Morales can't fend off Pacquiao en route to a TKO Loss...But Who Can?

19.11.06 - by Alden "The Kid" Chodash: When Erik Morales signed to fight Manny Pacquiao for their first affair, Morales couldn't imagine that "Pac-Man" would eventually lead to Morales' downfall. Their first battle, though, showcased Morales at his finest. Their second, however, saw Pacquiao come back after an early points deficit to drop and stop Morales for the first time in the long career of "El Terrible". The beating Morales took was excused by some as caused by the dramatic weight loss which affected Morales' performance. Saturday night they completed the trilogy..

Morales took a different approach this time on making the "Terrible" 130 pound limit by working with a nutritionist and Morales was a pound under the mark on the day leading up to the battle. Everything seemed right for Morales until he finally stepped in the ring. At the moment Pacquiao threw that well-timed right hook in the first you knew Pacquiao was still improving (if you can imagine) even in his 48th professional appearance. Pacquiao throughout the fight would step back or slip around a Morales lead and counter with a volley of punches that would always cause a Morales retreat. In the second round, Morales was able to catch Pacquiao on the ropes with a right but a quick left caught a reckless Morales as well, sending him to the canvas. Morales arose and was immediately on the attack only to sample Pacquiao's hand-speed. A brilliant exchange late in the round proved that Morales had fully recuperated from the knockdown. The third round saw Pacquiao dish out some serious damage with a barrage of punches that lead to another dropping from a huge left hand. Morales held on but with about one minute left in the round, Pacquiao drove home a tremendous left hand lead that dropped Morales for the final time.

In a tremendous super-featherweight division (130 lb.), Pacquiao knocks Morales off the landscape and put himself in line for numerous superfights with Barrera (who evidently is scheduled for a fight in March), Juan Manuel Marquez, Joan Guzman, Edwin Valero, and maybe even Humberto Soto.

How can you beat Pacquiao?

1. Control the action. Don't let Pacquiao draw you into his fight as he did to Morales.

2. A stiff jab to disorient Pacquiao and frustrate his furious approaches.

3. Tremendous endurance. Pacquiao's movements and arsenal will be fatal to most fighters down the stretch.

4. Moving to the left, away from possibly the deadliest left hand in the sport.

5. A great defense (easy said than done). With all the previous components you must have to dethrone Pacquiao, if you don't have a great defense then Pacquiao's power will eventually get to you and likely result in a stoppage as proven against Morales .

If there's a fighter in the world today that may possess all five, it's Joan Guzman. As proven in his recent affair versus Jorge Barrios, Guzman can adapt to any style. Guzman's defense is effective and his stamina definitely stands out. Guzman's jab was a nice weapon against Barios and he showed control at points of that contest. But with Pacquiao's career winding down, it's unlikely that he'll want to fight names other than Barrera and Marquez. Stay tuned.

Alden "The Kid" Chodash is the newest and youngest member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Article posted on 19.11.2006

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