Saturday 23rd September 2017,
Sports Alchemist
Spotlight

Juan Manuel Marquez-Erik Morales: Erik Morales’s Engine

Erik Morales shadow box around the sweaty-filled gym in Tijuana Mexico. He was mimicking a silhouette of a younger self when his reflexes were quick and his power was overwhelming. His punches were short and crisp making the wind wisp at each punch like a shot to the liver or to the jaw. It’s still 5 months before Morales will get to fight a real one. However, he wanted to be in the top form when he starts his training. Like an old machine who needs a lot of conditioning before the engine starts running.

At 34 years old, Morales is not that old but his body is. The battle scarred warrior fought a total of 171 fights with 57 as a professional and 114 when he was an amateur. He defeated 15 champions throughout his career. He fought two exciting trilogies with his nemesis Marco Antonio Barrera and boxing’s current pound per pound king Manny Pacquiao. Those wars are surely taking its toll with Erik’s all out fighting style. He was always a crowd pleaser, an entertainer who is willing to die in the ring for the sake of people watching and getting their money’s worth.

Those power punches are still there. He can still hurt anybody with those looping shots. However, his reflexes are gradually getting slow. His mind is thinking of his next move but his body won’t cooperate that much anymore. He is already past his prime with his last and notable win was a unanimous decision against Manny Pacquiao way back in 2006.

Morales’s consolation would be, is that he is fighting someone who is 3 years older than him. Juan Manuel Marquez fought 58 fights, including two exciting and closed fight against Pacquiao. Between him and Morales, he has the fresher legs, the quicker reflexes and the power to knock Erik out. He last fought two younger fighters and dominated them in an astonishing fashion. He went to 12 full rounds against the bigger and faster Floyd Mayweather Jr. He doesn’t see Erik to be such a great threat. But it was a fight that he had to do. Long before everyone went to division hopping it was always the four great feather weights with Barrera, Marquez, Pacquiao and Marquez. Each boxer fought each other except for Marquez, who failed to land a fight against Morales.

Erik knows it’s a long and tough road ahead. This is a make or break fight with the perfect exclamation to his famed career. His once granite jaw has already softened and his tolerance to pain has suddenly become minimal but boxing is always a risk and as long as his power is still there. There will always be a chance. One punch can make a difference… He will be gunning for history-to be the only Mexican fighter to win four different weight titles. This is his last and only chance…

Erik covered with sweat. Stop and throw one solid punch in the air… 5 months… that’s all he needs to get his engine running.

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Jess Matthew Beltran

Jess has contributed a thousand plus articles to various international and local sports sites. He is still finishing up an e-book which talks about basketball and life. Message him at jess@sportsalchemist.com

Jess Matthew Beltran

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Jess has contributed a thousand plus articles to various international and local sports sites. He is still finishing up an e-book which talks about basketball and life. Message him at jess@sportsalchemist.com