Local boxer wins Super Brawl before the Super Bowl

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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.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">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.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">This

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

August.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“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.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">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.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“To me

they’re all big,” Vera said before the fight, “but this one is up

there. This puts me top-10.”


"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"> 

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">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. 

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">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.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">This

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

August.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“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.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">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.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“To me

they’re all big,” Vera said, “but this one is up there. This puts

me top-10.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">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.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“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.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">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.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">

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

conditioning coach.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“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.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">

Likewise, Vera calls on McClintock for more than help

stretching.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“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.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">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.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“(My

father) brought us up in a gym. After two years of boxing at Temple

University, I decided to turn pro.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Delware

said he hadn’t been trained to reach his athletic potential when

they met and worked to change things.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“He’s

extremely dedicated,” Delware said. “As soon as I saw him I was

like, ‘There’s an athlete in there.’”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">One of

Vera’s claims to fame was NBC’s “The Contender,” season 3, where he

was a participant.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">“‘The

Contender’ was like my Olympics,” Vera said. “It put my face out

there. I had a fan base from all over.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Overall,

Vera said he remains confident about tomorrow’s fight.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">

“(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.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">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.”

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">Both

Vera and Delware said they would ultimately like to bring boxing

back to the Austin area, to the Cedar Park Center.

"margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;">ESPN

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

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