Morales To Face Matthysse Sept 17th - Winner Could Face Khan

By James Slater - It has been confirmed by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer that Mexican legend Erik Morales will now face Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse on September 17th - not Jorge Rodrigo Barrios. As part of that night’s big “Star Power” show that will take place in Las Vegas (with Canelo Alvarez-Alfonso Gomez going down in L.A - all fights to be shown on Pay-Per-View), Morales-Matthysse will be for the vacant WBC 140-pound title.

“Real” WBC light-welterweight champ Tim Bradley has, as Don Jose put it, been moved to “Champion In Recess..” So, not only does 34-year-old Morales face a much better opponent than fellow veteran Barrios, he also has a chance to win his fourth “world” title in as many weight classes. Not only that, but if “El Terrible” manages a win over the hard-hitting Argentine who has never been stopped, he will be a position for another big fight at the end of the year.

WBA, IBF 140-pound king Amir Khan has been quoted by The Manchester Evening News as saying he would very much like to face Morales in December. Khan is of the belief Morales will win in September, and he wants to fight him as he is a big name. Also, if Morales held the WBC crown by then (albeit at a time when fans would still recognise the unbeaten Bradley as the true ruler of that particular organisation at that particular weight), Khan would be getting himself another unification fight.

But first Morales has to defeat the much younger Matthysse.

Morales turned in a magnificent effort in his last fight, as he came close to beating the lethal-punching Marcos Maidana in April. That turning back of the clock left many fans open-mouthed and a number of these fans think Morales has a lot left to offer. Maybe he does have. However, it is also possible that Erik’s gutsy April 9th showing was his last great fight. Mathhysse, 28-2(26) is six years younger than Morales and he has proven his class with his last three performances.

Matthysse lost a close, somewhat controversial split decision to Zab Judah back in November of last year (a showing that looked a lot better at the time - but not so impressive now in light of Zab’s poor showing against Khan), and he has since beaten DeMarcus Corley and lost another close one on points to Devon Alexander. The Alexander loss was also a split verdict, and some fans felt Matthysse won that one, too. In his own mind, Matthysse is an unbeaten fighter.

Of course, Morales, 51-7(35) has seen it all in his long and largely glorious career, and it’s a certainty he will believe he has the beating of Matthysse. But is this one a push too far for the all-time great, Hall of Fame-bound hero from Tijuana? Having the look of a hard 12-rounder, the September clash could certainly go either way. Morales fought well against Maidana and he did it for the most part with only one eye; but can he push his ageing body that hard again?

He may have to against the hugely motivated Matthysse.

Article posted on 03.08.2011

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