Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora must have been born under a dark star.
For more than a decade, the East L.A. boxer has waited for a chance at the middleweight world title and just when it looked real, it turned out to be only smoke.
Mora (27-3-2, 9 Kos) needs to jump through one more hoop when he meets Abraham Han (23-1, 14 Kos) of El Paso Texas at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino at Biloxi, Miss. It was supposed to be IBF champ Jermain Taylor, but an arrest of the Arkansas fighter ended that.
The former winner of the first Contender reality show must switch gears Friday night and enter the boxing ring against an entirely different fighter in Han.
“The biggest problem for a fighter like me is being inspired or fully motivated mentally in training and come fight night,” said Mora. “Fighting comes easily to me. Being inspired does not.”
Han comes from a fighting family and has two sisters who also boxed in the past. One sister, Jennifer Han, continues to box professionally. His only loss was two years ago to Glen Tapia. Since that fight in July 2013, Han has captured four consecutive wins.
Mora was all set to fight Taylor but the former US Olympian and only fighter to defeat Bernard Hopkins twice was arrested for allegedly carrying a loaded firearm. It was the second time a match between Mora and Taylor was scuttled.
Still, Mora, the speedy middleweight considered the division’s best defensive specialist, has to win to remain relevant and keep his place in line.
“At this point of my career every fight is do or die for me because of the negative opinions that have shadowed me since my fight with Sugar Shane Mosley,” said Mora, who was vilified by HBO announcers after his fight with Mosley back in 2010 ended in a draw.
Han has nothing to lose but everything to gain, including the USBA middleweight title. Mora must win to keep his place as the number one contender for the IBF middleweight world title.
“My preparation is the same. My frame of mind is different. I used to only think about out-pointing and winning,” said Mora. “Now I’m convinced I need to win by stoppage, however it may come.”
ESPN2 will televise the fight.
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