Maidana-Morales Tonight - Can “El Terrible” Score The Upset?

By James Slater: Not long to go now, a matter of hours in fact, before Argentine banger Marcos Maidana will clash with Mexican legend Erik Morales for the vacant interim WBA 140-pound strap in Las Vegas. We’ve all heard or read about the concerns some people have for 34-year-old Morales ahead of tonight’s big fight, and people such as promoter Bob Arum and former featherweight king Barry McGuigan have voiced their concerns openly.

There are others, though, who feel the great “El Terrible” will be able to somehow reach back in time and put on one last great fight. Unbeaten star Saul Alvarez, the new WBC light-middleweight champ, is one of the experts who is predicting a Morales win.

“I believe Morales will do it again and come away victorious,” Canelo said, as quoted by “It will be a real battle, but I know Morales will win this fight. I know the spirit of the Mexican fighter and Morales is the best example of that spirit and style. It will be too much for Maidana in the end.”

A bold prediction to be sure, but is Alvarez guilty of merely rooting for his countryman? Irish hero McGuigan, writing in his regular column in The Mirror, has said the sheer heart of Morales may see to it that he is “still standing at the end,” before adding “but at what cost?” And it is a legitimate worry. Who can forget the way WBC boss Jose Suliaman reported how Morales complained of headaches after his 2007 loss to David Diaz? Now, his skills even further eroded, Morales faces the lethal Maidana up at 140. Is this a step too far for the incredible warrior who has been fighting as a pro since the young age of 14?

Or, in light of the fact that we saw three big upsets occur last night, are the stars aligned perfectly in Morales’ favour? It may be clutching at straws to even suggest a Morales win merely because his countryman Marco Antonio Rubio scored his own shocker last night, but maybe this weekend will go down as one that produced a good many upsets.

Morales’ fans are hoping, that’s for sure - Saul Alvarez among them. And we are probably in store for a great action battle tonight. Morales, who all but pleaded for this particular opportunity, will, as always, give it his all. While the man known as “El Chino” seemingly knows only one way to fight: aggressively and passionately. Add up all the factors, and tonight’s fight could well be a war. But as much as McGuigan and others rightfully claim that a peak Morales would have had way too much for as crude a fighter as Maidana, can the current version of the all-time great from Tijuana possibly get a win?

As “The Clones Cyclone” says, the most important thing is that Morales heads back into retirement safe. Win or lose, nobody wants to see the legend badly hurt.

Prediction: Morales makes things interesting in the early rounds, by going to the body especially, before he is overwhelmed and stopped on his feet in around seven or eight-rounds.

Article posted on 09.04.2011

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