Erik Morales defends crown against unbeaten Danny Garcia | Inquirer Sports

Erik Morales defends crown against unbeaten Danny Garcia

/ 08:06 AM March 23, 2012

Erik Morales. AFP file photo

LOS ANGELES—Mexico’s Erik Morales defends his World Boxing Council light-welterweight title on Saturday against unbeaten American challenger Danny Garcia at Houston, Texas.

Morales, 35, is the first Mexican fighter to win world titles in four weight divisions — superbantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight and light welterweight — while Garcia is in his first world title bout at age 24.


“He’s a great fighter. He has made his mark in the sport,” Garcia said. “He is a crafty veteran, smart, knows how to fight, how to win. He has had his time to shine. Come Saturday night, there will be a new champion.”


Morales, 52-7 with 36 knockouts, is 4-1 since ending a three-year layoff in 2010 and anxious to prove he has the form to face tougher foes, potentially England’s Amir Khan, unbeaten American Tim Bradley or elite welterweights.

“Boxing is not just about strength and a few words,” Morales said. “To beat a young man, to beat his speed, his dream, his hunger, will show I’m still at the top level.

“My motivation is for bigger and better fights beyond this fight. The word ‘loss’ does not cross my mind.”

Morales lost an interim world title fight to Argentina’s Marcos Maidana by majority decision last April, but bounced back last September with a 10th-round stoppage of previosuly unbeaten countryman Pablo Cesar Cano to claim the vacant WBC crown.

“I’m very excited,” Morales said. “I’m very well trained and well prepared to fight this young man who is very hungry and dreams to rip my title away and send me into retirement.

“I feel rejuvenated. I needed to take some time off in my life to decide what I wanted to do. Now I know. I’m 100 percent committed to boxing.”


The fight was delayed from January so Morales could undergo gallbladder surgery, but the veteran was determined to face Garcia, testing himself against a rising star to satisfy his own questions about his status.

“There are some doubts in my mind,” Morales said. “There are some kinds of fights I want to fight but I don’t know if I am 100 percent prepared for those fights. These type of fights will let me know if I am ready.”

Garcia, 22-0 with 14 knockouts, is coming off a split-decision victory over compatriot Kendall Holt last November at Los Angeles.

“It has been a long road going on the undercards to the main event and I’m ready to be a champion now. I knew I had a lot of hard work to do and I put that work in,” Garcia said.

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“You’ve got to prepare, be smart, use your brain and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m in tip-top shape. I always go in there for the knockout. The knockout don’t come, I’m ready to go 12 rounds.”

TAGS: Boxing, Danny Garcia, Erik Morales, Sports

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