On Friday, Feb. 6, DiBella Entertainment and Goossen Promotions will present an exciting edition of ESPN “Friday Night Fights” when former junior middleweight champion and “The Contender: Season One” winner Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (27-3-2, 9KO’s) takes on Abraham “Abie” Han (23-1, 14 KO’s) in a 12-round middleweight contest with the vacant USBA title belt at stake. This event is set to take place at MGM Resorts International’s beautiful Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, in Biloxi, Miss. It will be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
“This will be a highly competitive fight between two world-ranked middleweights in Mora and Han, on Feb. 6. Both are coming off big victories on HBO Latino in 2014,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “The winner will establish himself as a future championship contender.”
“Abie jumped right at this opportunity when it was offered,” said Tom Brown of Goossen Promotions. “It’s a big fight for Abie coming off his win over Marcos Reyes in October and he’ll be well prepared.”
“We’re happy that DiBella Entertainment and Goossen Promotions were able to put together such a competitive fight for Sergio on short notice,” said Brian Kweder, ESPN Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions. “The winner of this fight will no doubt be placing himself in a good position for a title shot in the middleweight division.”
While Sergio Mora, rated No. 13 by the IBF, is disappointed now that his world title shot will have to wait, he’s already weathered his share of setbacks and has never given up on his dream. After bypassing on an offer to face Jermain Taylor for his unified middleweight crown back in 2007, Mora grew frustrated by several months of inactivity. However, once he did challenge for his first world title in June 2008, Mora rose to the occasion, moving down in weight to battle WBC 154lb. champion Vernon Forrest. Using his unorthodox style, Mora was able to outbox and outpoint Forrest over 12 rounds to seize the championship. Moving back up to middleweight, a fight with then-champion Kelly Pavlik in 2009 fell through when Pavlik pulled out for medical reasons. Following that disappointment, Mora endured a couple controversial decision defeats, as well as a draw with Shane Mosley.
Starting in 2013, Mora regrouped and signed with promoter DiBella Entertainment, and has since put together four straight victories. In June 2013, Mora dominated the 29-2 former world title challenger Grzegorz Proksa on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” en route to earning a unanimous decision. He then reeled off consecutive fifth-round knockouts over another world title challenger in Milton Nunez and the 14-1 prospect Samuel Rogers. In both of those contests, Mora employed a more aggressive approach than he had earlier in his career, looking to focus more on his power and entertaining the audience. He ended 2014 with a shutout win over the always-game Dashon Johnson in December. Although the chance to fight for a middleweight world title fell through, Mora is eager to continue on his quest toward achieving that goal and standing in his way is Abraham Han.
“It wasn’t meant to be, with me and JT, so now it’s on with Han,” said Mora. “It’s great to be fighting back on ESPN, and for the USBA championship. Han is a tough competitor and the fans should expect a terrific contest, but I am determined to once again prove that I am a world-class fighter. An impressive victory will springboard me toward a world title opportunity.”
Coming from a fighting family, the popular Abraham Han, who is from Alabama but trains in Houston, Texas, first excelled at kickboxing, as per his family’s legacy, before deciding to fully focus on boxing. As an amateur, Han gained considerable experience by competing against the likes of Tim Bradley, Daniel Jacobs, Karim Mayfield, Edwin Rodriguez, Fernando Guerrero, Dominic Wade, and others. He started his professional boxing career scoring three first-round knockouts before easily dominating the 6-0 prospect Ibaheim King to earn a six-round unanimous decision in May 2009. Another six consecutive explosive knockouts followed, all within three rounds or less, demonstrating the power that Han possesses.
Building his record to 19-0, Han was featured on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” in July 2013, facing the unbeaten Glen Tapia. Engaging Tapia in an exciting war, Han was not only hampered by having to move down to junior middleweight, but also by suffering a severe cut from a head clash early in the fight. He has since bolstered his career with four victories in a row, including a brutal second-round stoppage over veteran contender Juan Carlos Candelo, halting him quicker than anyone had previously, for the Universal Boxing Federation middleweight championship. In his last bout on October 18, at the Stub Hub Center, in Carson, California, Han, a considerable underdog going in, impressively earned a 10-round decision over the 32-1 heavy-handed, world-rated Marcos Reyes in a bout televised by HBO Latino. He is now ranked No. 15 by the IBF.
“I’m very excited to face Sergio Mora on Friday, February 6,” said Abraham Han. “With my win over Marcos Reyes last October, I’m confident that I will be fully prepared to come out victorious against Mora as well.”
Tickets are on sale now at a reduced rate and are priced at $20.95, $34.95, $48.95 and $62.95, plus tax and service charges. They can be purchased at the Beau Rivage Theatre box office, through any Ticketmaster outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com. Doors open at 4:45 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 5:30 p.m.