For two minutes, the feeling-out process in the opening round between WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs and challenger Sergio Mora prompted restless jeers from the crowd Saturday night at Barclays Center. With no warning, a raging fight suddenly broke out that saw both men go down in the first round.
It ended in equally unpredictable fashion at 2:55 of the second round when Mora told referee Gary Rosato he couldn't continue after suffering an ankle injury following a second knockdown by Jacobs.
"I wanted to stop him," Jacobs said. "I didn't want him to quit on the stool. I wanted to do it on my own. He knew what the outcome was going to be a few rounds later."
Mora called for a result of "no contest" because of his injury. Jacobs pounded Mora with repeated right hands in the second round, finally sending him to the mat before the bell. Mora's right leg buckled awkwardly as he went down from the barrage.
"I heard my knee pop, and I want to see the replay because I know my ankle is broken," Mora said. "The commission told me anything less than four rounds is a no contest . . . I give him credit, but I came to take his championship. I want a rematch."
A preliminary diagnosis in the locker room after the fight did not indicate a break, but Mora was taken to a hospital because of swelling in the ankle from likely ligament damage.
The fight began in seeming slow motion as both boxers pawed the air. But Mora ran into a short right from Jacobs and landed on the seat of his pants. The big surprise came when he got up and hit Jacobs with a big left hook that put him on the canvas. Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs) looked down at Jacobs (30-1, 27 KOs) and sneered.
Asked what he was thinking, Jacobs said, "Did a guy with nine [knockouts] really knock me down?"
Yes, but Mora also made Jacobs turn up the heat in the second round for the victory. Jacobs said he sees no reason for a rematch and called on manager Al Haymon to pit him against fellow Brooklynite Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin next, saying, "That would be a special fight here at Barclays."