They say that every old champion has one great fight left - Anonymous
Eric Morales, 36, faces Danny Garcia, 24, on October 20 at the Barclays
Center in Brooklyn, NY, the odds of him exiting the ring a winner will
be long. Morales will not only be facing a younger and more powerful
fighter, but if boxing history holds true, youth will be served.
So does that mean that the former four-time world champion is in for a beating?
1946, Tony Zale, a 34-year-old veteran, faced younger slugger Rocky
Graziano ,28, for the middleweight championship. Most pundits figured
that Zale, the defending champion, was past his prime, while Graziano
was entering his. The fight was six rounds of hellish action. Graziano
had the edge, and looked to be on his way to winning the championship
until Zale dropped him with a perfect hook.
In 1957, the great
Sugar Ray Robinson, 35, battled Gene Fullmer for the second time.
Robinson had lost a hard fought decision four months before. Fullmer,
25, oozed confidence. The rematch started badly for Robinson. Fullmer
won three of the first four rounds. The fifth round started like the
previous four. Fullmer was smoking while Robinson was retreating. That
is until a little past the minute mark of round five when Robinson
planted, shifted all his weight, and fired a perfectly timed left hook.
The punch exploded off Fullmer’s jaw, sending the champion to
There are plenty of examples of the older fighter
being unable to vanquish his younger rival. In 1903, former heavyweight
champion James J. Corbett beat up reigning champion James J. Jeffries
for 20 plus rounds, until Jeffries knocked him out in round 23.
1951, 28-year-old Rocky Marciano faced aging ex-champion Joe Louis.
Marciano had admired Louis since childhood. He didn’t want the fight,
but knew a win over Louis would pave the way for his own shot at the
championship. Marciano knocked out the legendary Louis in round eight,
and cried like a baby afterwords.
Morales (52-8, 36 KOs)
lost by a unanimous decision to Garcia last March in Texas. Morales
claimed after the bout that his performance was hindered by recent gall
bladder surgery. An excuse yes, but a valid one. Morales health will be
no issue in the rematch..
Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs) is coming off
an explosive fourth round stoppage of Amir Khan. The win gave the
Philadelphia resident a piece of the junior welterweight title. Garcia
feels Morales is using his surgery as an alibi.
“I bring heart,
skill, and determination into the ring,” Garcia said. “Every time I win,
the fighter I beat has an excuse. It’s always something.”
knows he can’t match Garcia’s firepower. He’ll have to fall back on his
considerable boxing ability. In 2011, Morales showed great pride and
resiliency when he battled tough Marcus Maidana. Garcia is as tough as
Maidana, but with more skills. He does have a tendency to throw wide
punches, which could give Morales a few more chances.
Garcia’s father feels his son easily won 10 of 12 rounds against Morales
in their first fight, a second viewing of the bout suggests otherwise.
Morales did his best work when Garcia seemed to lose focus. The fight
was relatively close. When Garcia brought more intensity to the fight,
Morales struggled to keep up. (he was knocked down in round 11).
will likely be in great shape for the rematch. He knows this is his
last hurrah. The victory over Khan has given Garcia more confidence in
Danny Garcia will edge Eric Morales again, sending the great champion into a well-deserved retirement.
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