Sergio Mora Sneaks By Abie Han

Sergio Mora evaded defeat narrowly on ESPN2 Friday at the hands of Abie Han in a close split decision that was something of a trap fight. Mora has expected to challenge Jermain Taylor for a middleweight strap on Friday Night Fights, and a combination of that let down and a tricky, aggressive opponent — along with maybe some other problems which we’ll get to shortly — made it an unpleasant night for the man who calls himself “The Latin Snake.”

From the start, Mora didn’t have the easiest time connecting on Han, an awkward, constantly stance-switching boxer with a martial arts background in his family. But he won most of the early rounds with pot shots that usually amounted to the single best punches of each round. The 3rd was an exception; Han caught Mora with some clean blows, including one at the end of the round that could’ve been scored a knockdown but was ruled a slip.

Mora began to slow by the middle rounds. Perhaps at age 34, his stamina is letting him down, or perhaps he let up on his training once Taylor fell out with less than three weeks to go. Age appeared to play at least some role, and Han. Mora did a lot of lunging and was out of position a fair amount. Han slowly began to take advantage, bloodying Mora in the 7th and winning the last four rounds on my card, including with a flash right hand knockdown in the 10th. That was good for a 114-113 score. The official judges had it 115-112 and 114-113 for Mora, 115-112 for Han. Mora kinda got lucky based on the fan reaction, and perhaps got lucky not facing a more experienced pro in Taylor.

The undercard featured junior middleweight prospect Erickson Lubin winning a routine eight rounder over Michael Finney, dominating almost every moment but not in an exhilarating fashion or anything. There was some shameful shit in the other undercard bout. cruiserweight Ahmed Elbiali scored a 2nd stoppage win over Dustin Craig Echard, but not before referee Bill Clancy twice botched moments where he should’ve called it off: first when Echard got knocked out of the ring by a right hand and couldn’t figure out which direction to go to get back in the ring (he was not in a condition to continue based on that alone), then, after a stunned Echard got smacked by punches he never saw and Clancy stepped in as though to end the battle only to let it continue again for no apparent reason.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.