by Michelle Rosado
Many had reservations when Erik “El Terrible” Morales decided to exercise his rematch clause against Danny Garcia. They were concerned with his health, age, and lack of dedication to training. Many fans were beyond frustrated the rematch was made. However, there were also many that still believed that just maybe Morales had one last good fight in him. After all, Morales gave Garcia some trouble in March of this year.
But it was pretty clear and apparent during the pre-fight events leading up to the October 20 showdown that Morales just wasn’t mentally or physically all there anymore.
He knowingly skipped out on a press conference call, showed up completely out of shape to the Showtime photo shoot, and twice tested positive before the fight for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol, which is used to rapidly cut weight, among other things. At the weigh-in (thanks to the good old towel trick), Morales did make the weight: however, his body looked as if he hadn’t done even one push-up, frail and torn down.
Frankly, he shouldn’t have been in this fight.
For me, to witness Morales go out the way he did on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, was extremely tough and heart-wrenching. His reflexes were depleted, his punches slow, and he was in terrible condition. In the 4th round, when Danny Garcia landed a wicked left hook that nearly sent Morales through the ropes, it was a frightful and sad sight.
Post-fight, “El Terrible” stated, “This will be my last fight in the United States.”
I for one, sure hope he means it.
Erik Morales is a true warrior, a living legend, and a future Hall of Famer. We should salute him and thank him for the grand memories. We should remember him as the great relentless Mexican fighter who won 4 titles in different weight classes, fought 3 remarkably memorable fights with Marco Antonio Barrera, and out-fought Manny Pacquiao while handing him a convincing loss.
It is that Erik Morales whose memory I will cherish, not the Morales who fought under a cloud of suspicion while being blasted nearly out of the ring by a rising young gun named Danny Garcia last weekend in Brooklyn.