Veteran Maurice “Sugar Moe” Harris, winner of the 2002 ‘Thunderbox Heavyweight Tournament,” is fully prepared to take advantage of his USBA title shot against Nagy “Dominican Dynamite” Aguilera, August 6 in Hinkley, Minnesota.
Harris (23-14-2, 10 KOs) had only fought twice in previous six years, prior to signing a promotional contract a year ago with Boxing 360, after which he is 3-0 and ready to go for the gold.
A year ago I didn’t know where I was going in boxing,” Harris explained. “I kept training and praying and then I came across Mario (Boxing 360 founder and CEO Dr. Mario Yagobi). I was so hungry. I told Mario if he took care of business outside of the ring, I’d take care of it inside. That became our motto. He believed in me and I believe in him. Mario has put me in the position I’m I right now.”
Harris-Aguilera shapes-up as a class match between a veteran and prospect. Maurice, 34, has defeated former world champion Sergey Lyakhovich, who was 16-0 at the time, as well as notables David Izon, Jimmy Thunder and Jeremy Williams. The 24-year-old Aguilera (16-3, 11 KOs), rated No. 15 by the IBF, knocked out former world champion Oleg Maskaev last December for his signature victory to date.
Harris, however, doesn’t believe Aguilera is a legitimate heavyweight prospect. “Who has he beaten,” Harris asked rhetorically. “He got lucky. Maskaev? He was done and Aguilera was supposed to beat him.
"No disrespect to him or his opponents, but in his only other tough fight, (Samuel) Peter stopped him (second round of IBF eliminator last March). I’m better than both of those guys (Maskaev and Peter). He’s just 16-3, not a true prospect.
“I have so much experience over him. Hey, anybody over 200 pounds can punch but I’ve been in with just about everybody (including world champions Larry Holmes, Chris Byrd and Henry Akinwande). I’m battled tested; never beaten up badly or cut. He’s young and will make mistakes – he’s going to get hurt.
"I’m proud that I’ve taken care of business and grateful for being in this position to fight for the USBA title. He’s not going to go in there and take away everything I’ve worked so hard for the last year. I’m ready to fight him right now.”