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PBC on Spike - Jacobs vs Mora II: Preview and analysis

Daniel Jacobs faces Sergio Mora in a main event rematch this Friday on Spike.

PBC on ESPN: Danny Garcia v Paulie Malignaggi Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Premier Boxing Champions returns to Spike on Friday, September 9 (9 pm ET), with a live doubleheader from Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania, a completely logical place to put main event fighters from Brooklyn and Los Angeles, and co-feature guys from Ohio and Ghana.

Here’s a look at the matchups.

Daniel Jacobs

PBC on ESPN: Danny Garcia v Paulie Malignaggi Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Record: 31-1 (28 KO) ... Streak: W11 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 10-0 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 6’0" / 73" ... Age: 29

Thoughts: “The Miracle Man” has made a remarkable and well-publicized recovery from a career-threatening bout with cancer that left him unable to so much as walk, returning to action in 2012, following a 19-month layoff. He’s been unstoppable since then, but there is one fight that sticks out a bit, and that’s why we’re getting the rematch with Sergio Mora.

Don’t get me wrong: I think Jacobs was likely going to stop Mora sooner than later in that fight. Sergio scoring a first round knockdown was something of a fluke. He is anything but a puncher, and Jacobs’ power was giving him huge problems. Still, he did get the knockdown, and the ending coming on an ankle injury wasn’t satisfying for anyone.

Now, 13 months later, they do it again. More likely than not, Jacobs will win this fight handily. In December, he was matched up with unbeaten Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, and he trounced Quillin in just 85 seconds. The fight was seen about 50-50 going in, and for Jacobs to thrash Quillin they way he did was extremely impressive.

But he’s been inactive since, something of a downer. His WBA bogus “world” title should afford him a shot at Gennady Golovkin, who holds the super world title as well as the IBF and WBC belts, but he’s not bothering.

Apart from that, there are certainly fights he could have considered making that were probably more challenging than Mora will be. Even someone like former titleholder Andy Lee would be dangerous. Lee’s got big power and Jacobs has proven vulnerable, not just in punch resistance, but more importantly, with defensive lapses. Realistically, a fighter like Sergio Mora is sort of tailor made for Jacobs. His defensive lapses generally are not going to get him dropped in this matchup, even if it did happen once. And even if he does, he’s still got such big advantages in power and speed that unless he’s truly drilled -- and Mora does not have that power barring a perfect shot — he would overcome it anyway, as he did last time.

Sergio Mora

PBC on ESPN: Danny Garcia v Paulie Malignaggi Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Record: 28-4-2 (9 KO) ... Streak: L1 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 6-3-1 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 6'0" / 73" ... Age: 35

Thoughts: Sergio Mora seems like a fighter who, as a fan, I should hate. But I don’t hate him. There are few fighters I hate, that’s a strong word, and it’s never due to their fighting style.

Mora is what he is. “The Latin Snake” is a former world titleholder at 154 pounds, upsetting Vernon Forrest in June 2008 before losing the belt back in a rematch three months later. He’s still probably most famous, however, for winning the very first season of “The Contender” way back in 2004.

Even though he did win a world title a few years later, Mora never capitalized on that sudden semi-fame. Part of that was his style — yeah, he won the reality show, but he was simply never going to be a fan friendly fighter, and he wasn’t some elite, special talent like a Floyd Mayweather. He was “just” a tricky handful.

When Mora turned down a fight with middleweight champion Jermain Taylor in 2007, folks were shocked that he’d turn his back on such a big opportunity. Making matters worse, the fight he took instead was a double whammy. Not only was he in the co-feature to “Contender” also-ran Alfonso Gomez’s main event, but he left with a 10-round draw against a club fighter.

If I were to “hate” Sergio Mora for anything, it would be for being one-half of bar none the absolute worst pay-per-view main event I’ve ever paid money for, when he faced Shane Mosley in 2010, four months after Mosley lost to Floyd Mayweather. The event had no business being a pay-per-view in the first place, and then the fight itself truly stunk out the joint, and even ended in a draw, giving us the looming threat of a rematch which, thankfully, has not happened ... yet.

Matchup Grade: C-. I can’t go lower because the fight does make some sense, but I can’t go higher, either, because I just don’t see it being competitive, and it’s a disappointing matchup for Jacobs to be taking at this point.

Robert Easter Jr vs Richard Commey

Robert Easter Jr

PBC on Spike: Adrien Broner v Ashley Theophane Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Record: 17-0 (14 KO) ... Streak: W17 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 10-0 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'11" / 76" ... Age: 25

Thoughts: Have I told you lately that Robert Easter Jr is my favorite lightweight prospect?

Richard Commey


Record: 24-0 (22 KO) ... Streak: W24 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 10-0 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'9" / 69½" ... Age: 29

Thoughts: There isn’t a lot to go on with Commey, a native of Ghana who has fought all around the world, determined to finally land a world title shot. He was in attendance when Rances Barthelemy defeated Mickey Bey to retain his title, because the word was he’d face the winner, if Barthelemy didn’t move to 140.

Barthelemy, as expected, did move to 140, and now Commey faces a top prospect, an unbeaten young fighter, for the vacant IBF lightweight title. Here’s a look at Commey’s travels as a pro fighter:

  • Ghana: 14-0
  • United Kingdom: 4-0
  • Denmark: 3-0
  • South Africa: 1-0
  • United States: 1-0
  • Germany: 1-0

We can see he’s got power, but how real is that power? That’s an open question. When he faced Gary Buckland in 2014, Buckland went all 12 rounds. Samir Ziani went a full 10 in Commey’s next fight. But other than that, he’s never gone past the eighth round, and he’s gone that far on three occasions -- most recently, when he defeated Bahodir Mamadjonov in Las Vegas, in May 2015.

This is a question mark fighter and a question mark fight as a result. There’s every reason to like Easter big here, but Commey has one of those records that could mean just about anything. Maybe he can’t fight at this level. Maybe he just hasn’t been given the opportunity.

Matchup Grade: B. OK, maybe I’m being generous, but this has action written all over it, and we’re going to find something out one way or the other. Either we crown a new young would-be king at lightweight in Robert Easter Jr, or Richard Commey legitimizes himself and becomes a force in the division.

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