In what should be a fairly easy fight for IBF middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (33-4, 20 KOs), he’ll be defending his IBF title on February 6th against 34-year-old former WBC junior middleweight champion Sergio Mora (27-3-2, 9 KOs) at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.
Unfortunately for the 36-year-old Taylor, he’s facing some huge legal problems that he’s got to deal with in the near future, and it’s still unclear whether he’ll be able to avoid jail time for the charges.
Mora, ranked #10 WBC, #14 IBF, #14 WBA, doesn’t have much in the way of power, so he shouldn’t be a problem for Taylor. Mora has won his last four fights against Grzegorz Proksa, Milton Nunez, Samuel Rogers and Dashon Johnson. Those guys were pretty much weak opponents for Mora, and it’s not surprising that he won the fights. The last time that Mora fought a fighter of decent quality was three years ago in 2012 when he was beaten by Brian Vera by a 12 round majority decision. That was the second time that Vera had beaten Mora.
Mora has Al Haymon as his adviser, which might explain why he was able to get a title shot against Taylor.
Since 2008, Mora hasn’t really done a whole lot with his career. He lost his WBC 154lb title in a rematch with Vernon Forrest and from there, Mora kind of disappeared in terms of big fights. He fought to a 12 round draw with Shane Mosley in 2010, and after that he was beaten a couple of times by Vera.
The rest of the fights for Mora were against weak opponents. You can make a pretty strong argument that Mora doesn’t deserve a title shot with the wins he’s piled up recently, but then against Taylor hadn’t done much to deserve getting a title shot against Sam Soliman last October. Taylor hadn’t fought since 2013 before getting the fight against Soliman last year. Taylor fought only once in 2013 against Juan Carlos Candelo.
The winner of the Taylor vs. Mora fight must face IBF mandatory Hassan N’Dam in their next fight. That should be interesting.
“It’s a quality fight and it gives Jermain a chance to defend his title before his mandatory defense is due,” said promoter Lou Dibella to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. “And for Sergio Mora, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime. This is a fight that both guys wanted.”
I don’t know that the hardcore boxing fans are going to be too excited at seeing Taylor pick from the bottom of the middleweight division to face a guy from yesterday. Mora was a good 154lb fighter many years ago in 2008, but he’s not been relevant in at least seven years now and it’s kind of a disappointing choice of opponent if you ask me. I’d rather see Taylor defend his title against someone like David Lemieux, or someone like him that could punch their way out of a wet paper sack.