Witter vs. Morua - Team Morua draw Honeyghan parallel

16.01.07 - Mexico’s Arturo Morua flew in to England on Saturday morning ahead of his challenge to WBC light welterweight champion Junior Witter at the Alexandra Palace this weekend. The championship on Saturday 20th January headlines the Hennessy Sports promoted UK portion of a Sky Sports Pay Per View Event that also features Ricky Hatton’s challenge for Juan Urango’s IBF Title in Las Vegas..

That Morua’s team – headed up by respected Mexican fight figure Rafael Mendoza – ensured their man arrived in plenty of time to recover from the Transatlantic flight, highlight’s their attitude to this fight. Despite their man’s perceived status as the underdog, he is not here as just an opponent.

The signs are in his favour. The last time Mendoza travelled to England with one of his fighters, he triumphed against the odds in a WBC contest.

“I came to England with Jorge Vaca in 1987 when he fought Lloyd Honeyghan for the welterweight world title,” explained Mendoza. “Everybody believed he was going to lose, but he won in the eighth round.”

Ominously, Mendoza did not travel back to England the following year with Vaca for the rematch. Vaca was stopped in three. “I never book fights where I don’t believe my fighter has a good chance,” he finished.

Morua is not making up numbers. He holds wins over former world champion and Ricky Hatton opponent Carlos Maussa, Emmanuel Augustus, (formerly Burton), and also Korean Jungbum King, whom he beat on a Hollywood card that also saw Hennessy Sports’ Carl Froch stop Henry Porras. King is still ranked at 11 with the WBC.

Only now, at 28, does he believe that he has begun to reach full his potential after a typically tough Mexican introduction to boxing that begun at the age of 15.

“I’m happy to be getting this fight at this time,” he said, via the multilingual Mendoza. “I have improved a great deal. If it happened two years ago I wouldn’t have been ready.”

It was around this time that he lost a decision to Naoufel Ben Rabah in an IBF title eliminator. Rabah went on to box Hatton’s next opponent Urango for the full title, losing what many regard as a highly controversial decision.

“I wasn’t in the ring against Rabah,” admitted Morua. “He confused me with his style, but I wasn’t focussed. I just wasn’t there.”

His focus is certainly not lacking for this fight. “This has been the best training I have ever had. I have had no problems at all and I have been sparring in Japan and Mexico. I was also given a lot of notice.”

His build-up has certainly not been unsettled at the prospect of fighting away from home. “It doesn’t bother me at all,” he added. “My last twelve fights have been outside of Mexico. I’m used to it.”

Morua’s preparation has also included taking in several of Witter’s recent contests, including his impressive win over former world champion DeMarcus Corley that saw him become the first ever Brit to win a WBC world championship at light welterweight.

Whilst Morua has been impressed by what he has seen, he is not the greatest fan of the champion’s unique approach and has set out his stall accordingly.

“I have seen his last four fights on DVD, including the Corley fight,” Morua added. “He’s a good fighter. He moves well, but he is also a clown. And Mexican’s don’t like clowns.

“I expect him to move a lot, I don’t expect him to come and fight me and stand there. He’s going to stick and move, but I will go after him.”

Hennessy Sports Proudly Present
First Defence
@ Alexandra Palace
Saturday 20th January

Tickets priced £40, £80 and £200 on 0870 060 1795.

12 x 3 WBC Light Welterweight Championship
Junior Witter vs. Arturo Morua
(Bradford) (Mexico)

12 x 3 British Light Welterweight Championship
Lenny Daws vs. Barry Morrison
(Morden) (Motherwell)

10 x 3 British Light Welterweight Championship Eliminator
Alan Bosworth vs. Ashley Theophane
(Northampton) (Paddington)

8 x 3 Lightweight
John Murray vs. TBA
(Manchester) ()

8 x 3 Cruiserweight
Troy Ross vs. Hastings Rasani
(Toronto) (Birmingham)

6 x 3 Super Bantamweight
Esham Pickering vs. TBA
(Newark) ()

6 x 3 Middleweight
Matthew Thirlwall vs. TBA
(Bermondsey) ()

6 x 3 Light Middleweight
George Hillyard vs. Tony Rendall
(Canning Town) (Birmingham)

Article posted on 16.01.2007

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