Boxing


Erik Morales versus Antonio DeMarco would be a real treat for boxing fans!

by Geoffrey Ciani - Earlier last week while speaking to the press, reigning WBC junior welterweight champion Erik “El Terrible” Morales (52-7, 36 KOs) unveiled his future plans in boxing. First he intends to defend the vacated title he won in September against Pablo Cesar Cano when he became the first Mexican to win a major championship in four different weight classes. Then in 2012, Morales is eyeing a fifth division championship at 135 pounds. More specifically, he is targeting Antonio DeMarco (26-2-1, 19 KOs) who scored an impressive come from behind stoppage victory against Jorge Linares this past Saturday, which earned him the WBC lightweight crown. Should this fight come to fruition, boxing fans are undoubtedly in for a real treat!

DeMarco has historically been a slow starter, as was the case in his fight Saturday with Linares. He is a technically sound fighter who occasionally leaves something to be desired in terms of activity, but his heart and fighting spirit enable him to remain dangerous throughout the full twelve rounds as Linares learned the hard way. Following his typically slow start, DeMarco began finding his groove in the fifth and sixth rounds. Behind on the cards, he turned up the heat in the eleventh and drew Linares into a series of toe-to-toe exchanges, and ultimately prompted the referee to call a halt to the contest when a barrage of shots left Linares bloody, battered, and staggering. It was almost reminiscent of the way he stepped it up late in his exciting encounter against Almazbek “Kid Diamond” Raiymkulov two and a half years ago.

Like DeMarco, Morales has also been a rather slow starter since making his return to the ring in March 2010 following more than 30 months of inactivity. This was evident in Morales’ previous two contests against Marcos Maidana and Cano. Although Morales is nowhere near the fighter he was in his prime, he still occasionally shows flashes of his former brilliance and is able to dig down deep when the situation demands it. While he might not be the menacing “El Terrible” of old he still has tremendous ring smarts and outstanding boxing instincts. He does however appear to be fighting to his level of competition since his return.

A fight between Morales and DeMarco would most likely start out as a bit of a tactical chess match with each man gauging what the other is made of, as they test for weaknesses and look for openings that can be exploited as the match unfolds. After a round or two when these two typically warm up, fireworks are almost certain to ensue in what would ultimately turn into a fight of the year caliber encounter. The fact that both of these fighters have exhibited great toughness and determination and an ability to dig down and rise to the occasion when faced with adversity makes this a virtual dream match. You could expect to see some fantastic combination punching and a lot of heated exchanges. This one would also almost surely be the type of fight that has frequent shifts in momentum, where a good balance of tactical prowess and sheer explosiveness make for the type of fight that boxing fans hold in the highest regard.

Who would win this exciting showdown? A lot of that depends on how effective the 35 year old Morales can be at 135 pounds. With each and every fight since his return Morales has looked better physically, although he still seems a little soft around the midsection, which would seem to suggest that he should be able to make the lightweight limit without much issue and without it having a major impact on his ability to perform. Assuming Morales can comfortably make the adjustment in shedding five pounds, boxing fans will be in for a real treat if these two do square off. The winner might well be determined by whoever gets off to the faster start. Let us hope this one does get made, and the sooner the better.

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Article posted on 17.10.2011



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