Tag Archives: Erik Morales

Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 The Money

Pacquiao vs Marquez 4 The Money at MGM Grand, Saturday, December 8th is the shorthand of all you need to know.

`36 Rounds & Counting

36 Rounds & Counting

I did become excited about this fight when Bob Arum bigged up a Mexico City venue, just the place to make Marquez step out of his shell and try for once to really take it to Pacquiao, and just the sort of challenge that Pacquiao loves, a Mexican Bullring packed to the hilt with El Locos screaming for  mano a mano Mexican style boxing that the Filipino relishes. Imagine the contagion spreading around the world on fight night with HBO and Larry Merchant broadcasting from Mexico City as tens of millions storm the worldwide broadcasters for a stream of the fight on whatever set ups they’re using!

Nope, ain’t gonna happen that way.

I gather the numbers didn’t work since Marquez has been a Vegas fighter for most of his career and lacks the overwhelming Mexican support that Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales enjoyed. Marquez is a Top Rank fighter now, so Arum gave him a trial run  in Mexico City against Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko for the WBO junior welter title. Marquez aggressively outpointed Fedchenko for his 4th divisional title.

Pacquiao has also become something of a Vegas fighter with Arum carefully booking him at MGM Grand, Floyd Mayweather Jr’s home for the last several years. Mayweather might decide to take the plunge and make a Pacquiao fight on the spur of the moment, so Arum maybe looks to keep the Grand booked for all future Pacquiao dates.

The Trilogy

The Trilogy

As you can see, Marquez was well packed and ripped for the rubber match in a fashion that he has never been thanks to Angela Heredia, one of many infamous trainers part of the BALCO scandal. Somehow he avoided the convictions and jail time others in the scandal were handed, probably by plea deal in exchange for favorable prosecution testimony.

Regardless of whether or not Marquez has fallen into the PEDs trap, his conditioning has been at career bests against Pacquiao. I had hopes that he could provide a good fight against Mayweather when he moved up two divisions a few years back, but then he started taking his frothy health cocktails drawn from a spigot hooked up to his own private pistola, well, I winced and hoped I wouldn’t heave. Then the comic book endurance and strength training of him throwing around large rocks at altitude evaporated whatever chance he had against the crafty Mayweather.

Pacquiao is taking on his third P4P fight in a row with Timothy Bradley sandwiched between Marquez, and, boy howdy, what a surprise wake up call against the undefeated physical phenom. Pacquiao took it big time to Bradley for 9 rounds, hitting him so hard that the shock waves popped tendons in Bradley’s ankles loose from their moorings. Incredibly Bradley didn’t go down in spite of sporting the usual Pacquiao souvenirs of a lumped up, mashed out of place face before convalescing in a wheelchair after the fight ended.

Even more incredibly, the Vegas judges awarded Bradley the split decision in a fight nobody thought was even close. The outrage was such that the WBO commissioned 5 veteran judges to review the fight and awarded Pacquiao the unanimous decision, yet Bradley still holds the WBO title. Bob Arum called for an investigation of himself, wanting to distance himself from the grievous improprieties of the Nevada commission who stacked the judges.

Bradley did physically extend out Pacquiao’s conditioning more than any fighter yet. The 9th round is what turned around the fight for Bradley as he was completely exhausted, a sitting duck for legendary straight left hands that made Pacquiao the most celebrated fighter since Muhammad Ali. Right at the point of the knockout, Pacquiao hit the wall and went into slower and slower motion until they were standing there looking at each other in disbelief. Neither had anything left to mount a decent assault for the rest of the fight, yet Bradley won the judges over while the rest of boxing told him that he really didn’t win the fight. Yeah, thanks guys.

The decision was a headscratcher until you consider the source. This is boxing in Vegas that’s moving closer to pro wrestling in plot line and choreography, see  the Ortiz/Mayweather outrage, and in outcomes, see any of dozens of their fights every year where the judging defies all logic.

There always has been a long standing prejudice against big sluggers like Pacquiao when they fail to knock out their opponent as was expected. Big Vegas Players lose huge sums no matter how technically nuanced Pacquiao has become under Freddie Roach, so it means nothing to judges who know the bottomline. The Marquez and Bradley fights were the easiest fights Pacquiao has had in ages as evidenced by his postfight choirboy looks as opposed to his typical mangled features after he lays down ferocious beatings and knockouts as the most celebrated offensive fighter of the decade. All the lumps were transferred to Bradley and Marquez.

Pacquiao didn’t help his concentration by the revelations of his marital woes hours before the Marquez fight when he was supposedly served divorce papers. His concentration further lapsed before the Bradley fight when he came out against gay marriage in the home state of the powerful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a liberal democrat in support of gay marriage who Pacquiao had previously campaigned for. Boxing results shouldn’t be determined by politics, but the reality has always been that if the referee and/or judges want, they can determine the outcome of any fight, not the fighters, and the Nevada Commish is a political appointment.

Pacquiao suffered his first officiating outrage with the Agapito Sanchez  Technical Draw when the Dominican Billy Goat butted his way out of the fight. I’ve never seen a better example of a fighter that should have been DQed after it was obvious butting was the only offensive tool in his arsenal. Then the admitted scoring error in the first Marquez fight that would have given Pacquiao the split decision instead of a draw. Then the missed 2nd knockdown by referee  Kenny Bayless in the rematch that should have been at least a unanimous decision for Pacquiao if not a knockout when Marquez walked to Pacquiao’s corner, clearly out on his feet. Bayless is also the ref for the 4th installment, so we’ll see if he can get it right this time around.

Maybe Marquez can borrow some of the fight from diehard JMMarquez fans who continue to litter the internet with bitter claims of victory over Pacquiao. He really does need some extra fight to him IF he REALLY wants to beat Pacquiao.

The Rubber was a stylistic technical disappointment for both. Marquez throw a some furious popcorn flurries off the backfoot that never put a dent into Pacquiao’s features, whereas Pacquiao leading right hooks swiped Marquez’s left eye half closed and his straight lefts lumped up his right side, but he never really went after Marquez nor did he ever hurt him or knock him down like previous encounters.

Pacquiao for his part needs to understand the sympathies that Vegas holds for Marquez and bring back some of his aggressive offense that made him such a legend. No need to abandon technical boxing, just step up the intensity a few notches or risk another controversial decision that might not go his way.

It should also be noted that Pacquiao continues to break his own record for the most Ring P4P fights, the Marquez rubber being his 11th and Marquez will vault into sole ownership of 2nd place with his 5th P4P fight. He’s currently tied with Mayweather for 2nd place with 4 each.

FYI, you can read about the compelling parallel P4P histories of Pacquiao and Mayweather here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/modern-p4p-rankings-manny-pacquiao-vs-floyd-mayweather-jr/

Another interesting development going into this fight is that after Mayweather was released from prison, he quietly paid out a private settlement with a public apology to Pacquiao in exchange for dropping the lawsuit that Mayweather had lost every round in. The IRONY is now Mayweather has been hit with hard rumors about 3 positive drug tests that were hushed up by Golden Boy Promotions and the  USADA drug testing cartel. Here’s the skinny by Thomas Hauser that pretty much backs up what I’ve been saying about the poor reporting in the boxing media about drug testing, plus plenty of new revelations:

http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/the-ped-mess-part-one

Yes, most anywhere we look in the boxing world, there’s a lot of cynicism over the 4th fight between Pacquiao and Marquez. It doesn’t seem possible they could top their previous PPV total, yet there should be plenty of interest in the fight come first bell.

Who wants to miss what could be the best fight by far between these warrior adversaries? Not a chance. 

Juan Manuel Marquez Tries For 4th Title in Mexico City

Thirty year old Ukrainian light welterweight  Serhiy Fedchenko travels overseas for the first time ever to contest the WBO Interim Junior Welterweight title that could  earn Juan Manuel Marquez his 4th divisional belt. Come April 14th, Fedchenko should have quite the eye opener against the certified future Hall of Famer boxing’s most rabid capital, Mexico City.

Oddly enough, the native Mexico City born Marquez hasn’t boxed in Mexico City since 1994, fighting primarily in California and Nevada, so that’s some kind of 18 year Mexican homecoming he may have coming. Truth be told, Marquez was always the odd amigo out in the popularity stakes dominated by Los Otro Amigos,  Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales who often fought in Mexico, but I’d guess his stature has grown there since they have more or less been in the retirement phase.

Sergey Fedchenko

Sergey Fedchenko

Since almost all of Fedchenko’s bouts were staged in Ukraine, not much is known about him other than his record, 30-1, 13 KO as the current “WBO European Lightwelterweight titlest.” The only name opponents on his record are his sole majority decision loss to Kaizer Mabuza and a unanimous decision against DeMarcus Corley.

It goes without saying that Serhiy “The Professor” Fedchenko has never been stopped and is following on the heels of a stampede of talented Ukrainian champs and contenders in boxing. With only 13 KOs of European quality fighters, he is a boxer, not a slugger,  and boxing his only hope since the last 5 of Marquez’s 6 losses have come at the hands of highly rated boxer types of various styles, Freddie Norwood, Manny Pacquiao x2, Chris John, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

Fedchenko is obviously not in the class of the above, but he could move up to the bigtime if he were to knock the heavy favorite Marquez off his throne. Hungry East Europeans have made a pretty fair name in boxing doing just that, but can Fedchenko adjust to the manic atmosphere likely to accompany this fight?

Manny vs The Juan

Manny vs The Juan

I see this as a stay busy, wow the Mexican crowd with a homecoming in advance of Marquez’s next blockbuster fight. That could come against Manny Pacquiao in an epic 4th encounter IF Pacquiao wins his bout against undefeated Ring P4Per Timothy Bradley, a much bigger challenge and certainly not an easy victory.

El Terrible Mismatch–Danny Garcia vs Eric Morales

The old Houston Astrodome, now named Reliant Arena, is the boxing venue March 24 when young phenom Danny Garcia challenges Mexican Legend Erik Morales.

By credentials alone, Danny Garcia wouldn’t even be in the same ballpark as Erik Morales, but such is not the way boxing works. Garcia is young and hungry and owns recent wins over Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt, so now he’s matched against the grizzled old Mexican warrior attempting one last go at glory.

The Heyday of Morales vs Barrera

The Heyday of Morales vs Barrera

Where to start trying to figure the meaning of a bout like this might begin with the ill advised comeback of 35 year old Erik Morales after retiring several years ago. He had been knocked out consecutively by the rapidly rising Manny Pacquaio and then outmuscled and outbrawled by then WBC champ David Diaz when he moved up to lightweight.

Look up Mexican Warrior in the dictionary and Erik Morales will be among the definitions, yet after a long and brutal career as one of boxing’s brightest stars, he just didn’t seem to have it any more. Complaints about ringing in his head caused some concern, so his retirement was a relief for all those interested in his well being.

El Terrible vs Hands of Steel

El Terrible vs Hands of Steel

His weight promptly blew up to an unrecognizable whale scale, so fans were still concerned about his health, but after 3 yrs on the banquet circuit he returned at a flabby 147 lbs to outpoint the forgettable Jose Alfaro. Gone was his timing and balance, but his strength of will to fight remained, so it was onward and upward to Willie “Hands of Steel” Limond and Francisco Lorenzo as he gamely boxed his way into a semblance of fighting shape in more forgettable fights. The Lorenzo fight saw him being well whipped and out of clues in spite of taking the unanimous decision.

El Golpe

El Golpe

Morales managed to go the distance in a terrible fight against Maidana who should have gotten the early stoppage. Morales’ right eye was closed in the 1st round by a vicious Maidana uppercut and he took a beating. Eventually Maidana realized he had a real tough fighter in front of him who wouldn’t go easily and lost his stomach for the sometimes cruel brutality of  boxing , so Morales promptly took advantage of the weakness and went after Maidana hard, thus giving his fans the support they had been waiting for.

Truth is, by the end of the fight Morales had something of the look of the young Eric Morales when he refused to buckle and stung Maidana with some well placed shots. Still, there was no reason at all to make him take an unholy beating like that, but some fighters just cannot leave gracefully.

Though he lost the bout, his name was back in the public eye and was floated in with potential bouts with Floyd Mayweather Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Amir Khan. Instead the WBC maneuvered him into another forgettable bout against Pablo Cesar Cano for the title they had shamelessly stripped from undefeated champion Gary Bradley.

Danny Garcia vs Kendall Holt

Danny Garcia vs Kendall Holt

So now they call Morales a champion and he defends against a quick, prime boxer type in Danny “Swift” Garcia in what could be another ill advised 12 round war on the Morales body which just saw the bout delayed as Morales had some kidney stones removed.

The hope is that Morales is starting to physically look like a Mexican Warrior instead of the Tijuana Tamale he resembled at the start of his comeback, so the bout has the potential of a high action classic to it. It helps that Garcia is not the big puncher that can discourage Morales who will likely be the aggressor in this bout.

All I can say is the 23 year old Garcia best not take this version of Morales lightly if he wants to make any inroads in boxing. He wants to swap his 7th Ring rating against the 5th rating of the old man.

Maidana took a lot of flack for allowing Morales back into the fight after running out of gas and desire in the mid rounds. Morales knows he could be back in the business end of the next big fight against  Floyd Mayweather Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Amir Khan with a resounding victory over the kid. 

No fighter ever had any more desire than Eric Morales, but is the kid smart enough, quick enough and in good enough condition to overcome that desire and ring experience? Their intertwined fates await the unraveling hour as the days and seconds tick down to the sounding of the first bell.

The Tragedy–Marcos Maidana vs Erik Morales

Ring legend and Mexican favorite Erik Morales makes a most unfortunate return as a ring headliner Saturday, April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Words fail to properly communicate the true travesty and potential tragedy of such a bout against the deadly hitting Argentinean gunslinger, Marcos Maidana.

How this bout even got mooted to begin with is more than enough sociopathic manipulation to comprehend, but to get the bout actually sanctioned smacks of the long sordid history of boxing‘s worst ring moments rewritten and recast in the name of nothing more than greed and delusions of professionals who should know better.

It’s more the pity in that the undercard is a geniunely high level competitive set of bouts featuring two former champs, Robert Guerro and Michael Katsidis going after it for the interim WBO lightweight belt, and former champ Pauli Malignaggi further testing out the welterweight division against the other Cotto  brother, Jose Miguel Cotto, who is also looking for respect in a new division.

Better days for El Terrible

Better days for El Terrible

It would be a shame to see such solid matchmaking overwhelmed by a terrible tragedy, so I can only hope and pray that the disaster of Eric Morales is averted with a mercifully quick one punch KO by Maidana who is doubtless looking to do exactly that.

I won’t bore the public with a tiny tirade about the decline of the Eric Morales skillset and durability these past years. He retired in 2007 after a savage brawl against WBC lightweight champ David Diaz, claiming to be hearing ringing sounds as constant background noise, yet returned in 2010 claiming he wanted to be the first Mexican to win a title in 4 divisions.

Folks probably don’t recall that Morales turned pro as a tall skinny super bantamweight some 18 very long years ago in 1993. He’ll be 35 this year with 57 tough bouts and 387 hard rounds withdrawn as his credit line in the great bank of life.

It’s getting tougher and tougher to make the payments these days as the 40ish last minute replacement fighter Francisco Lorenzo showed him last time out, a bout that can only be described a WBC Christmas present to their lifelong WBC titlest, Morales. 

El Chino

El Chino

Maidana is one of the most feared, and I do mean feared punchers currently operating in boxing. It would be terrible for the future health of the tough as nails Morales to take the kind of punishment. Young Amir Khan has yet to show he can rebound after his recent slugfest against Maidana that saw “King”Khan out on his feet the last couple of rounds, yet held upright by his merciful “chamber ref in waiting,” Joe Cortez.

There is big money to be made on the backs of legends, and fairplay to Morales who apparently is still tough enough to make Juan Manuel Marquez back off their anticipated bout that would have been equally one sided from a technical point of view.

Maybe Marquez was feeling his own age and the effects of a tough bout against Michael Katsidis who knocked him down hard. Maidana, however, is still fresh and in his prime and suffers from no age related ailments.

Morales knew that Marquez also backed off a bout with Maidana, so he became the first in line for the opportunity, the brave warrior’s little dig at Marquez even if it means the last stand for Marquez. The fighting spirit of Erik Morales has always stood him in good steed, but this time there are serious health concerns, so I don’t feel like I am over dramatizing the debilitating aftereffects.

There is always the possibility of an unspoken gentleman’s agreement where Maidana wears the kid gloves and only looks to the judges to deliver him from the judgement of Fate, but having been jobbed most recently in the Khan bout, Maidana can be excused for his lack of charity if he goes after the old warrior hard.

Like the last Muhammad Ali bouts against Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick, I will simply look away. No need to watch the beating of a dead horse.

It nevert had to end like this, but it always seems to happen against a certain class of great fighter who refuses to quit. Que lastima.

Where’s Waldo or Where’s America’s Next Heavyweight?

 Where’s Waldo was a popular ’80s children’s book where readers got to look for the cartoon character Waldo in crowds.
Waldo

Waldo

 

Fast forward to the ’10s with all the football bowl games and superbowl settled, and it’s deep into winter wonderland in the boxing world with little scheduled, so enter one David Nino Rodriguez announcing a “comeback” of sorts to save the heavyweight division that you can read here:

http://www.fightnewsextra.com/cc/2011/02-davidrodriguez.htm

Can you spot him next to Waldo?

Where he be?

Where he be?

David Rodriguez is currently 33 yrs of age, 33-0, 31 KO, last seen on the undercard of the Erik Morales comeback against Jose Alfaro in Mexico, so what’s he coming back from, Mexico?

Who knew?

It ain’t like he wouldn’t stand out in a crowd, being a prime, tall, big, strong, handsome guy, but with his current Boxrec ranking of 141, damn, he’s hard to spot between Henry Fuentes and Maurice Byarm after 12 years of boxing.

Nino

Nino

What? Impossible you say, right? How could that happen?

Reminds me a bit of America’s last boxing Olympic medalist Deontay Wilder whom you can read about here:

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/the-strange-case-of-deontay-wilder-the-last-us-olympic-medalist/

In spite of Deontay fighting inferior opposition to Rodriguez, they passed each other in Boxrec rankings sometime last year with Deontay currently sporting a shiny 103 ranking thanks in a large part to a 33 sec KO of Ty Cobb, “Nino’s” scheduled opponent this coming Saturday.

Is it Ty Cobb now that America’s next Heavyweight has to pass through? What, does that mean we are we to be blessed with a showdown between Nino and The Bronze Bomber? Would it be in Mexico or Alabama?

Do these guys really want to fight? Or do they want to pose as fighters in Mexico and Alabama while ignore all the stupendously silly money and acclaim ready to be minted for America’s next heavyweight champion?

Can’t speak to the sentiments of their fighting hearts, but it ain’t a stretch to think there must be millions, no make that billions in the world who would love to have their size and physiques who might make better use of their obvious opportunity, yet were not so blessed.

Que lastima.

So, like trying to find Waldo, boxing fans have to scan a mighty large crowd to spot America’s next “Heavyweight.” It didn’t used to be like that.