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BASN Boxing Notebook: Mora Prepares for Ibragimov
By Francis Walker
Updated: March 9, 2007
NEW YORK — Shannon Briggs is unable to defend his WBO heavyweight championship on March 10, at the Theater of Madison Square Garden because he has pneumonia. Javier Mora (21-3, 17 KOs) will step in to face undefeated WBO #1-ranked heavyweight title contender, Sultan Ibragimov (19-0-1, 16 KOs).
Mora, stepping in on three weeks notice, has an opportunity to elevate his boxing career to the next level. A victory against Ibragimov, who TKO’d Lance Whitaker and fought Ray Austin to a draw, could lead to a world title shot against Briggs when he recovers.
The 25-year-old from Mexico, now living in Anahiem, CA, has his sights set on a very high goal.
“To become the first Mexican heavyweight champion of the world,” he once said.
It wasn’t until as recent as March of 2001 when Puerto Rican heavyweight John Ruiz became the first Latino to win a world heavyweight championship when he beat Evander Holyfield. In 2006, the world heavyweight championship was simultaneously split amongst four fighters from the former Soviet Union: Wladimir Klitschko (IBF), Oleg Maskaev (WBC), Nikolai Valuev (WBA), and Sergui Liakhovich (WBO), who lost his title to Briggs in November.
Inspired by Oscar De La Hoya and James Toney, Mora began his professional career in August 2000 at age 19. Mora has usually ended up on the short-end of the stick in some of his biggest fights. In March of 2006, Mora’s TKO victory against former heavyweight title contender Kirk Johnson was changed to a no-contest, after Johnson twisted his ankle.
In May of 2006, Mora also dropped a 10-round decision to another former heavyweight title challenger, Fres Oquendo. Mora has won his last two fights and has never been KO’d.
Mora’s fight against Ibragimov is like a world title fight for Mora. If he loses, Mora will probably not receive an opportunity to fight a world heavyweight championship. Especially since there is the possibility of a world heavyweight championship unification fight later this year.
A loss to Ibragimov could hurt Mora’s chances of moving up in the heavyweight division.
Klitschko Makes Second Defense of IBF Heavyweight Championship in Germany.
Wladimir Klitschko makes the second defense of the IBF heavyweight championship on the same night of Ibragimov-Mora. Klitschko (47-3, 42 KOs) will be at the SEP Arena in Mannheim, Germany taking on overmatched No. 1-ranked contender, Ray Austin (23-3-4, 16 KOs). That fight will be televised on HBO at an early start time of 5 PM/EST with a 10 PM/EST replay.
Klitschko won the IBF title with an emphatic, career-best, seventh round knockout of Chris Byrd in April of 2006. Klitschko’s first defense was a successful seventh round KO of previously unbeaten U.S. Olympian, Calvin Brock at Madison Square Garden in November.
“I’m really looking forward to Saturday night because I love this sport. The sport of boxing means so much to me,” Klitschko said at a recent press conference.
Klitschko’s trainer Emmanuel Steward added: “After one minute of the first round everything will change for Ray Austin when he realizes who he is in the ring with. Wladimir is on a different level… Ray Austin is running into the growth and progression of Wlad.”
The original plan was for Klitschko and Briggs to defend their championships from separate locations, but broadcast live on HBO in an attempt to boost interest in unifying the WBO/IBF heavyweight championships. There is still interest in the fight, but all things can change on Saturday.
Brain Surgery for Burgos
Following the beating absorbed from IBF flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA on Saturday, Victor Burgos survived brain surgery. Burgos suffered a lopsided beating before he was stopped in the final round of his world title challenge. Burgos seemed bewildered and non-responsive to ringside physicians.
Burgos was taken out on a stretcher and operated on at UCLA. Medical Center in Torrance, CA. Burgos was placed in a medically induced coma to reduce swelling around his brain. Burgos is reportedly showing signs of recovery.