On April 9th, two brave warriors will step in the ring to battle and try to win a bloody war that will open a big door in the sport of boxing. Argentine's Marcos "El Chino" Maidana (29-2, 27 KO's) failed to conquer Britain's Amir Khan and lost the fight by unanimous last December at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although Maidana failed to finish Amir Khan in the last few rounds, he proved that he can be a major threat to any champion. Maidana is a warrior with tremendous punching power. He's a walking tank with several types of dangerous missiles.
On the opposite corner, Mexican legend Erik "El Terrible" Morales (51-6, 35 KOs) is coming off a unanimous victory over Francisco Lorenzo. Erik Morales has a terrific heart and is extremely motivated for this fight. Morales wants to prove to the world that he is ready to conquer other champions in the welterweight division. The majority may be doubting this champion; but that’s what warriors do, they fight and prove critics wrong.
It is obvious that the majority of the boxing world is favoring the Argentine warrior Marcos Maidana over Erik Morales. I don't blame them at all. Erik Morales hasn't proved much in his last few fights. He didn't look good at all when he fought Jose Alfaro last year in Mexico. This doesn’t mean Erik will lose his battle on April 9; but it makes it quite hard to believe for others based on his past few fights.
Before I break down this interesting fight, I want to make it clear to the critics and other people that in the world of boxing nothing is permanent. Like Jeff Mayweather has told me before, “You’re as good as your last fight.” Many people say hard work pays off; while I say hard work only gives you hope and confidence. It's one of the few elements a warrior needs in order to pull off the victory.
Marcos Maidana has a nice old school style. He comes forward and delivers powerful hooks and upper-cuts. Like I’ve stated before, this Argentine beast reminds of a Henry Armstrong. Ironically, El Chino has a nice clean-messy style that works for him. Maidana doesn’t care if your Superman or Godzilla, he will try to destroy you no matter what.
Erik Morales is no different, he is a tough warrior and would also fight a Godzilla or Superman if he had to. However, he would fight them with more strategies and different techniques. Morales would use his jab and movement to try to set up some powerful combinations and win by points.
I’m already impressed with El Terrible. About a year ago I interviewed Erik and I asked him about his future and he said, “Honestly, I’m not ready for big fights yet. I need two or three fights and then hopefully fight in Vegas next year around April.”
I find it quite amazing that Erik Morales has passed every test and is fighting here in Vegas like he planned.
With respect, I believe Maidana will pull off the victory by TKO in the later rounds. As late as the tenth or eleventh round. However, I’m aware that Morales is a bigger threat to Maidana than what most people think. Erik Morales is a major underdog for this fight; people should consider thinking twice before doubting this Mexican warrior.
There are several reasons why I believe Marcos Maidana will successfully conquer Erik Morales confidence and later earn the victory by TKO. However, I will only stress four reasons Maidana is the one that will be going home with a big smile on his face.
Reason No. 1: Marcos Maidana is young, confident and fearless. He did great against Amir Khan and lost by split-decision from my point of view. Maidana proved that he can take several combinations from quick fighters and still be able to land tremendous punches that could knock-out a tiger. Maidana never gives up and is willing to walk through any dangerous storm in order to find the right key to open the right door.
Erik Morales is no Amir Khan and has lost his speed and movement. Morales will need to be careful when trying to deliver powerful punches; he may get caught and feel the powerful force of an Argentine missile. Erik got caught in the first round when battling in the ring against Willie Limond and caused El Terrible to be off-balance for around two seconds. Two seconds is more than enough for a fighter to land two good powerful hooks or upper-cuts.
Reason No. 2: Erik Morales has been flat-footed with poor movement in his last three fights. Even if he had great punching power, a warrior always needs to have decent defense in order to win. The majority know that the shield defeats the sword. Fighters without defense usually end up offering their heart to their rival. If Erik improved his defense, body and head-movement, then he may get a chance to make the fight his. Without speed, movement or defense, I don’t see Erik avoiding Maidanas power or winning the fight.
Reason No. 3: Marcos Maidana has fought better quality fighters in his last few fights. Fighters like Amir Khan, Victor Ortiz and Victor Cayo. Maidana will be prepared and ready for Morales. While Morales may be a little rusty or cold if he steps in the ring with the wrong game-plan.
Reason No. 4: The new Erik Morales still has great heart and confidence, but also has slow foot-work and a slow jab. Maidana won’t have a problem chasing Erik Morales in the later rounds if Erik shows up out of shape. Marcos Maidana was in great shape when he fought Amir Khan. If he prepares as well for this battle and comes with the perfect game-plan, he could end up pulling an amazing victory by TKO.
When Erik Morales tries to fight a fighter toe-toe, he usually ends up trading punches and that’s something you don’t want to do when fighting this Argentine beast whose only fear is not satisfying the fans. If Erik offers his chin around two-three times a round, Maidana may take advantage of that and use his explosive upper-cuts to try to conquer Erik. Morales will have to keep his hands up and move around the ring a lot to avoid Maidanas power. It sounds quite difficult but anything is possible in boxing with the right training.
Morales will also need to use his jab to create distance and trap Maidana at times. A great combination for Erik to use against Maidana would be the jab with powerful body shots. Since we all witnessed what Khan did to Maidana with that clean body-shot. If Erik Morales comes prepare and uses the right techniques, he could possibly win the fight by unanimous decision and shock the world.
Both of these warriors are exciting to watch. However, only one warrior will successfully walk through the storm; while the other warrior may end up doing something wrong and fail to use the right technique to avoid the power of the storm. April 9th will be a great night for boxing; this fight should be full of fireworks and action.