The Redemption of Russell Mora

By Ted Sares on December 9, 2012
The Redemption of Russell Mora
The HBO announcers each praised Russell’s performance Saturday night. (Chris Cozzone)


Referee Russell Mora came under severe—even brutal—criticism for his work during the Abner Mares-Joseph Agbeko fight in August 2011 in which Mora allowed what seemed to be more than 20 obvious low blows from Mares. In a bit of exaggeration, Showtime commentator Al Bernstein described it as “the most disgraceful performance of a referee he has witnessed in the last 15 years.” However, it was in fact an abysmal showing by Mora. Said Keith Kizer, head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, “I believe Russell Mora is a very good referee who did a subpar job…”

Whatever the case, Mora was forced to take some time off and, in the words of Kizer, “work his work up to the level he was before” the Mares debacle.

During last night’s bout between Patrick Hyland and Sergio Martinez wannabe Javier Fortuna, Mora, from a boxing family, showed that he can still be a first-class referee. There were plenty of low blows, but most were caused by Fortuna holding down Hyland’s head. Mora clarified this in articulate terms to both fighters. Indeed, his refereeing job last night could be used as a training video for other officials.

The HBO announcers each praised Russell’s performance and that must have meant a lot to a man who had to walk on some very thin ice to prove that he once again belonged in the square circle. Redemption was sweet for Russell Mora.

As for the fight, Fortuna’s athleticism proved too much for the Dubliner’s grit, but no one had anything bad to say about how the fight was refereed.

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Boxing Referee Fail - Mares vs. Agbeko



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  1. Keith Kizer Crook 11:24am, 06/18/2017

    Russel More must have taken a bribe in the Mares vs Agbeko fight

    good news for him he got away with it

    Nothing is worse than judges in MMA/UFC.  That’s why Nevada got rid of Keith Kizer.  Go watch the Goerge St Pierre vs Johny Hendricks MMA/UFC fight and you will see CLEAR corrupt judging in Nevada

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/11/ufc-167-dana-white-furious-georges-st-pierre-johny-hendricks

  2. Tiger Claw 10:44pm, 06/09/2017

    He really shouldn’t be given a second chance in any major boxing venue. Shame

  3. Paul Sarnoff 06:31pm, 03/15/2014

    BS. Mora buy a new car? Pay off a mortgage? Buy a vacation home? Hide money in Europe or Asia?  He is no longer trustworthy and should never be allowed in a ring again.

  4. Dan Adams 03:09pm, 12/10/2012

    Guess we’ll be seeing mora Russell.

  5. Mike Schmidt 01:41pm, 12/10/2012

    Very good Ted. Might I suggest that, on behalf of boxing.com, we send Russell a copy of “The Nutcracker Suite” for Christmas.

  6. Tex Hassler 01:39pm, 12/10/2012

    Mora deserved a second chance and now has proved himself. Anyone can have a bad day if you are a referee of a fighter.

  7. dollarbond 07:23am, 12/10/2012

    Well done Ted. Concise and to the point.

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