16.11.06 - By Onur Tezucar: There comes a time every year where you take a few moments to look down the boxing schedule and say to yourself, "I'd pay $50.00 to see that." This is one of them. On November 18, we will see something you rarely see these days, two fighters fighting for pride, honor and legacy. Both Manny Pacquiao (43-3-2, 33 KO's) and Erik Morales (48-4, 34 KO's), throughout their careers, have consistently fought the best opponents, never letting egos, contracts or fear impede their legacy in the annals of boxing history. Sure, they received handsome ransoms along the way, but never once did it alter there aggressive boxing styles.
Article posted on 16.11.2006
Not once did they shy away from contact, nor did they fail to entertain. These guys care about legacy. You will not see a washed up 35 year old Morales or Pacquiao trying to sell a C class pay-per-view event in Idaho, hence Roy Jones. Why? Because they fought the best at their primes and give you, the fans, everything their 130 pound bodies got.
They will not look back at their careers and say, "should of," "would of," "could of," because they did. Nobody can question them.
Now, with that said, on to the predictions. Pacquiao is the odds on favorite because of youth, power and stamina. I think stamina is a bit over rated in this fight. For one, Morales is allowed to weigh in at a catch weight of 132 lbs. I think this is a big mistake by the Pacquiao camp. This allows Morales some margin of error in making weight for a fight, where no margin of error is acceptable. What people tend to forget, however, is that before Morale's sea legs give out on him in the second fight, it was close. If Morales is to win this time, he must box Manny, while picking the most opportune times to engage, similar to the first fight.
Morales specializes in that, and will be smarter about conserving energy, keeping his legs underneath him a full 12 rounds, the third go around. Pacquiao can become very mechanical and predicable throughout the course of a fight. In the Marquez fight, once Marquez shook the cob webs off the 3 knock downs, and the fight got deeper in rounds, Marquez begun seeing repeat combination patterns and had ample countering opportunities, which he took advantage of. I see something similar here.
Pacquiao's power is a godsend at 130 lbs. He is the hardest hitting Junior Lightweight I've seen in a long time. However, Pacman seems to, over the years, become complacent, relying far too much on his power, foregoing improvements on his boxing skills. If Morales doesn't feel Pacquiao's power, it will be one tough Mexican mountaintop to climb. That's why I have the old dog boxing and countering his way on to one last razor sharp decision, 115-114, in an entertaining bout, that will cement Morales' legacy for all time.
So, have your best buds over, grab a case of beer and feel confident you will get your monies worth with this pay-per-view slam dunk.