30.04.04 – By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza – Novirasputin@hotmail.com – Whenever I see anyone’s P4P list these days, the same tired old names are always at the top of it. Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins, who both have been at the top for so long, they already seem like they’re in the Boxer’s hall of Fame already. Next comes fighters like Floyd Mayweather & Kostya Tsyzu.. Don’t get me wrong, all of these guys are accomplished fighters, but since most of the time they’re hesitant to fight each other, it’s difficult to really judge how good they really are. In terms of talent, I think those guys are great, but it doesn’t seem fair that Morales is ranked below them. If you want to look at a real P4P fighter, then Erik Morales is the man. He deserves to be at the top of the P4P list because he consistently fights the best opposition and always comes out on top, yet I’m astounded that he remains a bottom feeder on this list.
The obvious question is, what has Morales done to deserve the #1 ranking?
In my opinion, the question should be “What hasn’t he done?”
The guy has been on more PPV’s shows where he has always fought quality opponents. Every time Morales fights, he is fighting top level opponents, and each time he is killing them. Should I really list his credentials? Okay, here they are:
Guty Espadas(2 times)
Bobby Boy Velardez
Barrera (2 times)
And in Morales’s last fight, he took on a game Jesus Chavez.
I have seen every single one of these fighters at least once, and if Morales had not beaten them, I could easily except them as world champs or top contenders.
So what? you may ask. Jones has definitely fought some quality opposition too, including Toney, the same Hopkins, and Tarver. So has Hopkins fighting Trinidad, Joppy, Echols, Daniels, Holmes.
So, then what is the difference between these three guys? Why does it matter if one is above the other? In other words, what sets Morales apart from both Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins?
In my opinion, what sets Morales apart from these guys is that he doesn’t fight scrub opponents in between big PPV-type fights like Roy Jones Jr. did with Glen Kelley, and Bernard Hopkins did with Morrade Hakkar. Now, I know how entertaining it was for fans to see Roy Jones effortlessly knockout the overmatched Glen Kelley, and how typical it was of Frenchman Hakkar to run away from a big fight, but do those wins really merit P4P honors? I’m not taking anything away from French boxing; Guys like Hacini Cherifi and Jean Mark Mormeck are excellent fighters. Especially considering that Jones and Hopkins fought those guys after they were already famous. Why would Jones’ and Hopkins still be facing bums at such an advanced stage, can someone answer that question? Obviously, the answer is because they care more for money than they do for advancing the sport. In my opinion, Morales is a real championship fighter. He always fights the best, no matter what, and I can’t fathom how anyone can discredit the last ten opponents Morales has faced. Can you honestly try to find a redeeming quality in how Kelley and Hakkar approached their “big” fight?
I really don’t have anything against Hakkar & Kelley, since they may still prove themselves down the line, but I do find it repulsive that top ranked P4P fighters are not criticized for picking such “easy” fights by the writers that make them so “holy.”
Now we can get into an argument about money, ethics, and how good fighters deserve good dollars, as well as how it is hard to get a good opponent to fight for the right sum. However, that still doesn’t measure skill in terms of dollars. Otherwise Don King truly can create the best fighters on the planet.
Erik Morales continuously fights and beats the best fighters in his division, and continues to challenge the best. When was the last time you have heard Morales mouth off about not getting so many millions of dollars? The only things coming from his mouth are praise for his fans, and respect for his opponent. Anybody remember that thrilling night when Jones and Hopkins tried to out insult each other, and try to see who can name a more outrageous purse for them to take home to fight each other?
I have no problem with boxers making good money, but I think the effort, as well as the competition, should be at least marginally comparative to the amount transferred to the fighter’s bank account. Does anybody really think Roy Jones deserved that much money from Don King to teach John Ruiz a lesson in bobbing and weaving?
We should be thankful there are still guys like Morales, who reach the pinnacle and are not satisfied with an everyday thrashing of unworthy, untalented fighters for a paycheck.
Thanks Erik Morales! Keep up the good work