Sergio Mora promised a new, more fan friendly approach prior to tonight's ESPN Friday Night Fights main event against Grzegorz Proksa, and while none will confuse this updated version of "The Latin Snake" with Erik Morales or Apollo Creed, he delivered a more entertaining performance than normal, and was simply too good for his opponent, winning by decision in Jacksonville, Florida.
Mora improved to 24-3-2 (7 KO) on scores of 96-94, 96-94, and 98-92. BLH had it 99-91 for Mora, but the 96-94 cards weren't terribly surprising. Proksa falls to 29-3 (21 KO), and probably has taken himself out of the middleweight picture for the foreseeable future.
Mora, 32, sported a new beard, as many do when they're looking for a fresh persona, but unlike normal, this was no villainous turn into facial hair. Instead of his usual feint-heavy, lackadaisical style, Mora actually made sure his hands were moving throughout the fight, giving Proksa fits consistently with both his offense and his herky-jerky defense. Proksa never got into any groove, was buzzed a couple of times on the night, and fought with some frustration down the stretch.
While this win won't propel Mora back to big-time fights -- well, unless Al Haymon and Golden Boy need someone for Peter Quillin, I suppose -- it does at least put his name back into the hat for Friday Night Fights main events, as not only was he a winner and convincingly so, but he wasn't an outright bore to watch. The veteran said in a pre-taped feature before the bout that he knew when the phone stopped ringing for TV bouts, he had to look in the mirror and make some changes.
The 28-year-old Proksa has now lost two straight and three out of four notable fights against real opponents. It's safe to say that the brief period of hype behind him as a potential world-level contender in the middleweight division is behind us, and now we'll just have to see how dedicated he is to staying in the game and trying to work back to where we perhaps ill-advisedly thought he was at one point in time.
In the co-feature bout, Brazilian middleweight Patrick Teixeira (20-0, 17 KO) stayed undefeated with a decision win over Marcus Willis (13-3-2, 3 KO) on scores of 98-92, 96-94, and 97-93.