By James Slater: Last night in San Antonio, Texas, middleweight contenders Bryan Vera and Sergio Mora met in a rematch of their exciting Feb. 2011 clash, and once again Vera put in too much work for the former “Contender” star and one-time WBC light-middleweight ruler. Last time, Vera, 21-6(12) prevailed via ten-round split decision, this time the 30-year-old hammered out a 12-round majority verdict. The scores were as follows: 118-110, 117-111 and, somehow, 114-114.
Mora, a year the older man at age 31, is now 23-3(7).
Vera may never become a world champion, but he is always in exciting fights and he has consistently looked for the biggest match-ups he can get. Last night, the tough Texan who has been in with the likes of James Kirkland and Andy Lee (twice, winning a TKO, losing a decision), simply wanted it more than Mora did. Putting the classier but less active Mora under fierce pressure from the get-go, Vera had his man on the ropes on many occasions.
Just as in fight-one, Mora would open up with a sharp, accurate combo at times, but he simply did not do enough work. A fine counter-puncher, Mora would take everything Vera could dish out, and then return fire in spots. No way would Vera be denied though. Mora had his best round in the 10th, when he stunned his man with some hooks upstairs, but this merely seemed to inspire Vera to let it all hang out in the championship rounds. This he did, sweeping the final six minutes.
It’s not clear where either man goes from here. Mora has boxed just three times since his 2010 draw with “Sugar” Shane Mosley, and his inactivity has hurt his performances. Vera has fought twice since his 2011 rematch loss to Lee, and he seems to enjoy fighting more than does the man he bested last night. No-one would buy a third fight between these two, but maybe Vera could get a big fight with someone like a Peter Quillin or a Fernando Guerrero – a young fighter on the way up who needs a big test.
Again, Vera may never rise to the top himself, but he is so game, so aggressively entertaining and so full of heart, it’s hard not to root for him whenever he climbs through the ropes.