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Monday, November 1, 2021

Mor Oknin to Fight in December

Mor Oknin's second professional fight was originally scheduled for November 18 in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. However, it has been postponed until December 11 and will take place in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Oknin's first fight was also in Mexico, in Sinaloa, north of Jalisco. He scored a first round stoppage victory when his opponent bowed out due to injury after Oknin had started to take control of the contest.

Oknin, who is from Israel, fights in the super flyweight division. Fellow Jewish boxer David Alaverdian, who has fought at flyweight and super flyweight, has also fought exclusively in Mexico. Mexico might seem like a strange choice for a couple of Jewish boxers from Israel. Though the first Jew to arrive in Mexico came 500 years ago (believed to be Hernando Alonso in 1521) there are only about 65,000-70,000 Jews currently living in Mexico. For reference, about twice the number of Jews live in Montgomery County, Maryland, U.S.A. than in all of Mexico.

Some American boxing writers and pundits look down on fights in Mexico, but that's unfair. In the United States, the commissions in California, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania do a better job than others in regulating who can fight. Too many commissions in the U.S. are far too lax. Similarly, there are areas in Mexico where it's easy to build up a record and other places where the opponents are better qualified.

The truth is Mexico the place to go to fight in the 112 or 115 pound divisions. According to BoxRec, Mexico is home to the most fly and super flyweights by far. There are about 130 super flyweights and 140 flyweights in the country. That's more than 25% of all the 112 and 115 pounders in the world.

Japan (about 150 total) and the Philippines (70ish) also have a lot fighters in those two weight classes, but Mexico has more than both of them combined. BoxRec says their are 33 American super flyweights and just 23 flyweights. Believe it or not, there are only 43 fighters between 109 and 115 pounds in all of Europe! Even Thailand has more, 44 in total, in the two classes. So Mexico is the place to be for super fly and flyweights.

Fortunately, both Oknin and Alaverdian have had positive experiences in Mexico. Alaverdian told Mike Orr that the atmosphere at a fight in Mexico is awesome. "When they hear I'm from Israel, they're a bit surprised, but very cheerful." The crowd is happy when he wins and David poses for many pictures and signs many autographs after his fights there. "It's fun. I can't lie; it's pretty cool," he said of the experience. Oknin's appreciation for Mexican culture has grown since fighting there last time. He now has a deeper affinity for the language, the country's hip hop, and its boxers.

Oknin's bout is scheduled for four rounds. No opponent has yet been named.

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