Saturday's fight against Danny Garcia was supposed to be a fitting ending to the career of Erik Morales, one of the most iconic fighters in recent memory. But although two straight failed drug tests by Morales in recent weeks didn't keep this fight from still happening, it will end up tarnishing the end of Morales' career.
Morales' final fight was in jeopardy in early October, when he failed two straight drug tests. Although, the event's workers scrambled to field a third drug test, which Morales passed. Garcia was given the opportunity to refuse the fight, but opted to go along with it most likely due to the upcoming $1 million payday.
It's not official yet that Morales is retiring, but for all intents and purposes, and given the recent events, it's highly unlikely he'd come back to fight.
Despite Morales' confusing efforts to get an illegal edge and top Garcia in the final fight of his career, he still went down in four rounds, which makes for an embarrassing ending to his career.
While most fighters, even the good ones, end their career with a loss in the ring, that's not the main problem for Morales. Now he has to live with not only losing, but the embarrassing feeling of cheating and still not winning.
Morales will still be remembered as a great boxer as he finishes his career with a 52-9 record. Perhaps defeating an undefeated Garcia (25-0) would have been an electrifying way to end his career, but it wasn't important enough to pursue taking illegal substances.
Now, we're left wondering if the massive 52 wins that Morales showcased in his career were actually legitimate.
Like it or not, we live in the age of doubt and cheating in the sports world. No one gets the benefit of the doubt anymore, including Morales.
Ending his career with a win was much less important than ending his career with the same level of dignity.
Now, he's left battered and bruised—his body and his reputation.
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