By James Slater: Due to the spirited effort a seemingly rejuvenated Erik Morales gave in his very close April 9th points loss to the hard-hitting Marcos Maidana, the legendary Mexican warrior is hot again. And, despite that brutally damaged, hammered shut right eye (a handicap “El Terrible” carried for almost the full fight in Vegas), the word is the 34-year-old is looking at headlining a big fight card on HBO Pay-Per-View on July 30th.
This is the word according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who has been speaking with Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. But who will Morales fight in July? Schaefer wants very much to match Morales with former three-time rival and fellow Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera, in what would be a fourth instalment of one of the greatest series in boxing history. Schaefer said he spoke with Erik and that Morales is definitely interested in going at it with Barrera for a fourth time.
“It’s going to be a good fight [if it happens]. That I know,” Schaefer said.
And without a doubt, due to the renewed fire Morales showed against Maidana, and simply because of the greatness of their previous three rumbles, a Morales-Barrera IV would prove to be an attractive event for the fans. We don’t know if Barrera, a little older than Morales at 37, has as much left as his countryman does, but it’s likely the two would produce a good fight if they did do it again. However, there are other possible options for “El Terrible.”
A return match with Argentine banger Maidana is a possibility for July, as is a Morales challenge of WBA 140-pound champ Amir Khan. According to Schaefer, Morales feels he is the better man than Maidana and he is sure he won the April 9th battle. This fight is probably the one Morales most wants. And who knows, if he did what he did with one eye closed pretty much for all 12-rounds, what could a Morales who would be able to see left hands coming at him be able to do?
As for a Khan fight: Schaefer told Rafael that this fight is dependant on the ongoing Khan-Timothy Bradley situation. As fans may have read, the talked-of July 23rd 140-pound unification fight is in some doubt right now, due to negotiating issues relating to the money side of things. Schaefer says that if Khan and Bradley do not meet on July 23rd, Khan could defend against Morales on that date instead.
And, as big a fight as this would be for Morales (another chance to become Mexico’s first ever four-weight world champion), I personally would fear for Morales if the fight took place. Okay, we all feared for Morales ahead of the Maidana fight and he proved we had no need to. But Khan, with his blinding speed, would, in my opinion, make Morales look foolish as he boxed him out of sight. Maidana, a crude fighter at the best of times, gave Morales opportunities to score punches. I don’t think the superior boxing skills of Khan would give Morales the same chances.
In any case, after the great effort he gave on April 9th, Morales deserves at least one more big fight. Far from shot, “El Terrible” proved last time out that he really is a special fighter. But would a Khan fight be a step too far for the man with 58 pro fights on his body?