Round of the Year Nominations:
Akira Yaegashi vs Javier Mendoza – Round 11
Edwin Rodriguez vs Michael Seals – Round 1
Krzysztof Glowacki vs Marco Huck – Round 6
Daniel Jacobs vs Sergio Mora – Round 1
Amir Iman vs Fidel Maldonado – Round 3
Lucas Matthysse vs Ruslan Provodnikov – Round 11
Winner: Daniel Jacobs vs Sergio Mora – Round 1
Three minutes can be a hell of a long time. Ask anyone who has traded blows in a boxing ring — a realm few dare to enter — and they will tell you that three short minutes can sometimes feel like an eternity. The seconds slow to a crawl and the electrical synapses in the brain flicker between thoughts of self-preservation and the desire for victory. The consequence of having your legs taken from you following a brain jolting collision of fist and head often brings on the former; then the survival instinct kicks in and the theatre of boxing becomes unmissable. When a fallen warrior rises to beat the count of ten and then inflicts his own knockdown in reprisal, the unknown truly comes into play and those three minutes have a chance of entering the folklore of boxing.
Daniel Jacobs vs Sergio Mora took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the undercard of Danny Garcia vs Paulie Malignaggi and its opening round shocked the thousands of fans on hand. The bout itself may have had an anticlimactic finish as Mora injured his ankle in round two and could not continue, but the shocking fireworks of the first three minutes has earned it The Fight City’s Round of the Year award for 2015.
Mora, the challenger, started as the aggressor, forcing Jacobs onto the back foot early with his awkward style and throwing his jab to the head and his straight right to the body. But Jacobs was more than up to the task and the majority of Mora’s attack failed to land.
90 seconds into the round and both men had yet to land anything of note, until Mora threw caution to the wind and launched a wide looping left hook to the body. In return for opening his guard he was caught with a clean right hook and before he he knew it he was on his back. He managed to beat the count, but could he survive the rest of the round?
The crowd sensed an early night for Mora; Jacobs, a heavy hitter with a good knockout percentage, was more than adept at finishing an opponent and he moved in for the kill. Mora back-pedalled in what appeared to be a vain attempt to avoid the finishing strike. Mora’s back slid across the ropes as Jacobs looked to have trapped his man, but like a wild and frenzied animal going in for the kill, the champion made the mistake of underestimating his wounded prey.
Mora, back to the ropes, lashed out with a left hook and, to everyone’s shock, the incoming Jacobs crashed to the canvas as a look of bewilderment crossed his face. Just moments before he, and the many watching, had no doubt he was on the cusp of finishing Mora. Now Jacobs looked up from the harsh reality of a knockdown.
It was clear the champion was not badly hurt from the punch, but his body language showed his pride had taken a dent. He rose at the count of four and directed a glare of contempt towards Mora.
The remainder of the round was a give and take affair, both men landing clean blows, neither wanting to give away what they perceived to be as an advantage. It would be Jacobs who finished the round stronger as the bell rang to signify the end of what is our Round of the Year for 2015. — Daniel Attias