Erik Morales vs Marcos Maidana
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada
Interim WBA Junior Light Welterweight Title
Golden boy Promotions
April 9, 2011
Erik Morales of Mexico, was one of the most exciting fighters of his era and certainly ranked high on anyone's pound for pound list but it has been a while. Morales is three for three in his comeback that began last year with a win over Jose Alfaro in March of 2010, winning a 12 round unanimous decision. He followed up with two more wins; stopping Willie Limond in September and a unanimous decision win in December over Francisco Lorenzo. Mediocre opponents at best but a good starting point for an aging former champion. Still, it's hard to tell how much Morales has left in the tank.
Morales, one half of one of boxing's greatest trilogy, Marco Antonio Barrera being the other half, was as exciting as it gets. His big heart and reputation for throwing caution to the wind made him a crowd pleaser and a fan favorite. Nearing the end of his career he beat Manny Pacquiao in their first fight but lost the last two, getting stopped in both fights.
Morales fought the best fighters of his era, including; Daniel Zaragoza, Wayne McCullough, Kevin Kelly, Junior Jones, Paulie Ayala, Hector Acero Sanchez, Jesus Chavez and Carlos Hernandez. His last fight before retiring was a losing effort, in 1997, against WBC Lightweight champion David Diaz of Chicago (Diaz would lose the title to Manny Pacquiao the following year). The only fighter missing from his resume is the great Juan Manuel Marquez. I don't know why that fight never happened.
Argentinian boxer Marcos Maidana, at 27 and seven years younger than Morales, appears to be at his peak right now. Maidana is coming off a close and exciting loss to Amir Khan last December. Like Erik Morales, and like every other Argentinian fighter that I have ever seen, there is no shortage of courage and heart in this fighter. He proved that in his fight last year with Victor Ortiz, coming back after being knocked down three times in the fight and getting the worst of it before taking control of the fight and severely testing Ortiz' resolve as a fighter, forcing him to quit in the 6th round. Over all, Maidana has not fought the same quality of fighters that Morales has fought.
Morales will certainly have his hands full this Saturday night when they square off at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the WBA Interim Junior Welterweight Championship. My heart will be pulling for Erik Morales. While I would have rather seen him stay in retirement, he has chosen to fight again and I'm hoping to see him beat the odds. It will be an uphill battle for him.