Boxing


Morales-Alfaro March 27th - Exclusive Interview With Jose Alfaro - "I Honestly Think I Can KO Morales"

by James Slater - As his fans know, Mexican three-weight champion Erik Morales is set to return to action on March 27th in his homeland after a two-plus year inactive spell. As has always been the case with "El Terrible," the 33-year-old who is currently 48-6(34) is not in any way looking to do things the easy way when he makes his comeback.

Not only will Morales - the last man to have beaten the exceptional Manny Pacquiao - be fighting at his highest weight yet (the March fight is to contest the vacant WBC International welterweight title, according to BoxRec), he will also be going in with a most legitimate foe: a former lightweight titlist, no less!

26-year-old Jose Alfaro of Nicaragua, 23-5(20), is a former WBA lightweight champion and he is sure he will be too young, too hungry and too good for Morales towards the end of this month. Alfaro, nicknamed "Quiebra Jicara," may be coming in off a stoppage loss to Antonio DeMarco (October last year), but he is massively eager to prove that that loss was him at nothing like his best, and the seven year younger man also wishes to become a champion all over again - and he thinks maybe a win over Morales may help him get there.

Very kindly taking the time out to answer the following questions (via his manager Silvio Conradok), Jose had the following answers to my questions recently:


James Slater: It's a pleasure to be able to speak with you, Jose - and thanks go out to Silvio, of course. You must be delighted to be facing a legend like Erik Morales?

Jose Alfaro: Yes, it's a huge opportunity for me. It is the chance to face a boxer of enormous talent and reputation. I respect Morales as a boxer, for all that he has accomplished, but inside the ring there will be no respect.

J.S: Have you been a fan of Morales' over the years?

J.A: Definitely. He defines everything that a Latino boxer should be like. He is a brave fighter who has been in truly epic battles. He has defeated the best that the world has to offer. I feel really privileged to be able to share a ring with him.

J.S: Did you ever feel you would fight Morales one day?

J.A: It was my dream! I never imagined that it would [actually] happen, but luckily it did. I am pumped up for this fight.

J.S: You are so much the younger fighter and you are a natural lightweight (whereas Morales has had just one fight above 130-pounds; a loss), has Morales made a mistake in taking you on?

J.A: I honestly think he has. I am younger and I am stronger. I have been a world champion before and I know what it takes to be successful. I think that his prolonged inactivity, his age, and the 50-odd fights he has had, and the huge amount of weight he will be forced to lose in order to fight, will take a huge toll on him.

J.S: This will be your first fight in Mexico: Are you nervous or excited?

J.A: Both. If I had to choose one, however, I would say that I am excited. I have fought abroad before, in places like Argentina, USA, Japan and Germany. This fight will be nothing new to me. This will be my first fight in Mexico and I will be fighting against their [Mexico's] idol. I am really excited about this!

J.S: Do you expect a hostile crowd then?

J.A: I am used to that. The crowd is always hostile. Even in my home country of Nicaragua, I sometimes have to deal with hostile crowds. I know that in Mexico I can expect a lot of hostility - I know that they will be rooting for Morales and not me. The first time he hits the floor, however, they will be silent.

J.S: What would you say was the best win of your pro career so far?

J.A: My best win is either my (May 2007, 8th-round) TKO victory over former WBO champ DeMarcus Corley, or my (Dec 2007, 12-round split decision) win over Prawett Singwancha of Thailand, where I was able to win the WBA [135-pound] crown. In both cases, both fighters had a much better record than I did, but I came way with a victory.

J.S: Your last fight, when you lost to Antonio DeMarco - what went wrong for you?

J.A: Everything went wrong in that fight! I am ashamed of the way I fought. I could've given a lot more inside the ring [in that fight]. DeMarco is very good, but I should not have lost to him. I did not pay attention to my corner. I did things different from the game-plan they had established and I wound up paying the price. This fight with Morales will be my way to fix things. I want to straighten out my career.

J.S: Of course, you have already reigned as a WBA champion; do you think a win over Morales will take you to another title shot?

J.A: Good question. I do not know - it could open some interesting doors. A victory will definitely make me more popular. My managers have gotten me good opportunities, I know that a win here will make their job a whole lot easier.

J.S: At age 26, you feel you have plenty left to offer?

J.A: I still do, but I can't afford to waste any more opportunities. I messed up against Yusuke Kobori (TKO by 3, May 2008 - lost WBA lightweight title) and I messed up big time against DeMarco. I can't keep wasting opportunities. I have around five more years in my career. I need to make the most of it.

J.S: If you get past Morales, who would you most like next?

J.A: I would like a second crack at DeMarco or Yusuke Kobori. I really feel bad about those two fights. I know I did not live up to the expectations of my team.

J.S: It's been a pleasure speaking with you and your manager. For my final question, do you feel you will KO Morales?

J.A: Some people will think I am crazy, but I honestly think I can KO Morales. Morales is now what he used to be anymore. He will always have a big heart, but I think the physical tools are no longer there. I think he will bring his A-game, I think it will be a tough fight for both of us; but I am confident I will be the victor.

Article posted on 10.03.2010



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