Hill Country News

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Local boxer wins Super Brawl before the Super Bowl

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 4:00 pm

UPDATE: Austin-based contender Bryan Vera upset former World Champion Sergio Mora, Friday night in Fort Worth via split decision by scores of 96-94 (twice) and 94-96.

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights showcased the match titled the “Super Brawl before the Super Bowl,” featuring Super Middleweights Brian Vera, an Austin resident, 17-5, against former world champion Sergio Mora, 22-1, of Los Angeles, in the main event.

This fight was Vera’s first since a decision loss in the Ukraine in August.

“He’s a whole different fighter now,” Mike Delware, Vera’s trainer said. “He’s extremely coachable. It’s all coming together. He’s a lot smoother.”

Vera and Delware have been working together for the past five months. Vera’s win could mean a big jump in his ratings as he was previously, ranked No. 4 in the U.S. and 33rd in the world.

“To me they’re all big,” Vera said before the fight, “but this one is up there. This puts me top-10.”


 

CEDAR PARK — Arlington has spent all year anticipating the February arrival of some of the biggest names in the United States, but Friday night, Fort Worth will receive two of the toughest. 

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will showcase the “Super Brawl before the Super Bowl,” featuring Super Middleweights Brian Vera, an Austin resident who trains in Cedar Park, 17-5, against former world champion Sergio Mora, 22-1, of Los Angeles, in the main event.

This fight will be Vera’s first since a decision loss in the Ukraine in August.

“He’s a whole different fighter now,” Mike Delware, Vera’s trainer said. “He’s extremely coachable. It’s all coming together. He’s a lot smoother.”

Vera and Delware have been working together for the past five months. A win for Vera, ranked No. 4 in the U.S. and 33rd in the world, could mean a big jump in the rankings.

“To me they’re all big,” Vera said, “but this one is up there. This puts me top-10.”

Delware attributes Vera’s two KO losses to a lack of preparedness and said he shouldn’t have taken those fights, but also said he’s ready for this one.

“There’s a lot more on the line so you try to get yourself more prepared,” Vera said. “We look the best we’ve ever looked now. I’m very mentally prepared.”

O.J. McClintock, Vera’s conditioning coach and University of Texas safety and linebacker in 1999, 2000 and 2002, said, “This has been a really long camp. He’s in really good shape. He’s ready for this one.”

McClintock has known Vera for many years and fits well as his conditioning coach.

“We grew up together. We’re friends,” McClintock said. “When he’s watching his weight and stuff, he’s a little cranky, but I know him well and it doesn’t bother me. Sometimes it takes two or three calls to get him up, but he’ll get up.”

Likewise, Vera calls on McClintock for more than help stretching.

“You need somebody to motivate you,” Vera said. “That’s just the way it is. If anybody says they’re doing it themselves, they’re lying.”

Boxing runs in Vera’s family. He said he has a little brother Gilbert, from Austin, who’s a professional fighter, 10-3, a half brother, Leonard Garcia, 19-6-1, who fights in the UFC and his father, Gilbert, was a two-time heavyweight champion in the International Boxing Association. Though Vera was familiar with boxing from an early age, he said he didn’t start boxing right away. He grew up playing other sports, such as baseball, where he closed and played right field.

“(My father) brought us up in a gym. After two years of boxing at Temple University, I decided to turn pro.”

Delware said he hadn’t been trained to reach his athletic potential when they met and worked to change things.

“He’s extremely dedicated,” Delware said. “As soon as I saw him I was like, ‘There’s an athlete in there.’”

One of Vera’s claims to fame was NBC’s “The Contender,” season 3, where he was a participant.

“‘The Contender’ was like my Olympics,” Vera said. “It put my face out there. I had a fan base from all over.”

Overall, Vera said he remains confident about tomorrow’s fight.

“(Mora)’s very beatable. Not that we’re going to make any mistakes, but you can make mistakes with this guy and still be able to take him out.”

As for any home-field advantage, Vera said, “They take care of me there and they bring in a big crowd, but I can fight anywhere right now and be ready.”

Both Vera and Delware said they would ultimately like to bring boxing back to the Austin area, to the Cedar Park Center.

ESPN will broadcast the fight on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. from Fort Worth.

Welcome to the discussion.