Boxing

Erik Morales Could Face Unbeaten Danny Garcia In January, Kirkland-Molina As Co-Feature

Erik MoralesBy James Slater: According to a couple of ultra-reliable sources (Ringtv.com, ESPN.com), a doubleheader is in the works for January 28th on HBO that would feature Erik Morales against Danny Garcia and James Kirkland against Carlos Molina.

An intriguing and potentially exciting doubleheader, Morales would be defending his WBC light-welterweight belt and Kirkland and Molina, both highly rated 154-pounders, would be defending their rankings.

At a first look, the idea of the ageing Morales going in with a fast, young and hungry fighter like Danny “Swift” Garcia looks like a bad idea for “El Terrible.” An incredibly slow starter who takes a number of rounds to get going, Morales, 52-7(36) could well lose a decision to Garcia. I guess the Mexican legend will feel he would have a great chance to take the 23-year-old from Philadelphia out in the later rounds. Garcia is coming off a split decision win over former champ Kendall Holt, this being the biggest win of his 22-0(14) pro career. But is he ready for a warrior like Morales?

Garcia has beaten another ageing former champ in former lightweight ruler Nate Campbell (another points win), but beating Morales would be something entirely different. Do Garcia’s handlers feel as though their man is now ready for a great like Morales? Maybe the timing of this fight would suit the young man perfectly; maybe it would be a case of too much too soon. Again, an intriguing fight.

The 30-1(27) Kirkland, a genuine beast of a 154-pounder, thrilled us all back on Nov. 5th, when he rejuvenated his career with a sizzling stoppage win over tough Alfredo Angulo. Against Molina, a guy who is ranked one place above him in the Ring and Boxrec ratings, the powerful southpaw would be looking to continue his run towards a major title. But Molina, 19-4-2(6), who has never been stopped, is a very good fighter who is used to scoring the upset and ruining a rival fighter’s plans. Unbeaten in his last 12, the Mexican known as “King” has been in with highly rated fighters like Danny Perez (a points win), Erislandy Lara (a draw most people thought Molina won) and Kermit Cintron (last time out, and a wide points win for Molina.)

With his skill, experience and durable chin, Molina could give Kirkland a really tough argument. I’d pick the rampaging “Mandingo Warrior” to win, but I’m not so sure he’d be able to stop Molina. Molina would possibly have a good chance early on, for even though he is no big puncher, Molina will have seen how vulnerable Kirkland can be before he’s fully warmed into a fight (see his shock TKO loss to Ishida and his 1st-round knockdown at the hands of Angulo).

As with any Kirkland fight, a fully exciting battle would be expected if this one gets signed.

Article posted on 08.12.2011



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