Sergio Mora

By Jeannie Coston

East L.A.’s Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora, who became a household name by winning the Contender reality television series and winning the WBC junior middleweight world title, will fight IBF middleweight titlist Jermain Taylor in February he announced.

So far the middleweight championship fight between Mora (27-3-2, 9 Kos) and Taylor (33-4-1, 20 Kos) takes place on Feb. 6, at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Miss. ESPN will televise the event and Lou DiBella is the promoter.

Mora, 34, had previously been slated to fight Taylor for the middleweight title nearly eight years ago. That fight was supposed to take place in Memphis but the East L.A. prizefighter declined $1 million to fight in that locale.

“Back in 2007 I had only fought one 10 round fight. I was fresh from The Contender and making really good money. I wouldn't have gotten a decision no matter how close the fight was. I was thinking longevity. A year later I became champion beating (Vernon) Forrest,” said Mora by telephone. 

For more than a decade Mora has been one of boxing’s best defensive fighters with his lightning reflexes and agility, the East L.A. boxer has been a competitive match for anyone. But a match between Mora and Pomona’s Sugar Shane Mosley in 2010 led to derisive comments by HBO’s announcers who basically blackballed Mora, not Mosley, on their network.

HBO’s announcers blamed Mora for the slow action fight that saw few punches landed. Mosley refrained from firing blows and the fight ended in a draw. HBO never televised another Mora fight but Mosley went unscathed.

Mora recently decided to change his style to a more aggressive mode and has a four-fight winning streak that includes two knockout wins. This past December in Temecula, Mora defeated Dashon Johnson in a heated eight round middleweight match. His new style saw him fire more blows and absorb more punches than ever before.

“There’s more risk of getting hit but if that’s what I need to do to please the fans then so be it,” Mora said.

Taylor, 36, recently captured the IBF middleweight title with a dominant win over Australia’s Sam Soliman last October. But this past August, Taylor was arrested in Little Rock, Arkansas for allegedly shooting his cousin and awaits trial on charges of assault and making terrorist threats. Both charges are felonies.

Both Taylor and Mora are promoted by Lou DiBella who said that the fight will take place despite the pending trial.

Mora has long awaited another world title opportunity and to finally face Taylor. Back when their first match was first proposed Mora was 25 and Taylor was 27.

“I get another opportunity to become middleweight champion and a two division champion. Longevity is what was on my mind,” said Mora of declining the first match with Taylor in 2007. “I've been 36 rounds with two Hall of Famers in Forrest and Mosley. I'll fight Taylor anywhere now.”