In his ascent to pound-for-pound elite, Gennady Golovkin has amassed the majority of the sanctioning body middleweight belts.
The lone exception currently preventing arguably the sport’s best fighter from monopolizing all the titles wants to remain linked to a championship and eventually earn consideration as a future Golovkin opponent.
Daniel Jacobs is in a three-fight reign as World Boxing Association middleweight champion. Before the Brooklyn native stakes his claim to a lucrative match with Golovkin, Jacobs will make a title defense against former super-welterweight champion Sergio Mora on Sept. 9 in Reading, Pennsylvania.
The bout will be a rematch of their first fight in Sept. 2015, when Jacobs won by second-round technical knockout after Mora sustained an ankle injury and couldn’t continue fighting.
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Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) and Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs) exchanged first-round knockdowns. Late in the second round, Jacobs floored Mora again. When Mora reached his feet, he couldn’t put pressure on his right leg, leading to the fight’s stoppage.
The fallout from the bout has created animosity between the fighters and intensified the buildup for a rematch. Mora asserts the injury prevented him from eventually dethroning Jacobs.
“This is business for me but it also more personal than any fight I have ever had,” Jacobs said.
“Sergio has been using these antics online to get this rematch and he has gotten under my skin. There has been a lot of back-and-forth as far as people’s opinions as to who would have won the fight had he not gotten hurt.”
Mora, who bankrolled his championship in the first year of The Contender reality series into a 154-pound title and middleweight contention, believes Jacob’s victory was tainted and questions Jacobs’ status as champion.
“I don’t think Jacobs wanted this rematch but it was destined to happen and now he has to deal with it,” Mora said. “I thought the first fight was going my way. I knocked him down in the first round and was out-boxing him in the second round.
“He has more to worry about going into this fight than in the first fight. Look at his résumé. I have fought solid opposition. Jacobs doesn’t have that type of résumé.”
Jacobs had another quick ring routing after the first bout with Mora. Jacobs stopped former middleweight champion Peter Quillin in the first round in December.
“I am looking at this as an opportunity to clarify that I am the real champion,” Jacobs said.
Around the ring
Argentina’s David Peralta won a split decision over two-division world champion Robert Guerrero on Saturday in Anaheim, California.
Peralta (26-2-1) increased the pressure in the second half of the 12-round welterweight bout. A minute into the ninth round, Peralta sent Guerrero to the ropes with two solid rights to the head. Guerrero lost his balance from the shots’ impact as the ropes prevented him from hitting the canvas.
Two judges scored the fight for Peralta, 116-112 and 115-113, while the third had Guerrero winning, 115-113.
A former featherweight and junior-lightweight champion, Guerrero is now 33-5-1.
Saturday (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network): Darwin Price vs. Javontae Sparks, 10, welterweights.