Erik Morales Goes for FourWritten by Joseph Herron
Erik Morales is a true legend of the sport.
The fighter most affectionately known as "El Terrible" possesses victories over champions Kenny Mitchell, Hector Acero-Sanchez, Daniel Zaragoza, Junior Jones, Jose Luis Bueno, Wayne McCullough, Marco Antonio Barrera, Kevin Kelley, Guty Espadas Jr., In Jin Chi, Paulie Ayala, Jesús Chávez, Carlos Hernández, and currently holds the distinction of being the last man to defeat the number one pound for pound fighter in the world, Manny Pacquiao.
With very little left to accomplish in the sport of boxing, and even far less to prove to his critics, the fighting pride of Tijuana, Mexico continues to amaze and turn back the clock in his continuous quest for boxing glory.
Earlier this year on April 9th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the ring veteran took on the hard punching Marcos Maidana, in a fight which most boxing scribes viewed Morales as having little to no chance of surviving 12 rounds with the tough Argentine brawler.
But like a true warrior, "El Terrible" not only went toe to toe with the stone fisted pugilist for 12 rounds, the Mexican legend arguably won the highly competitive contest and demanded an immediate rematch with the 28 year old pugilist.
The heavily favored Argentine fighter was given a majority decision victory with scores of 114-114, and 116-112 twice.
Although Marcos Maidana received the win over Morales, "El Terrible" won the drama of the event and the respect of his most vocal detractors.
After accomplishing so much in the ring, the future Hall of Famer's quest is fueled by a very simple principle.
"I love it," states the 34 year old pugilist. "I love being in the ring and I love fighting,"
The boxing marvel has stated that he especially loves being involved with big fights on the biggest stages of boxing.
"Winning four world titles in four different weight classes is something I have to do," proclaims the Mexican legend. "It's something that I want to do for my kids, my family, my country, and I'm going to win. I am going to win because I really want to do it."
After serving 18 years in the line of duty as a professional prizefighter, which has consisted of 51 victories, seven world titles in three different weight classes, and 15 successful title defenses, "El Terrible" will attempt to make history as he faces Pablo Cesar Cano (22-0-1, 17 KOs) for the WBC Junior Welterweight Champion, on the undercard of the "Star Power" Pay Per View special event, tonight in Las Vegas, NV.
Very little is known about the 21 year old Mexican fighter, who took the title fight on just nine days notice when previously scheduled opponent Lucas Matthysse from Argentina had to abandon his championship opportunity due to a viral infection.
When the news first erupted that the Argentine fighter wouldn't be ready for the Mexican legend on September 17th because of his illness, the reaction from most boxing pundits was one of shock and disappointment.
But, when the WBC announced last week that the ring veteran would still be fighting for their vacant junior welterweight title against a young and relatively unknown pugilist, Erik's critics began to sound the alarm once again.
This new situation places the legendary battler in a very peculiar position.
If Morales indeed gets a decisive victory over Cano tonight, most in the media will criticize his title winning effort, claiming that the bout shouldn't have been deemed a championship opportunity.
But, if the TJ native struggles in his quest for gold against the younger, less experienced opponent, more than likely, most boxing scribes will be calling for his retirement.
In an age where most in the boxing media heavily criticize promoters and matchmakers for creating less than aesthetically pleasing style match-ups, Erik Morales especially deserves the praise of boxing fans and media worldwide for once again taking on a very dangerous young fighter like Pablo Cesar Cano, with just 9 days to prepare. The 21 year old Mexican puncher has an impressive undefeated record with a 74% knock-out ratio.
Cano is receiving the opportunity of a lifetime and will try to make the most of his big break.
If Erik is still the same "El Terrible" who always comes into the ring with the heart of a champion, then win, lose, or draw, the future first ballot Hall of Famer still deserves our respect and praise for a lifetime of great fight memories.
The fight really shouldn't be scrutinized, but it will be. Morales shouldn't be criticized for his championship opportunity, but he will be.
Morales doesn't have many more fights ahead of him, so just sit back and enjoy watching the Mexican legend do what he does best: fight for our entertainment.
"I just want to say thank you to all of my fans for all of their support through the good and the bad, and that I am very grateful and thankful. It's going to be a great fight on September 17th, so don't miss it. I predict that I will be victorious...I don't know how it will happen, but I will indeed be victorious on September 17th."