|By Allan Cerf: Sergio, The Latin Snake Mora, takes on Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs on Sept. 9 in Reading, Pa., at Santander Arena (9 p.m. ET, Spike).
The likeable Mora proved that he was more than a “reality show” boxer by defeating the late and often great, Vernon Forrest. However Forrest, himself a snake, “The Viper,” easily defeated Mora in their return match. Earlier on, Mora made an abysmal career mistake, declining a fight with then champion Jerome Taylor. He claimed he wasn’t ready; perhaps so but given his lengthy absences from the ring, stretching to years, and his light-hitting ways, the mistake seems catastrophic. The decision is even stranger given nice-guy Mora staring repeatedly his reason for boxing is to raise his family’s standard of living.
Jacob’s shocking first round knockout of Peter Quillin, showed his power is for real. Interestingly, Jacobs was himself stretched by Dmitry Pirog in a fight virtually everyone said he’d win. Pirog obviously didn’t get the memo. Besides that sole setback, Jacobs is an exciting, stay busy fighter.
In their first match, an obviously rusty Mora actually floored Jacobs who had knocked Mora down and in classic boxing fashion, left himself wide open for a man he thought was finished. The fight as we know, did finish when Mora fell awkwardly, injuring himself including what he said was a fractured ankle and damaged knee. With the greatest respect to a brave man, I doubt the damage was that severe, though Mora probably could not have continued.
Both men are listed at 6’ with 73” reaches, average only; nowadays fighters in every weight class are strikingly larger.
The takeaway from this fight is that there is bad blood and an interesting backstory - the bizarre ending to their first bout. Also, Jacobs was sparked out by Pirog and dropped by the light-punching Mora - so clearly his chin is not that of George Foreman’s. But there is more. In its inimitable way, boxing poses a mystery. As many boxing journalists have pointed out - why would such a powerful fighter as Jacobs not fight a world-beater (ever) since losing to Pirog, long since retired? Was Pirog his ceiling, he could achieve no higher? Were sanctioning bodies not paid on time or enough? Are there unknown health issues? What? No one really knows.
Regardless of who wins, most boxing fans like the family-devoted, friendly Mora. And Jacobs amazingly swift victory over a deadly form of bone-cancer, which he celebrates by donating huge time to children with similar afflictions, is great stuff.
Prediction: Sergio Mora is simply too old in my view, despite a legit, defensive tool-kit. I expect Jacobs to stop him within 10. However, if after defeating Mora, Jacobs doesn’t immediately start fighting bigger names, the fans can only go ‘hmmm’...again.
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September 6 2016