Boxing


Pacquiao-Morales: The Exit Poll Predictions

01.03.05 – Two months into 2005, and already a “Fight of the Year” candidate has emerged – at least on paper. Can ERIK MORALES, a world champion in three different weight divisions, return to the winner’s circle for the 48th time in his 50-fight professional career or will he be stopped cold by the secret weapon MANNY PACQUIAO and trainer Freddie Roach have devised for “El Terrible” – the dreaded “Manila Ice?” One thing is for sure, the winner of this mega fight will see his stock soar to the top of the mythical Pound-for-Pound list.

Promoted by Top Rank and M&M Sports, this super featherweight debate gets settled, Saturday, March 19 at the MGM Grand, The City of Entertainment, in Las Vegas, NV. HBO PPV will televise it live beginning at 9 P.M. ET / 6 P.M. PT.

Tickets for this exciting evening of boxing are priced at $400, $300, $200, $125 and $75, and are on sale at the MGM Grand Box Office and all TicketMaster outlets. To order tickets by phone, call (702) 632-7580. But until then, let the chads fall where they may. Here are the results of the media exit poll:


“Seeing the way Pacquiao destroyed Marco Antonio Barrera, and dropped Juan Manuel Marquez before fighting him to a draw, I just can't go against the Filipino. Morales is tough enough that he will go the full 12, but Pacquiao should win a comfortable decision.”
Armando Alvarez, MaxBoxing.com


"I'm taking Morales by decision. You can't count out Pacquiao's chances because of his big punch, but I think Morales can outbox him."
Carlos Arias, Orange County Register


“I will pick Morales to win by decision -- after they blast each other around pretty good. That is if Morales boxes a little more -- if he slugs it out completely, I might lean toward the Pac Man -but I will say Morales by decision.”
Al Bernstein, 1988 BWAA Broadcast Journalist of the Year


“I like Morales. He is a good boxer with a great right hand and I believe he is better on the inside than Pacquiao.”
Dan Birmingham, 2004 BWAA “Trainer of the Year”


“The Pac Man by TKO 9. He is hungrier, and has Freddie Roach in his corner.”
Teddy Blackburn, The Fist (Australia)


“Five years ago, this would have been a different story. But in 2005, Manny puts Erik on his fanny. Pacquiao in seven."
Ted Bodenrader, The Ring


“I like Pacquiao by decision. Morales is strong and will do some damage but he still gets hit too much and Pacquiao will be there to hit him.”
Ron Borges, Boston Globe


“Erik Morales has been a very good fighter. However, his last three-four fights have been very hard, therefore, he's been wearing out. Now it's Pacquiao’s time and because of his speed and punching power, he should knockout Morales in no more than eight rounds.”
Oscar Borras, 20 de Mayo


“Morales...I was in a minority of one ...thought he shaded Barrera last time up. Only worry is that he has not allowed himself enough recuperation, accepting this job at least a month too early. Still take him to confirm his worth.”
Freddie Burcombe, News of the World (London)


“This really is a pick 'em contest. Morales looked strangely lethargic in his rubber match with Barrera, which doesn't bode well against the fast hands and accurate punches of the thrill-a-minute Pacquiao. But I don't believe we are witnessing a decline in the skills of 'El Terrible', Barrera simply has Morales' number. Pacquiao to start fast, but Morales to use his considerable experience to eke out a close, maybe unpopular, decision with a late rally.”
Mark G. Butcher, SecondsOut.com


“If Erik Morales doesn’t let his “machismo” take over and get into a slugfest with Manny Pacquiao early on … I think he has the skills to beat the Filipino champion. Morales definitely has something to prove and will come into the bout knowing he can’t afford another loss if he wants yet –another—shot at Marco Antonio Barrera. And,of course … Pacquiao will come out aggressive and gunning. But, I think at this point in his career, Morales has more to lose with a loss than Pacquiao. Morales realizes that, so …. He will be prepared, and prevail …in 12 rounds.”
Paul Cicala, KTNV-TV (ABC Las Vegas)


“Pick 'em all the way. At even money, a threadbare edge to Morales. If there's a flood of money either way on fight night, take the value with whomever becomes the underdog and root along with the house. The only shock here is if this one doesn't have the fans jumping out of their seats from bell to bell.”
Dave “The Thermometer” Cokin, ESPN Radio-Las Vegas


“Morales withstands a load of punishment and wears Pac-Man down, putting him on the canvas in the 10th and eking out a split decision victory rife with controversy.”
John Cotey, St. Petersburg Times


“I like Pacquiao by decision in an all-action fight.”
Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press & Author of Fight Town


“Pacquiao makes Marco Antonio Barrera look as though he's punching under water, and we saw how Barrera handled Morales last time. Pacman's too fast and too sharp a hitter for Morales, and he'll win by clear decision, if not late stoppage. Pacquiao by W 12.”
Bill Dettloff, The Ring


“Pacquiao, TKO 10, in what should be one of the most exciting bouts of the year!”
George Diaz, Orlando Sentinel


“Morales by decision, unless he catches Pacquiao with a left hook followed by a straight right, which will result in a “good night” for Pacquiao. However, if Pacquiao puts a lot of pressure on Morales, Pacquiao could be the winner. Nonetheless, I see a different Morales coming to the fight after the loss to Barrera. Morales by decision.”
José Duarte, PuroBoxeo.com


“I can’t see Pacquiao stopping Morales but I think his speed of attack may very well earn him a close decision after 12 entertaining rounds.”
Ant Evans, SecondsOut.com


“Talk about a hard fight to call! Morales brings so much poise and big fight experience as well as the heart and skill of a champion. Pacquiao, on the other hand, is just non-stop energy and is relentless with his assault. If Morales doesn’t find a way to stop him early, Pacquiao will wear him down and maybe even knock him out in the ninth or tenth round. Either way, I’m going with Pac Man.
Dennis Evans, KTNV-TV (ABC Las Vegas)


“I like Morales because he's bigger and there's no reason to think he can't take Manny's monster shots. Remember, after a disastrous start, JM Marquez did very well against Pacquiao. Morales is as tough as anybody in the game. Mexico on points.”
Steve Farhood, 2002 BWAA Broadcast Journalist of the Year


“Pacquiao TKO 10 in another great two-way slugfest.”
Bernard Fernandez, Daily News (Philadelphia)


“Pacquiao could have an advantage with his hand speed and his southpaw style, which might bother Morales. So why is there a strange whispering in my ear telling me Morales wins? He's taller than Pacquiao and he's been fighting at a heavier weight than Pacquiao, though only by a few pounds. This is a tough pick and I don't see either fighter quitting, but I'm picking Morales by close decision.”
Rick Folstad, TheSweetScience.com


“Pacquiao wins by sixth-round TKO. Morales' lack of quickness got him beat
against Barrera. If he doesn’t land a KO blow within the first two rounds,
it'll destroy him against Pacquiao.”
Norm Frauenheim, The Arizona Republic


“Pacquiao (10th Round Stoppage) - The ring battles he's been in may have finally caught up with Morales. If they have, Pacquiao is the man to take full advantage, but it will be a thriller while it lasts.”
Scott Fyfe, Sunday Post (Scotland)


“I continue to resist the temptation to jump on the band wagon and will go with "El Terrible" Erik Morales. He has displayed a willingness to fight the difficult fighters throughout his career and will be up to the challenge of facing the ever aggressive Pac-Man. Morales by a split decision.”
Ron “G-man” Gerrard, American Urban Radio Networks


“Two devastating punchers often go the distance against each other. So why make it complicated? They're both devastating punchers and terrific fighters,so the edge goes to the bigger terrific fighter. Morales by decision.”
Ivan Goldman, The Ring / KO Magazines


“Regardless of his last bout with Marco Antonio Barrera, where he lost by decision, I believe Erik Morales still has the strengths to win against Manny Pacquiao. The only doubt that I have is if it will be by KO. Morales has not knocked out a ‘big name’ since he was a featherweight.”
Ramiro González, La Opinión


“Pacquiao by late KO. Manny throws many many punches and Morales catches too many punches. I think Morales, although one of the best that have ever fought, might have seen his best days.”
Butch Gottlieb, BoxinginLasVegas.com


“While Morales has tremendous boxing skills, the speed, power and rugged aggression of Pacquiao will make the difference. Both men are true warriors, but expect trainer Freddie Roach to have his fighter peaking at the right time. Pacquiao TKO 10.”
Jeff Haney, Las Vegas Sun


“Morales is probably still spitting feathers after losing to Barrera No doubt, he will be anxious to reassert himself as one of the best fighters in the world. Pacquiao will find Morales too big and strong for him and I take Erik to win by decision.”
Colin Hart, The Sun (London)


“I will have to go with Morales weathering the early storm and winning by decision in a terrific fight. I think Morales' chin gets him through. I also could see Pacqiao getting frustrated in this fight.”
Jay Heater, Contra Costa Times


“Manny is skillful and in my opinion one of the hardest hitters in the featherweight division. Erik is no push over, but I'll give the slight edge to Manny for the simple fact of his power along with his speed. He can hit you fast and hit you hard, and I think that will add up against Morales. I'll go out on a limb and say Pac Man by 10th round TKO.”
Benny Henderson, Jr., DoghouseBoxing.com


“Pacquiao KOs Morales in a stunner. Morales has been in one too many battles. Manny will do the same to Morales as he did to Barrera.”
JD Hernandez, World Wide Boxing


“Pacquiao is the faster man and the more explosive puncher, but Morales is the steadier of the two. He will be able to withstand Pacquiao's bursts of punches and outwork him to win a close decision.”
Jack Hirsch, Ring Sports Magazine


“I think Pacquiao has the combination of speed and power that will give Morales problems similar to those of Barrera vs. Pacquiao. Morales' chances improve if he gets Pacquiao deep into the fight, but I think most scenarios favor Pacquiao. My pick is Pacquiao TKO 9.”
Michael Hirsley, Chicago Tribune


“Morales, who is too tough for a one-dimensional lefty, by decision.”
Richard Hoffer, Sports Illustrated


“Unlike Barrera, Morales won't be taken by surprise by the Pac-Man's hell-bent-for-leather southpaw attack and will most likely watch tape on how Juan Manuel Marquez was able to eventually expose Pacquiao as a mostly one-dimensional slugger. No doubt about it, Pacquiao will force the fight and he is dangerous. But, as a natural flyweight, Pacquiao carries most of his weight in his legs and the more versatile Morales will have a size and height advantage to go with a flexible game plan. If Morales lets machismo overrule prudence, there will be a mushroom cloud in the ring. But I expect 'El Terrible' to turn into "El Inteligente" and take a smart, pretty exciting 12-round win over Pacquiao.”
Mike Houser, Nevada Appeal


“Morales will be a junior welter by the time the two men step into the ring but despite this major weight advantage over a natural featherweight I think Pacquiao's speed and athleticism will make the difference ... Pacquiao by decision.”
Graham Houston, Boxing Monthly


“Pacquiao by unanimous decision. Morales has a huge heart and a great chin, but Pacquiao's pressure should help him overcome Morales' size advantage at 130 pounds. Plus, Pacquiao and Barrera back-to-back, within a four-month span no less, might make Morales wear down late in what should be a close fight.”
Keith Idec, Herald News (New Jersey)


“Morales by decision. I've really struggled with the decisionand consulted with experts such as world famous sports writer Jack Welsh. In the end, it's just a guess.”
Kevin Iole, Las Vegas Review-Journal


“Pacquiao by decision.”
Jim Jenkins, Sacramento Bee


“Manny Pacquiao showed everyone what he was made against Barrera and Marquez, but now he's stepping up to 130 pounds, Morales' turf. Morales is too strong and crafty a boxer and won't come into this match as flat as Barrera was against Pacquiao. There will be a lot of fireworks in this bout, and only one man will be left standing at the end: Morales, after an ninth-round TKO.”
Michael Katz, The Detroit News


“Pacquiao, probably in nine hellacious rounds.”
Mike Katz, MaxBoxing.com


“Morales by unanimous decision over Pacquiao”.
Patrick Kehoe, SecondsOut.Com


“Pac Man by decision. I like his speed and quickness to win this bout.”
Steve Kim, MaxBoxing.Com


“Pac Man by decision.”
George Kimball, Boston Herald


“Pacquiao KO11. Pac-Man is way too strong for Morales. Just look at his legs!!!! And he's got Freddie Roach in the corner.”
Pat Knighton, ESPN


“Morales by decision”
Doug Krikorian, Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA)


“Manny by KO 7.”
Jeff Lacy, undefeated IBF Super Middleweight Champion


“Manny by majority decision.”
Franz Lidz, Sports Illustrated


“Morales by KO 7. While the energy and power of Manny Pacquiao cannot be denied, what will happen when he faces Morales who is well nestled into the junior lightweight division and really should be fighting as a lightweight? Morales has faced the better competition and needs to rebound after a second loss to Barrera. Don't bury Tijuana's favorite pugilistic son and look for him to knock-out Pacquiao in the seventh.”
Ricardo Lois, Boxeomundial.com


“Pacquiao by decision. No way El Terrible can handle Manila Ice. ”
Thom Loverro, The Washington Times


“I am going to go with Erik Morales by a unanimous decision. Due to his big fight experience and the fact that a second loss in a row would be devastating, Morales will find a way to win. I'm not taking anything away from Manny Pacquiao but the Juan Manuel Marquez fight did leave me wondering
and Morales is a huge step up.”
Ed Ludwig, BraggingRightsCorner.com


“I gotta go with Manny Pacquiao. I like his speed, toughness and tenacity. Plus, he is from The Philippines. I like any Filipino to win.”
Chris Maathuis, KLAS-TV (Las Vegas CBS)


“Pacquaio-Morales is a tough one to pick. I see this as a slugfest with both men having their moments, and lots of them. I picture both fighters hurt, and free-flowing blood. In fact, hide the women and children. At the end of 12 brutal rounds, Erik Morales will have his hand raised with a unanimous decision victory.”
Rich Marotta, TV Boxing Analyst / KFI & XTRA Sports Radio (LA)


“Erik Morales in another close decision. This fight will truly be a war. However, there's one factor we must take into consideration; Erik Morales seemingly takes two rounds before he gets into the fight and that could spell disaster for him against a fighter like Manny Pacquiao, who starts throwing punches from the dressing room.”
Efrain Martinez, KINC-TV (Las Vegas Univision)


“Pacquiao has become the poster boy for fearless punching. But you have to wonder if he understands the pressure Morales is constantly under. When Pacquiao could not finish Marquez, it fueled speculation about strength. Morales will definitely not go away. Morales on a decision.”
Joe Maxse, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)


“Pacquiao in 11. With each move upward, Pacquiao's power has followed. On the other hand, Morales' power peaked at 126.”
Franklin McNeil, Star-Ledger (Newark)


“Morales will win by decision.”
Gunnar Meinhardt, German Press Agency


“Manny wins. Morales needs a rest, and the Pac-man is the wrong guy to take on after what Morales has been through his last few fights!”
Larry Michael, WestwoodOne Radio /Ballroom Boxing


“This is one of the most evenly matched big bouts in recent memory. Usually with almost every fight, I have some idea who will win (even if I’m wrong). However, this one has me perplexed. Only because I’ve been “boxed” into a corner, I’ll go with Morales by decision.”
Bob Mladinich, Boxing Digest / The Fist


“Erik Morales via unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao.”
Robert Morales, Los Angeles Daily News Group


“So many variables and unknowns heading into this fight. Can Morales keep going to the well? Is he draining too much from his body to stay at 130 lbs? Conversely, is Pacquiao going too far, too fast, fighting at 130 when not so very long ago he was a bantamweight? Both fighters are made for each other, in that each man loves to fight face-first fighters, and both are face-first fighters -- although both have much better boxing skills than they are given credit for. It'll be a tough, close, action fight, so close that I'm going to cheat and pick a draw.”
Kieran Mulvaney, BoxinginLasVegas.com / TigerBoxing.com


“I think this will be Pacquiao-Barrera all over again, with Manny dominating en route to a late-round stoppage. Morales' skills have been deteriorating over the past few fights, and Pacquiao will be much too fast for him.”
Steve Nelson, Kuffler News Service


“Morales TKO 11 in a brawl.”
Jorge Ortiz, San Francisco Chronicle


“Morales by decision.”
Tony Paige, WFAN Radio (New York)


“I see Pacquiao drawing Morales into a war from the opening bell. Morales has a torrid first four rounds but then his boxing takes over and he stops Pacquiao late in the fight (round 10 or 11). Accuracy and controlled pressure wins the day.”
Graham Pearman, Boxing-central.com


“I like Pacquiao by decision. He's just too fast and aggresive while Morales has to show the effects of so many wars lately. Morales should always be dangerous, though, especially as Pacquiao slows down in the last few rounds.”
Jorge Pérez, El Nuevo Día (San Juan, Puerto Rico)


“Pacquiao late TKO victory, possibly stopped because of a cut.”
Santos Perez, Miami Herald


“Morales for me.”
Jeff Powell, Daily Mail (London)


“Morales in a career-defining dogfight, probably by late TKO. He has a great straight right hand and more one-punch power, which Barrera lacked to keep Pac Man honest. I have no doubt that Morales will be hurt in this fight, but he's only been floored once in a career of tough fights and is naturally much bigger. Pacquiao is a mini-Trinidad, but he runs into his Bernard Hopkins here against Morales”
Jason Probst, MaxBoxing.com


“I have complete confidence that Pacquiao will win by decision.”
Pat Putnam, Sports Illustrated Emeritus / thesweetscience.com


“Morales is bigger, stronger, tougher and has a better chin than Pacquiao. Those qualities will carry him through a close, sensational fight. He just better watch out for that left hand. Morales W12.“
Dan Rafael, ESPN.com


“Speed is not Morales' best asset, and world-class guys who have better hand speed than him--like Barrera--give him major problems. Pacquiao is probably the fastest fighter Morales has ever faced,
and I expect the Filipino to zip in those quick left hands all night long, ride out a few scary moments when Morales' strength and power come to the fore, and capture a unanimous decision. Pacquiao W 12.”
Eric Raskin, The Ring


“Pacquioa's power is his only weapon. In Morales you have solid offensive skills and good defensive movement. I see Morales hitting the canvas in the early rounds but coming back to dominate the second-half of the fight. Morales W12 Pacquiao.
John Raygoza, 15rounds.com


“Pacquiao has the speed and skill to defeat Morales. The later rounds will probably determine the fight, but I predict a TKO by Pac-Man.”
Carlos Rivera, KCOX News-TV (Los Angeles)


“Morales, in a close one, going the distance.”
Sharon Robb, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel


“Viva Morales!”
Mitch Roberts, KVBC-TV (NBC Las Vegas)


“Morales by unanimous decision. Pacquiao was exposed as limited in his bout against Juan Manuel Marquez. Morales is too good a boxer for him. Pacquiao's only chance is a lucky punch or two.”
Michael Rosenthal, San Diego Union-Tribune


“Morales on a late-round stoppage. I believe that he will weather his rival's early intensity and start picking his shots and being accurate down the stretch.”
Lem Satterfield, The Baltimore Sun


"Morales is such a lion, but I think I like Pacquiao in this by split decision."
John Scheinman, Ballroom Boxing / The Washington Post


“Morales by decision.”
Ed Schuyler, Jr., Associated Press Emeritus


“This will be a war and will go the distance but until I see Manny Pacquiao actually lose a real close fight to Morales, I'll take Pacquiao to win every time. Manny will win a tough fight but by a unanimous decision.”
Colonel Bob Sheridan, International Commentator


“After what he did to Barrera, can you ever doubt the Pac Man? Pacquiao 10th round TKO.”
Tim Smith, Daily News (New York)


“Morales by decision.”
Steve Springer, Los Angeles Times


“Manny completely outmanned and manhandled Marco Antonio Barrera when they fought in Nov. 2003. Erik Morales is in for some of the same. Pacquaio by decision.”
William Stickney, Houston Chronicle


“Pacquiao has some of the best power I've seen out of the lighter weights. He will win with a knockout inside of five rounds.”
Rick Strasser, KVBC-TV (NBC Las Vegas)


“Love Pacquiao's vibrant style, but I think he's a bit too one dimensional.Morales's experience, a la his wars with MAB, have taught him much. I'll take Morales via TKO in 8.”
Tim Struby, ESPN The Magazine


“Morales (majority decision). After round 1 against Marquez, Pacquiao had his hands full for the remainder of their fight. Morales is coming off a tough loss, and will have the pride factor kick in. I think both fighters will trade plenty of bombs, but I see Morales landing a higher percentage.”
Trae Thompson, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram


“Pacquiao by decision.”
Felix “Tito” Trinidad, Three-Time World Champion


“Morales by decision.”
Felix Trinidad, Sr., 1995 / 2000 BWAA “Trainer of the Year”


“On paper, as Manny Pacquiao convincingly defeated Marco Antonio Barrera, who in turn beat Erik Morales in their third fight, you would naturally expect Pacquiao to win this fight. But boxing bouts are not fought on paper and I expect the bigger Erik Morales to win a 12-round points decision, in a very entertaining and exciting fight."
Paul Upham, Secondsout.com


“Morales wins yet another grueling war flooring Pacquiao in the later rounds as Morales finds a home for his left uppercut and right hand in the mid rounds.”
German Villasenor, BoxingGladiators.com


“Erik Morales in a close decision.”
Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News


“This should be a great fight. Morales' length could pose a problem, but Pacquiao's aggression wins out. Manny in late TKO.”
John Whisler, Express-News (San Antonio)


“Morales isn’t physically strong enough to make the jump in weight for Pac Man an issue. Erik gives up his height and falls into uppercuts ad nauseum. If Manny has the patience to let Morales trap himself, Manny’s speed and strength will be too much to overcome. Pacquiao W 12”
Johnnie Whitehead, The Ring / KO Magazines


"Morales by decision. Pacquiao will look good early, might even score a knockdown. But Morales needs this fight to re-establish himself and will dominate later rounds and win on heart and smarts.”
George Willis, New York Post


“Pacquiao by late KO.”
Winky Wright, first undisputed 154 Pound Champion in 29 Years


FINAL TALLY: MORALES 54 / PACQUIAO 51 / DRAW 1

Article posted on 01.03.2005



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