Sergio Mora, who won the first season of "The Contender" and briefly held a junior middleweight title in 2008, will be back in the ring on November 24, headlining a Wealth TV-televised card from Los Angeles.
Mora, now 31 and years removed from his potential commercial peak (and even further from his actual commercial peak), says that he wants a fight with former middleweight world champion Jermain Taylor, who himself has seen his career fall on very hard times if not totally bottom out.
Mora (23-3-2, 7 KO) last fought on August 11, losing a decision to Brian Vera for the second time. It was a totally debatable outcome, though, with many feeling that Mora had won the fight, only to get the shaft from the judges in Texas, where Vera was fighting at home.
"The Latin Snake" has definitely lost the momentum he had years back, which really started with a two nearly two-year absence from the sport following a loss to Vernon Forrest in 2008, and continued with an abysmal pay-per-view fight against Shane Mosley in 2010. Since then, Mora has lost twice to Vera, and won just one bout, against aged club fighter Jose Flores.
Taylor (30-4-1, 18 KO) started a cautious comeback last December after sitting out for two years himself, following a brutal KO loss to Arthur Abraham in 2009. He's been stopped in three of his losses, each worse than the one before, and there is serious concern about the 34-year-old Taylor's punch resistance at this point. His April win over Caleb Truax wasn't impressive, really, and there's been little word from his camp since then. Despite winning handily in the end, Taylor was floored and found himself in trouble against an opponent far from the world class level.
Taylor and Mora were actually close to meeting back in 2007, when Taylor was still the undefeated world middleweight champion. But Mora felt that fighting Taylor, who is from Little Rock, in Memphis would have been detrimental to his cause, given that it would essentially have been a hometown fight for the champ, and passed on the bout and an HBO main event.
The resulting moves proved pretty poor for both. Taylor instead fought Cory Spinks, and the two put on a gruesomely dull fight in Memphis. On the undercard that night, young Kelly Pavlik thrashed Edison Miranda to earn a title shot at Taylor, and about four months later, they locked horns, with Pavlik knocking Taylor out in a great fight.
A month after Taylor lost to Pavlik, Mora finally got back into the ring against Elvin Ayala on ESPN Classic, and went to a draw, which saw him memorable leave the ring in disgust at himself or the judges or both, on a show where he was actually the co-feature fight to "Contender" season one also-ran Alfonso Gomez's main event against Ben Tackie.
Really, neither man was ever quite the same after their fight fell through. A series of unfortunate events on both sides has led them here, possibly headlining a fight on a fledgling network that keeps making interesting decisions (showcasing the likes of David Price and Tyson Fury) right alongside totally odd decisions (Anthony Mundine, Sergio Mora).
The good news is they seem to really, truly care about putting boxing on their network, and they're moving on a lot of fights. They've got some trial and error going on, and they'll learn what works for them and what doesn't. What do I know? Maybe Mora will be a relative hit for them. In other words, look, Mora vs Taylor -- hell, Mora vs anyone -- isn't what it would have been five years ago, but fights like this happen all the time. Wealth TV wants to give it a home, it seems. "It is what it is" and shit.