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article imageOp-Ed: Boxing Return of Erik Morales a fight to be taken with caution

By William Charles Baker     Mar 7, 2011 in Sports
Las Vegas - We might not be certain of his current skills but we know his past and the record speaks for itself. Marcos Maidana needs to proceed with caution against Erik “El Terrible” Morales April 9th in Las Vegas.
The Morales trilogy with Manny Pacquiao started at a time that the Filipino was on his way to super stardom. Pacquiao having become a real issue for Mexican fighters as evidenced in his win over Marco Antonio Barrera and draw with Juan Manuel Marquez faced a stiff test in his first bout with Morales.
The record will show that Pacquiaos last defeat was against Morales in a war that was staged at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas March 19, 2005. In boxing that is a long time ago and memories tend to fade especially in light of the two return matches Pacquiao won. Granted those fights were at Super Featherweight but sometimes talent and skills transcend weight class. We have Pacquiao now more a traditional welterweight to prove this.
However the light welterweight division remains a place for speculation and with the usual suspects waiting for each other anything is possible. In Amir Khan the current WBA Light Welterweight Champion, Timothy Bradley the WBC and WBO Light Welterweight Champion and the longer list of Devon Alexander, Maidana and a few others is an opportunity for Morales.
Khan is the reigning king of the bunch due to his affiliation with trainer Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao. Still he is haunted by the ghost of Breidis Prescott and the devastating first round KO at his hands.
The BleacherReport reports: “Amir Khan vs. Breidis Prescott: A Rematch Khan Does Not Need”
Khan, Bradley and the rest may be able to ignore Prescott but if Morales beats Maidana the cards will be stacked a lot differently than before. Morales has the stature he has the impetus of a return from retirement or lack of activity as a calling card and somebody is going to have to fight him.
Khan is on the other side of the water getting ready to fight at home for his fans. He is calling for his current fight against undefeated Irish fighter Paul McCloskey (22-22-12) and then Bradley. Should public demand change due to a Morales victory Khan may find himself tempted to fight Morales first and Bradley later.
Playing the age game Morales being older than Bradley and with a money making calling card can get the nod. If Morales beats Maidana we have a worthy pay per view attraction waiting to happen. The reluctance to fight younger talented guys while the old warriors are still around can be dangerous. So can fighting an opponent that needed a long overdue physical and mental rest from the game. Morales spoke on both issues during a recent interview.
The LATimes reports: “He expressed resentment at his former promoter Top Rank leaving him in the 122-pound division for too long, and how his struggles to make weight continued through the super-featherweight (130-pound) bouts against Pacquiao. "My body was so tired, and before the second fight with Pacquiao, I had problems with my team, my father, my wife," Morales said. "It was a whole mess. Then I had to fight Pacquiao again. I didn't have the conditioning.”
Well rested and refocused and in a suspect division where no unifying champion has appeared yet Morales return tour can give his fans and the public a great April gift. Some reason should he win to move things along and let the division get a unified champion. After all he would appear to be an old man waiting to get taken. Perhaps the lesson here is to approach boxing senior citizens with caution. Ask Michael Moorer about George Foreman.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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