Ahead of his upcoming bout with Willie Limond next month, Mexican ring legend Erik Morales has been doing the rounds this week to talk about his series of six planned comeback fights. Aside from the reasoning behind his return to the ring one of the most frequent topics that has come up is his trilogy of fights against Manny Pacquiao. And much like his countryman Juan Manuel Marquez, Morales is still eager for another fight against the surging Filipino.
Like many of Pacquiao’s former opponents who peaked several years ago though, Morales is realistically probably no longer in a position to offer him any kind of serious challenge at this stage.
Speaking to Michael Marley yesterday, Morales said of Pacquiao:
“I would like to fight him again but I am not obsessed with him. I am working to get back to the top, back where I was before, to be top of the plateau. I have a six fight plan and this is my second one.
After which he explained at length why he was the better fighter and how he thought Pacquiao had used circumstance rather than skill to beat him in their second meeting.
If he does want to rematch Pacquiao again as part of his comeback series, he will have to climb not only the rankings but the weight classes fairly quickly.
Morales later said to gathered press:
“They’ll see a faster, stronger Erik Morales, who is absolutely going to rock the ring and have everybody say, ‘There he is, he never left.’”
Whether he can get anywhere close to the top of any divisional ranking again now is hardly likely though, and the light welterweight division he is stepping into next month is arguably the deepest it has been for years. Realistically he would need a win over one of the big four names in the division to really make a case for himself to be taken as a serious threat, and all four have not only youth on their side, but power, speed and a fair amount of size also.
A misconception among fans going around at the moment is that he is set to supercede WBC light welterweight champion Devon Alexander should be beat Limond as expected. The reason being that Morales and Limond are fighting for the manufactured WBC light welterweight diamond belt.
The definition of what the diamond belt is as written by WBC president José Sulaimán however is:
“It is a historical recognition to the greatest boxers in the ring of today and the future. They have to be elite boxers and whoever wins it, keeps it forever”
Which is all well and good, except for the fact that neither Limond nor the Morales of today are what you would call elite.
Since losing to Khan in 2007, Limond has fought a total of 5 times, with two of those opponents having losing records and none of them being particularly noteworthy. Morales by comparison has lost four of his last five, outpointing little known Jose Alfaro in his most recent outing.
If Morales is too far gone at this point and loses to Limond, can anyone really say with a straight face that a fighter who’s biggest claim to fame was once knocking down Amir Khan is an elite fighter who’s achievements need to be celebrated in commemorative belt form?
Thomas Horton, Philly: “Morales stopped being relevant about five years ago, and yet he continues to talk bout Pac as if he’s ever going to fight him again, its pathetic”
Jim Garnet, Pittsburgh: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets fed to Amir Khan after he beats Limond. Especially now that JMM is thinking of slaying at lightweight”
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