will be tasked with figuring out a suitable promotion, including when, where and for how much, and on what TV platform(s).
Felix Sturm is No. 3, after Unranked, at No. 2, and he could have had a crack at the crown, but decided to go a different route, with a clash against Arthur Abraham, who first has to get past Paul Smith on Feb. 21. They clashed and AA won a UD12 in September.
Sergio Mora won a SD12 over Abie Han on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, and with the win, owns the USBA 160 crown. The decision was debated on social media, with many folks thinking the Texan Han deserved the nod. The 34-year-old Mora uses movement, and timing, and counterpunching, to do his thing, while Han is a bit more basic, someone who tried to take it to the Cali based boxer, but who also smartly stayed patient and didn't rush into mistakes. “Absolutely,” said Mora, agreeing that Han switched up his usual tactics somewhat. “Patient and gave up early rounds knowing he would wanna finish strong. Which he tried to do. He never hit me with anything solid.”
(Mora, right, with the late ESPN anchor Stuart Scott)
“I wobbled him, just couldn't drop him. Tough guy, switched to southpaw and orthodox, heavy hands.”
Mora got hit on the shoulder, and went down in the 10th. Things got messy late, with blood coming from his nose, and he looked to be the more weary of the two late.
He’s now 28-3, while the 30-year-old Han drops to 23-2.
The USBA is related to the IBF. Jermain Taylor held the IBF crown but that was stripped from him Friday, because he’s been involved in a string of brushes with law enforcement and is otherwise detained. Hassan N’Dam (ranked No. 1) and Felix Sturm will tussle for the vacated strap.
Sturm has until Monday to agree to fight Hassan. If he doesn't, and decides to pursue another avenue, another fighter will have to get the nod. We will know more Monday, then…
David Lemieux (ranked No. 5, behind BJ Saunders, who is promised the winner of the April 11 Andy Lee-Peter Quillin fight) could get into the mix; he is now aligned with Golden Boy, but promoter Yvon Michel is contesting the alliance, maintaining that he agreed to a contract re-up with Lemieux and his manager Camille Estephan. As far as I know, that debate is still ongoing…
Back to Mora; he talked about his showing to me: “My stamina was fine. Everything was fine. No excuses. Either I over-trained or Han deserves the credit. I thought I won unanimously. I was in no position to look unimporessive, but it happened. I pushed the fight, but the guy was what I expected, tough, great chin, determined.”
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