Boxing


Erik Morales Defeats Jose Alfaro: But How Far Can The Comeback Go?

moralesby James Slater - In the days leading up to last night's return bout, Mexican legend Erik Morales vowed he would quit the ring for good if he could not defeat Jose Alfaro. Well, in coming back after a two-and-a-half year layoff, "El Terrible" proved he has at least something left at age 33. Winning a hard-fought, exciting battle with the former WBA lightweight champion, the former three-weight titlist prevailed by a UD: the scores were 117-111, 116-112,116-112.

Morales, who weighed-in at around 148-pounds for his return, is now 49-6(34). 26-year-old Alfaro of Nicaragua, who had also promised a win and fought hard trying to get one, is now 23-6(20).

No-one really knew what to expect going into last night's WBC intercontinental welterweight bout held in Monterrey, Mexico. Many felt Morales - who complained after his last fight back in 2007, against David Diaz, that he had pains in his head due to the punches he'd taken in the lightweight points loss - was running the risk of being badly hurt or embarrassed by returning to the ring.

This was not the case last night (although the win was a far from easy one for Morales, and at times the action was quite brutal, with both men trading furiously) and Morales proved he still has some fire in his belly.. But what does the future hold? No doubt, having successfully cleared the hurdle of his initial comeback bout, Morales will fight again pretty soon. But though the beloved warrior, who looked a little "chubby" as a welterweight, showed he has enough left to remind his fans of the incredible ability he once had, his talk of meeting Manny Pacquiao in a fourth fight still disturbs.

Beating the smaller Alfaro is one thing (but, to be fair, some people did tip the younger man to get the win last night), but how will Morales cope with an elite welterweight or light-welterweight? Craving his place in the history books, and feeling he can get it by becoming the first Mexican boxer to win world titles at four different weights, Morales will possibly have one more fight against a good opponent, before going for a title.

As popular as he is, Morales is likely to get his chance; but who against? "El Terrible" also spoke of a fight with countryman (and WBO lightweight champ) Juan Manuel Marquez. But Morales looks to have a hard time ahead of him if he's to make 135-pounds, and Marquez looks set to face Juan Diaz in a return of their great fight next in any case.

On the whole, Morales deserves credit for last night's fan-friendly victory (has this guy ever been in a bad fight!) but the fears his admirers felt when his return was first announced are still there.

Article posted on 29.03.2010



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