Erik Morales: “Technically I have always known that I am better than Manny Pacquiao”

erik moralesby Geoffrey Ciani - This past week’s edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with three division champion Erik “El Terrible” Morales. “El Terrible” was last seen inside the squared circle when he lost a somewhat controversial decision at the hands of David Diaz back in August 2007. This Saturday night Morales returns to the ring for the first time in a fight against former WBA lightweight champion Jose Alfaro. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

On coming back after nearly a two and a half year layoff:
“Yes, the rest was very good for me because I had a lot of physical fights and now, after two years, I feel well rested so things will turn out different for me.”

Regarding his thoughts on coming back:
“For me it is very important to give all of my heart inside the ring. I’ve always been able to accomplish that because I have always had the public behind me and that’s why I want to invite everyone on the 27th because it’s going to be no exception—it’s also going to be a great, great fight..

Regarding his last fight where he suffered a disputed loss against David Diaz:
“The fight with David Diaz I did not lose. I think the judges beat me and psychologically for me it was not good for me in that moment, but now I am ready.”

On the controversial decision he lost in his rematch with Marc Antonio Barrera:
“I felt that in the first fight I was very, very happy because I won the fight. Barrera was very, very sad because he thought he won and they didn’t give it to him. In the second one, I thought for sure I had won that fight. I was celebrating like I had just won and Barrera never ever celebrated because he knew that even though they gave him the victory he could not celebrate. To me the most important thing in each of my fights is that all of the people that came to watch me fight are leaving happy that they saw a great fight leaving the arena. It doesn’t matter if I won or lost because I want those people to be entertained because they paid for those tickets.”

On being the last person to defeat current pound for pound King Manny Pacquiao:
“When I first fought him it was at 130 pounds. The second time he would not give me the chance to fight at 132 pounds and now he is fighting at 147 and I am coming back to fight at 147 also. I’m hoping that at a time not too long from now when the people see I can still do great, great things in the ring, I’m hoping that Manny Pacquiao will give me the chance to show he’s not the best in the world, because what I remember after twelve rounds is Manny Pacquiao crying—and crying and crying and crying because he knew about the beating he had just taken and he knew at that time there was somebody technically better than him. He had to find some way to be at an advantage to try and control me. That’s the way history was written, but here I am—brand new.”

On what he would do differently if he was to have a fourth fight with Pacquiao:
“The first time I fought him I just went right through him. The second time I went through him until the middle part of the fight but then I just ran out of steam and the third time I was just not able to, but now—I really value my condition more than ever before and so therefore now, I feel that I will show him I am much better than him. Technically I have always known that I am better than Manny Pacquiao, but now physically—that technicality and that skill and conditioning are all one and the same.”

Regarding his plan to compete in the welterweight division:
“I feel I can fight at welterweight easily. I can fight Pacquiao, I can fight (Juan Manuel) Marquez who has already fought at 147, and I can fight (Miguel) Cotto. I can fight any of those guys easily at 147 pounds. I feel very, very confident there.”

His views on Juan Manuel Marquez as a fighter:
“I’ve talked to Golden Boy about the possibility of fighting Juan Manuel Marquez. I think he’s a complete fighter, he’s an excellent fighter, but by the same token—there’s been Barrera and me, there’s been Pacquiao and me, there’s been all of those people with me but the one name missing is Juan Manuel Marquez. I am looking forward for the chance to fight Marquez.”

On whether he was disappointed he never got the opportunity to face Prince Naseem Hamed:
“Not at all. I’ve created my own legacy with the great fighters that I have fought so I never really needed Naseem Hamed and after he lost to Barrera he just disappeared.”

Regarding the story behind how he first started using the “El Terrible” moniker:
“Let it be told, that nickname was not given to me as a fighter but it was because I was so mischievous out in the street and it was actually given to me in the street.”

On Manny Pacquiao’s recent run of success in the higher weight classes:
“First of all, I respect all the hard work that Manny Pacquiao has put in with scaling the different weight divisions and showing tremendous dominance. For my particular taste, those fights were not a pleasure because they seemed way too easy and it defies logic how easily Pacquiao was able to win all of those fights.”

On whether he thinks rumors circulating about Pacquiao taking any illegal substances have any basis in truth:
“ I’m not really there so I don’t really know. I guess a lot of times when you don’t fear anything you’re willing to take anything or any of that stuff, but the bottom line is I don’t really know anything about that stuff so it’s not really for me to go ahead and decide.”

On what he considers to be his most complete performance:
“Obviously, winning my first title. I’ve had so many great moments. Winning my first title was one of them. The second being when I fought and unified the titles against Barrera, and of course, when I fought Pacquiao because everybody thought he was the best 130 pound fighter in the world and so therefore going in there, and also winning my third world title. They have all been great moments for me.”

On being a part of the famous trilogy with Marco Antonio Barrera:
“Basically we both had a warrior mentality where we both came in and gave it everything we had. That was the thing that united us in the ring—the will and the warrior mentality to give it everything that we had.”

Regarding whether or not he received any added satisfaction in his win over Junior Jones because Jones twice bested Barrera:
“Obviously, there have been two opponents that have been very, very important in my career. One of them of course as you just mentioned, was Junior Jones who had beaten 32 Mexicans before he got to me and so to go ahead and put a beating on him and beat him, that was a tremendous pleasure. Then after that it was Manny Pacquiao. Being the first Mexican fighter to ever beat Manny Pacquiao, that was a tremendous pleasure and also because of how many other Mexican fighters Pacquiao has beaten. So those have been the two fighters that are so, so important for my career.”

On whether he would ever consider having a fourth fight with Barrera:
“No, not really. I feel that Marco Antonio Barrera is retired and that he is now done with boxing—especially not at 147 pounds, I don’t think Barrera would ever want that.”

Regarding how he would ultimately like to be remembered by boxing fans:
“Like they’ve always known me—as a great, great warrior who gives his heart in the ring.”

On how he feels he will perform in his next fight against Jose Alfaro:
“First of all, I’m quicker than ever. I feel very comfortable at this weight because I feel I can let it all go. I can let it all go in the ring and I’m going up against a guy who was a world champion. He’s a tremendous, tremendous puncher and he’s a very young guy so he’s going to be anxious to make great fight so therefore it’s going to make for a great, great fight—but, I am more than ready for the task. Whatever is in front of me I am more than ready to show the world that I am back.”

Regarding his future plans in the event he beats Alfaro:
“First of all, the number one thing is that when I go in there the people are going to go ahead and rate me. So I am waiting for the people to go ahead and rate me and let them decide who, in fact, they would like to see me fight. So on your radio show or anything like that if you have some suggestions after the fight, let everybody decide what level I am fighting and let everyone voice their opinion and then they can pick who I fight next.”

His official prediction on his upcoming fight with Alfaro:
“We’re going to make a great, great fight—a beautiful fight—but we’re going to win.”


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Article posted on 26.03.2010

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