Long Live El Terrible

By Michael Gonzalez


Long Live El Terrible

I thought Erik “El Terible” Morales was reinventing himself, just as his rival and fellow Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera had.  Winning rounds with precision punches set up by slick footwork and expert timing. In spots he was beating a stronger fighter he enjoyed a considerable skill advantage against, as guy beating a fellow with a middleweight using a lightweight in a video game.  I thought “Terible” could wring a few more out of his dehydrated, war ravished thirty-year-old body.
In the end, a determined David Diaz used his strength and conditioning advantage to get a unanimous decision and keep his WBC lightweight title.  And the boxing mad country of Mexico is still without a four-division champ, though the always game Morales was close, even knocking Diaz down in the first immediately after a Diaz rally – a “Terible” trademark.
Long live Erik Morales!  He was a true warrior and always met or exceeded the expectations of the public.  I would pay to see Morales fight a traffic violation, may he enjoy retirement knowing he will go down as a Mexican great.
Meanwhile, the same night different card, Israel Vasquez was all business in his efforts to demolish Rafael Marquez, who fought fiercely himself in a competitive, world-class war.  It was a the rematch of the spirited fight cut short after Marquez stamped Vasquez’s nose shut with an educated left after seven.  It was thought five months would not be enough to avoid the same result and Vasquez seemed to agree, pressuring Marquez from the jump.  Or it could have been that he felt his advantage in strength and resiliency would offset the advantage Marquez had in technique.  After being tested by the precision combination counterpunching of Marquez, Vasquez dropped Marquez and convinced ref Guadalupe Garcia that he had had enough.  Vasquez had added motivation to stop Marquez, as he had cuts that gave the illusion of a tiny vagina over each eye.  Although Marquez was still defending himself, he was only prolonging the inevitable.  The controversy from the stoppage will certainly compliment the abruptly ended first match in promoting the rubber match. 
Vasquez’s victory says a lot about Jhonny Gonzalez, who gave Vasquez all he could handle, knocking him down twice before being put down twice by the bigger Vasquez, forcing the corner to step in making his jump up to super-bantamweight from bantamweight for a title shot a bitter one. He will defend his WBO bantamweight title against wily Filipino vet Gerry Penalosa who is coming off of a controversial loss Mexico’s Daniel Ponce De Leon, a crude, power-punching windmill.  Penalosa, as Gonzalez did before him, lost in his trip up to 122 from 118 for a championship.  If Gonzalez can win and look good, he can definitely get in the mix with the interesting 122-pound division.
On the same card as the main event, which is being promoted as a Mexico vs. The Philippines world cup, Daniel Ponce De Leon will defend his WBO super-bantamweight strap against a young (21) and talented Rey Bautista.  Bautista looks to have a bright a future, but it seems too tough a test at this stage.  However, De Leon’s limited technique will give Bautista opportunities.
Finally, I hope the Vargas vs. Mayorga match is nothing like the interview before the Marquez vs. Vasquez fight – long and painfully awkward.


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