Erik ‘El Terrible’ Morales is definitely one of Mexico’s true boxing legends. He, together with career arch-rival Marco Antonio Barrera, epitomized what it is to be a Mexican fighter. The fiery kid from Tijuana was never one to back out from a shootout and possessed a mean streak coupled by a killer instinct reserved only for the most elite gladiators in combat.
Boxing had always been embedded in Morales’ DNA. His father trained boxers in their basement growing up, and his superb ring abilities spoke fluently about his advanced skills.
Morales, who is surprisingly only 33-years-old, is currently on the comeback route. Surprising because it seems as if he’s been around forever and the fact that he’s only 2 years older than Manny Pacquiao and the same age as Floyd Mayweather Jr., people were already calling him washed-up when he fought Pacquiao a third time in 2006.
Don’t believe the hype. Morales did have a lot of mileage on him, but his lifestyle of enjoying a cerveza or two on the side plus that guy from the Philippines that throws 10-punch combinations from his back pocket were the main reasons he looked old. Heck, anybody who does 3 fights with Pacquiao will look old. Remember when Pacquiao first beat Barrera then Barrera went on to become the king at 130 and regain his spot as one of the P4P best?
Recently, Morales spoke to our prolific young buck from New York by way of Boston, Mike Marley, and made a comment that he would be far superior than Pacquiao during his prime.
Quotes from Marley’s interview with Erik Morales:
“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.
“I will say Manny is a great fighter but I look back and he would give me any weight allowance in our second and third bouts when they knew I couldn’t make 130 pounds. Pacquiao demanded weight penalties of $500,000 for each pound.
(For the record, Morales made 129 ½ pounds for his UD 12 over Pacman and then really strained to make 128 ½ for his TKO by 10 loss and 129 ½ when he got waxed in three rounds.)
“But, when I was right and when I was at proper weight in the first fight (he got stopped in 10 rounds and then in three in their second and third bouts) I showed who the better fighter was then.
“I was the superior fighter and I had the edge in speed and in skills and I beat him in every department.”
With all due respect to Morales, who I consider as my favorite Mexican boxer during his era, at both their primes, I believe Pacquiao would’ve destroyed him. Skills-wise, yes, I agree. Morales is definitely the superior of the two, and during his peak, there weren’t a lot of guys who were better than ‘El Terrible’. But the Pacquiao you have now isn’t the same Pacquiao Morales beat, nor is it the same guy that made him clinch and kiss the canvas for the first time in his career and utterly destroyed him in three rounds. This version of Pacquiao would destroy that old Pacquiao. He has better footwork, timing, ring generalship and a knock out right hand on top of how he’s built up his explosiveness and power through constant hard work and training.
Morales could’ve employed the same tactic he did the first time around, but Pacquiao will be able to maneuver around it now. Instead of the predictable one-two and headhunting, Pacquiao now mixes up feints and he can hook him with his right, cut him off and counter punch as well. And the thing is Morales’ heart is too proud not to want to stand and bang. Had he fought Pacquiao earlier in his career, it would be like his wars with Barrera, except that he would take more damage which might’ve shortened his career or his ability to compete at the highest level more than his wars with Barrera did.
Only thing is, at what weight would these two men fight at in their primes? Morales was his best at feather and super feather, while Pacquiao reached his peak at around 140. Regardless though, Pacquiao would’ve been too strong, too explosive and too aggressive for Morales’ good. It will definitely be a showdown and sure-fire instant classic, but in the end, Morales will be outgunned and devastated. He should be happy and satisfied with the fact that he can claim that he is the last person who ever beat Pacquiao. A fact that might actually go down in history for good with the rate Pacquiao is going.
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Dennis ‘dSource’ Guillermo is a freelance sportswriter. You can contact him through e-mail at [email protected]
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