By James Slater: Modern day legend Erik Morales is still deciding whether or not he will fight again after his upset, 12-round points loss to the much younger Danny Garcia. “El Terrible,” aged 35 and having made a success of his latest comeback (which followed a two-and-a-half year break following his oh-so-close points loss to David Diaz down at 135-pounds), should go out now in the opinion of most.
Still, Morales, even if he does fight no more, has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, the Tijuana legend has to rank amongst the greatest-ever Mexican fighters. But where does the four-weight king deserve to be placed?
Assuming he will never fight again (for even if he did, Morales would surely be capable of pulling no further miracles!), Morales’ many achievements have earned him a very high ranking in any list of the finest fighters to ever have come from his homeland.
Here are my picks for the five best-ever from Mexico!
In reverse order:
5. Marco Antonio Barrera. World titles held at super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight. Record:63-5(42) Notable fighters defeated: Kennedy McKinney, Erik Morales, Naseem Hamed, Johnny Tapia, Kevin Kelley, Paulie Ayala. (note, Marco is technically still active; should he fight again and win a big fight his ranking may change)
4. Salvador Sanchez. World title held at featherweight. Record:44-1-1(32) Notable fighters defeated: Danny Lopez, Ruben Castillo, Juan LaPorte, Wilfredo Gomez, Azumah Nelson. (note, but for his untimely death aged just twenty-three, Sanchez may well have gone on to become Mexico’s greatest ever fighter)
3. Ricardo Lopez. World titles held at minimum-weight, light-flyweight. Record:51-0-1(38) Notable fighters defeated: Rocky Lin, Saman Sorjaturong, Manny Melchor, Rosando Alvarez, Will Grigsby, Ratanopol Sor Vorapin.
2. Erik Morales. World titles held at super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, light-welterweight. Record:52-8(36) Notable fighters defeated: Daniel Zaragoza, Junior Jones, Wayne McCullough, Marco Antonio Barrera, Kevin Kelley, In-Jin Chi, Paulie Ayala, Jesus Chavez, Carlos Hernandez, Manny Pacquiao (the last man to have beaten Pac-Man!)
1. Julio Cesar Chavez. World titles held at super-featherweight, lightweight, junior-welterweight. Record:107-6-2(86) Notable fighters defeated: Mario Martinez, Ruben Castillo, Roger Mayweather, Rocky Lockridge, Juan LaPorte, Edwin Rosario, Jose Luis Ramirez, Meldrick Taylor, Hector Camacho, Frankie Randall, Tony Lopez.
Honourable mention: Ruben Olivares, Miguel Canto, Carlos Zarate, Vicente Salvador, Juan Manuel Marquez (still active), Oscar De La Hoya.