When people discuss the most dangerous and feared fighters in the world, they immediately look toward the punchers.
In reality, it’s the pure boxers, those hard-to-hit individuals, that are most feared. You won’t see the punchers challenge any of them unless it’s for mega millions.
Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora is one of those feared fighters. Despite having very few knockouts, you won’t see Sergio Martinez, Peter Quillin or Gennady Golovkin begging the East L.A. middleweight to fight. Mora is a bad word to them.
It’s the politics of boxing.
Needing to stay active Mora (24-3-2, 7 Kos) has signed to fight Milton Nunez (26-8-1, 24 Kos), a hard-hitting Colombian known as the “Missile.” They’ll meet on the Andre Ward undercard at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. on Nov. 16.
“I just need to stay busy,” said Mora, who still lives in East L.A.
The last time Mora entered the prize ring he faced off with former Golovkin foe Grzegorz Proksa of Poland. After 10 one-sided rounds Mora easily defeated the Polish southpaw.
“Honestly, it was one of my easiest fights,” said Mora, whose juking style and unorthodox punches bewilder opponents. “He may have hit me solid only two times the whole fight.”
Mora is as slippery as his nickname.
When Mora fought Sugar Shane Mosley it was clear to the Pomona speedster that he couldn’t power up and attempt to take out the middleweight. The former lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight champion is no one’s fool. He slipped into counter-punch mode too and fans were upset by the transition. But Mosley wasn’t looking to lose. The fight ended in a draw and the television analysts roasted Mora, not Mosley.
But if you ask anyone who has sparred with Mora, they will tell you he’s one of the best boxers in the ring. Recently, Mora helped Mosley prepare for the ill-fated fight with Australia’s Anthony Mundine. The fight was canceled for lack of funding. But the sparring sessions provided by Mora helped Mosley immensely.
When I spoke to WBC middleweight titlist Sergio Martinez he was completely honest with his opinions of the rest of the middleweight division. He felt Julio Cesar Chavez was over-rated and Golovkin was dangerous, but beatable. Upon discussing Mora he was a little more tactful:
“He has a very difficult style,” said Martinez. “He should fight Chavez. He would beat him.”
Mora wants the world champions like Martinez, Golovkin or Quillin. He doesn’t understand why fighters like Curtis Stevens get the call. It’s a primary reason that Mora recently signed with Lou DiBella, who has Martinez in his fold.
“Martinez is the one I’m going for. He’s coming back in March,” said Mora. “I’ll spoil everyone’s plans.”
With the sudden fragility of Martinez a big concern, who knows how much longer the slick-fighting Argentine has remaining as the middleweight world champion. It could be the perfect battle for the left-handed world champion.
Mora has tried to lure Quillin and Golovkin into the ring, but both camps have refused. Quillin works out of the Wild Card and Mora’s training camp is 20 miles away. But no offers have come Mora’s way. Golovkin’s trainers have seen Mora throughout the years. For several years Mora trained at South El Monte where one of Golovkin’s co-trainers works.
“They’ve seen me spar with guys like Antonio Margarito and Nick Martinez,” said Mora, adding that as a 16-year-old he sparred with then world champion Terry Norris and was kicked out after one day.
In reality, Mora prefers to meet Martinez.
“The reason I signed with Lou is he has the best fighter in my division. He said ‘you’re at the age when he (Martinez) made his splash. Five years later he’s the best fighter in the world,” Mora recounted DiBella’s conversation. “I’ve never taken a physical beating. Lou knows what I can do as a middleweight.”
Despite not having a blockbuster punch, an exceptional boxer can get in the ring with anyone.
“Look at Paul Malignaggi, everyone said Adrien Broner would run right over him,” said Mora. “Instead, Malignaggi gave him a boxing lesson. I felt Paulie beat him but that’s another discussion.”
So Mora faces Nunez on the Ward undercard next week. He’s biding time until his chance finally comes.
“Right now the wrong guys are getting title shots. All it takes is for one of these guys to take a stand,” said Mora of the current middleweight world titlists. “Once they give me a shot in the ring I can show if I’m right or wrong. That’s where I’m at right now.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV