You can't keep an old warrior down.
One of boxing's most beloved elder statesmen, Erik "El Terrible" Morales, will take one more crack at the big time tonight when he headlines an absolutely stacked card opposite rising star Danny Garcia.
MMAmania.com will have live coverage of the event, starting with the Showtime broadcast at 8 p.m. ET.
Garcia, who recently entered the elite in a big way with an authoritative upset knockout of Amir Khan, dispatched Morales this past March, outboxing and dropping the Mexican veteran en route to a unanimous decision. Morales, legendary for his trilogy with Marco Antonio Barrera and defeat of Manny Pacquiao, has not fought since.
In the co-main event, Brooklyn's own Paulie Malignaggi will look to build on his surprising stoppage of Vyacheslav Sevchenko, defending his welterweight title against former Morales victim Pablo Cesar Cano. Two more title fights round out the card, including a middleweight tilt between Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam and Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin and a welterweight showdown between Devon Alexander and the man with a WMD for a right hand, Randall Bailey.
Quick results and play-by-play below:
Junior Welterwieght Championship: Danny Garcia def. Erik Morales by KO at 1:23 of Round Four
Welterweight Championship: Paulie Malignaggi (c) def. Pablo Cesar Cano by Split Decision (109-118, 114-113 x2)
Middleweight Championship: Peter Quillin def. Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam by Unanimous Decision (115-107 x3)
Welterweight Championship: Devon Alexander def. Randall Bailey by Unanimous Decision (115-111, 116-110, 117-109)
140 lbs.: Danny Garcia vs. Erik Morales
Round one: Garcia tested positive for clenbuterol before this fight. What that'll mean if he wins, I don't know.
Wicked right to the body from Garcia early. Jabs from Garcia. Morales just hanging out at range while Garcia bounces punches off his guard. Right to the body again. Both men coming up slightly short with their punches. Left hook for Morales, first solid punch from him so far. Both men land looping rights. Left from Morales. Rights to the body from both, right hand over the top for Morales. Nice body blow by Garcia. Close opening round, but I think Garcia just edged it. 10-9 Garcia.
Round two: Morales lands a few in close before they tie up. Left-right from Garcia, left hook as Erik steps in. Some nice hooks as Morales backs into the ropes. Body blow from Garcia. Morales can't be trying to win this off the ropes. Nice jab and body shot for "El Terrible." Garcia with his own body shots. They swing to end the round; another one for Garcia. 20-18.
Round three: Garcia pumping the jab. Good exchange. Clinch. Thudding left hook by Garcia. Morales scores to the body, eats a couple from Garcia. Nice left hook by the champion as Morales moves in. Another body shot. Morales gets caught coming in, nods in acknowledgement. HUGE right straight from Garcia goes right through Morales' guard and damn near puts him down. I think that's the first straight right I've ever seen Garcia throw. 30-27 Garcia.
Round four: Garcia patient to start the round. Now ripping to the body. Right from Morales with his back to the ropes. Garcia now trying to get that straight right going; Morales starts throwing and Garcia obliterates him with a left hook. Morales drops halfway through the ropes, his corner rushes into the ring, this fight is over. Wow.
Final Result: Garcia def. Morales by KO
147 lbs.: Paulie Malignaggi vs. Pablo Cesar Cano
Round one: Cano missed weight, so this one isn't for Paulie's title anymore. Anyway, let's do it.
Paulie working the jab to start things off. Doing a good job of getting in and out before Cano can catch him. Now Cano lands a jab. More stinging jabs from the American. Cano swinging, but not reaching him. Not many serious punches, but Paulie in control with the jab. 10-9 Malignaggi.
Round two: Cano gets a right through to the body. Cano leading with body hooks, which may be a bad idea, although a pair get through. Left hook upstairs. Paulie working away with the jab, Cano comes in with hooks but can't connect. More jabs. Body hook connects for the Mexican. Both men exchange, Paulie landing high and Cano low. Another quick flurry from both, Cano reaching in with rights to the body. Overhand right from Cano. Closer round; Paulie managed to cut him, though, so 20-18. That is an ugly cut.
Round three: Paulie stinging him and he looks pretty confident at this point. Solid one-two from the champion. Cano with a right of his own, but he's a step behind. Cano reaching in with body shots again, lands a left hook upstairs and a one-two. Jab exchange. Cano's punches straying a bit low. Nice slapping shots in close for the American. Clinch. Cano right hand is shrugged off. Cano left hook backs Paulie off and a right hand stumbles him. They exchange to end the round; much better round for the Mexican. 29-28 Malignaggi. That cut is nasty.
Round four: Left downstairs, right upstairs for Cano. Paulie still working the jab, but he's having a hard time keeping the Mexican off of him. Paulie with a combination, eats a body blow and clinches. Nice exchange in close, lead right from Cano. Cano's jab now starting to land and a left hook. Paulie back on the outside and landing. Cano whiffs a one-two and they clinch. Phone booth slugging for a few seconds, then the bell. 39-37 Malignaggi; he took that with his later efforts.
Round five: Exchanging jabs to start the round, Cano smacks him with a left to the chops. Cano right to the body prompts a clinch. Cano hits on the break. Paulie working the jab, eats a couple to the body from Cano. Good work on the back foot from Paulie, but he needs to do a better job of keeping Cano off of him. Right from Cano. Counter right by Malignaggi. Cano's lead right is his money punch and he lands another. Thudding body shot leads to a clinch. Good left to the gut by Cano, who took that round in my book. 48-47 Malignaggi.
Round six: Cano body blow starts the round. Paulie lands a pair of jabs. Cano coming on hard, aware that the clock is ticking with that cut. Overhand right connects. Paulie doing a decent job with his jab this round but Cano won't go away. Lead right from Cano amidst a series of Paulie jabs. Paulie jabs to the body and head. Cano thumps the body and jabs on the exit. Right-left from Cano, he eats a combo from Paulie and lands a right of his own. Close round, one for the American. Barely. 58-56 Malignaggi.
Round seven: Paulie's jab is starting to find its way through Cano's guard regularly. Cano slower on the draw but still getting through with the odd body shot. Cano not having much success this round. Clinch. LEad right from Cano, who bulls forward but can't connect clean. Paulie still stinging him with a jab, but eats a left-right. Cano overhand lands, then a few body shots in the clinch. Good work at the end by Cano, but still Paulie's round. 68-65 Paulie.
Round eight: Oh my lord that cut is horrible. Not bleeding, though. Weird.
Paulie active with his punches to start. Cano bothered by the jab. One-two from Paulie, borderline low blow by Cano. More great jabs from Paulie. Body shot from Cano, left hook as they separate. Loose tape on Paulie's glove and there's a brief reprieve. Cano comes on hard as soon as they restart and hits the body. Lead right upstairs. Cano stumbles Paulie with a left hook, Paulie resets and gets hit in the body for his trouble. I think Cano may have stolen the round there; 77-75 Paulie.
Round nine: Give Cano six more rounds and he gets Paulie out of there with body shots. Four? I don't know.
Paulie keeping the jab going but isn't reacting well to Cano's blows. Cano with a jab. Cano hits Paulie on the break as they clinch and the ref warns him. Stiff jab from Paulie. Cano on the attack and smacks the body with a pair of rights. Clinch. Big left hook from Cano and he keeps at the body attack. Close, close fight. 86-85 Paulie (Brooklyn judges' score: 81-72 Paulie)
Round ten: Clinch. Cano thumps with right hands when they tie up. Paulie still keeping the jab going. Clinch. Cano with a left downstairs and they clinch. Good lead right by Cano, Paulie answers with a left. Reverse this time. Solid left from Paulie during a jab storm. Cano seems to stun Paulie with a left near the end and lands a big left hook. Body blows by Cano to end this. Another damn close round, but I think Paulie did enough early on. 96-94 Malignaggi.
Round eleven: Nice jab by Cano starts it off. Right to the body. Paulie with an uppercut as Pablo moves in. Cano's getting stymied by the jab again, not really getting the body attack going. Paulie avoids a one-one-two. Jabs from Paulie and a nice left hand. Lead right from Cano may have hurt Paulie. Another straight gets a knockdown. Paulie's up but Cano is all over him. Paulie saved by the bell; 104-104.
Round twelve: Beautiful punch that was. Paulie's left hand is always at his waist and I suppose it was only a matter of time. Still, with Brooklyn judges, Pablo may need to finish him.
Right and left by Cano. Jab exchange. Big lead right sends a cloud of sweat from Paulie, but he stays steady. Another lead right. Paulie needs to bring his left hand up. Body shot and left hook upstairs by the Mexican. Paulie lands a right, Cano lands a better right. Left hook Cano. Another good left. Paulie's output has dropped. Forty seconds. Yet another right from Cano. Fighters trade hard shots in the clinch to end things. 114-113 Cano, but with these judges...
Final Result: Malignaggi def. Cano by split decision
160 lbs.: Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam vs. Peter Quillin
Round one: I am not typing his full name again. He is "Hassan." This is not up for debate.
Both men hanging out on the outside with rangefinder jabs. Hassan avoids a pair of hooks up close. Quillin closes in off a Hassan overhand and ties up. Hassan pursues with the jab and gets tied up. Good right by Quillin gets to Hassan, but he's alright. Nice left hooks from both men, body blows by Hassan. Hassan with a jab. Nice clubbing right inside for Hassan. Quick exchange inside, nobody lands. Jab trade to end the round. Quillin had the best shot, but Hassan did a bit more in my book. 10-9 Hassan.
Round two: Iron Mike in the house and gets more applause than all the fighters to far combined.
Hassan has this weird tendency to throw funky, wide hooks that seem to have this delay between launching and impact. I have a feeling Quillin might have a field day with them once he gets the timing.
Just jabs for the first minute. Hassan gets Quillin to the ropes but misses a chopping right and gets tied up. Good uppercut by Quillin as Hassan moves in. Couple good lefts by the champion. Left hook by Quillin backs Hassan off, but he gets forced to the ropes. Hassan clubs to the body and has some shots upstairs blocked as Peter takes center ring. Jab by the champion. Big right hand by Hassan, sends another through the guard. Quillin's letting himself get pressed into the ropes too easily and that cost him this round. 20-18 Hassan.
Round three: Nice jab by the champion, then he doubles up the left hook. Fairly slow first minute. Hassan much more mobile than Quillin, but the latter lands a jab. Quillin comes in swinging but gets wrapped up. Nice double left hook again by Hassan. Near-miss on a left hook by Hassan prompts a clinch. Nice rights by Hassan up close. Quillin poking with the jab, lands a straight and gets tied up.Another close round; I think I'm going to give it to Hassan again. 30-27.
Round four: BIG left hook/uppercut from Quillin very nearly drops Hassan. Quillin on the attack now. Hassan's feet look steady, though. Just as I say that, Quillin smashes the champ with a big, loud left hook that puts him down. Impressively, Hassan is back up and firing back. Quillin cracks him again. Stiff jabs by Hassan as he circles; he can't get hit like that again. Another big left hook has Hassan down a second time. He's up, but doesn't look great. Quillin all over him. Hassan slips twice and that may have saved him. Hassan's legs are gone at the bell; I'll be impressed if this lasts much longer. 37-37.
Round five: Hassan circling and jabbing to start the round. They trade left hooks. Good, clubbing shots from Hassan inside. Hassan scores with a check left hook, Quillin lands a right over it. Left hook connects for Quillin, Hassan eats it with no ill effect and lands a left of his own. Hassan gets him to the ropes, can't connect clean. Clinch. Hard phone booth exchange before the bell. Better round for the champion. 47-46 Hassan.
Round six: Right to the body for Hassan, clubbing right misses. Quillin stalking the champion, both men land solidly. Clinch. Left hook exchange. Clinch, right upstairs by Hassan. Crushing left hook for Quillin produces a slip that may have been a knockdown; that is a mean, mean punch. Big right hand in a flurry takes out Hassan's legs, he goes down from the resultant onslaught and this one is a count. Hassan survives the round, somehow. 56-55 Quillin.
Round seven: Both men firing in the early going. Clinch. Right to the body by Quillin. Jab exchange. Clinch. Quillin's getting the better of most of these at this point. Hassan gets him to the ropes and lands a handful. Quillin just sitting back and getting hit. Quillin moves to another set of ropes and lands a right. Clinch. Hassan keeps on moving him to a different ropes and smacking him. Clinch. I think Hassan stole this with his work on the ropes; 65-65.
Round eight: Good counter left hook from the champion as Quillin moves in. Hassan inching him towards the ropes again. Clinch, body work inside. Stiff jab by Hassan. Clinch. Nice work in close by Hassan; Quillin is too passive for how hard he's hurt him in this fight. I like Hassan's work in the clinch and that's gotten him another round. 75-74 Hassan. I don't know if the "slip" in round six was a knockdown or not; I'm assuming it wasn't, but if it was, just subtract one from the champ's score.
Round nine: Hard lead right hand by Hassan and he bullies Quillin into the corner before getting pushed away. Hassan with more solid phone booth work. Nice jab by the champ. Quillin isn't throwing enough and he's letting himself get backed up too easily. Another jab. Big left hook from the champ has Quillin backpedaling and Hassan goes to work on the ropes. Quillin fires back and gets Hassan to disengage. Clinch. Nice jabs from both men. Crazy as it seems, Hassan might just win this. 85-83 Hassan.
Round ten: Quillin has Hassan a bit wobbled but the champ seems alright. Hassan moving forward still. Solid jabs and he's got Quillin back on the retreat. Quillin thumps him and backs him off but can't get him out. Hassan starts to brawl and gets hit with a left. The champ won't back down. Quillin against the ropes and they trade left hooks. Clinch, more thudding shots by Hassan. Great effort by the champion. 95-92 Hassan.
Round eleven: The champ seems by far the fresher man here. Just circling for now; first punch is a Quillin straight that is dodged and leads into a clinch. Jab from Quillin. Nice inside work in the clinch from Hassan. Left from Quillin, Hassan turns it around and lands on the ropes.Nice left and right by Hassan and a clinch. Big left hand by Hassan, they trade jabs. Good right hand. Hassan is taking over this fight in the home stretch. 105-101 Hassan.
Round twelve: Clinch. Left-right from Hassan and then a left hook after has Quillin a bit wobbly. He steadies himself and they clinch. Hassan moving forward but eats a counter right and ties up. Nice shots in the clinch from both men. Counter left by Hassam and a clubbing right in close. Both men connect from point-blank. Hassan backs him into the ropes and is firing but eats another big left hook and drops. Back on his feet, but a right uppercut sends him down yet again. Hassan survives, but unless the judges are as generous as I am, he didn't win this. 112-111 Hassan.
Final Result: Quillin def. N'Jikam by unanimous decision
147 lbs.: Randall Bailey vs. Devon Alexander
Round one: Alright, we're in for either an excruciatingly boring boxing lesson or a right hand that''ll have local meteors taking notes. Let's get to it.
Oh, Christ, Arthur Mercante, Jr. is the ref. That man shouldn't even be allowed to watch a boxing match.
Alexander pawing the right early. Jab to the body. Alexander gets moved to the ropes but avoids the right hand and escapes. Alexander with a one-two into the clinch. Straight to the body, jab upstairs. Alexander focusing fire on the body with straight shots while Bailey just waits for a chance to throw. Clubbing right from Bailey misses. Nice left-right by Alexander. More straights and jabs to the breadbasket. Bailey lands a jab and narrowly misses a straight. Clear, predictable Alexander round, 10-9 same.
Round two: Alexander snapping out the jab, lands that left downstairs. Bailey whiffs a counter right, eats the left again. Straight from Alexander answered by a right to the body. Bailey lands the right and stings Alexander, but he may have gotten butted. Alexander working the body again and avoids some big swings. Alexander lands a straight, but he's circling to his left and catches a right. Alexander backed up into the ropes and clinches. Bailey clonked him a few times, but Alexander did more. 20-18 same.
Round three: We now know Bailey can hurt Alexander. This may be interesting.
Alexander circling the correct way now and keeping the right hand out. Left straight to the body connects. Alexander's moving to his left again, that's not good. One-two-clinch by Alexander. Straight-clinch. Same. Third time. Jab from Bailey answered by Alexander, who pokes at the body again. Left to the body. Good right hook by Alexander, exits with a left to the gut. If it seems like I'm only talking about what Alexander does, that's because that's all that's happening. Bailey doesn't make his own opportunities, he waits for them. 30-27 Alexander.
Round four: Technical issues in the early part of the round. My guess is I didn't miss anything.
Clinching at the halfway point. One-two-clinch from Alexander. Quick combination from Alexander. Devon punches from too far out, Bailey just doesn't punch. Finally a good right from Devon. Clinch. Another good right and he slips at the bell. Blegh. 40-36
Round five: Prodding jabs from Bailey early. Alexander coming up short as usual. Clinch. More useless punching by Alexander. Left hand into the clinch for Devon. Bailey connects with a couple big rights, but Alexander thumps him with hooks in response. Clinch. We got about fifteen seconds of quality fight there. Alexander connects on a jab as Bailey moves in. Only entertaining moment of the fight in this round. 50-45 Alexander.
Round six: Jab exchanges in the early going. Alexander smacks a left to the body and Bailey ties him up. Two glancing body blows after they reset. Jab to the body to clinch. Right to the body by Bailey, Alexander comes up short. Clinch. Left to the body, Bailey thumps him in the gut with a right in response. Referee takes a point from both fighters, which is pretty much pointless. Clinch. Alexander whiffs, clinches, and lands a right. This fight is arse. 59-53 Alexander.
Round seven: Can we just have them fight Mercante? It'd be more entertaining than this.
Nice straight by Alexander gets through and he dodges the retaliatory right. Alexander back to throwing useless punches. Circling to his left again, Bailey not capitalizing. Clinch. Counter right hook lands for Alexander. Straight-clinch. Whiffs from Devon, then a jab connects. Good combination by Alexander capped off by a pair of straights. Clinch. THROW A PUNCH. HIT EACH OTHER. YOU'RE BOXERS. IT'S IN THE JOB DESCRIPTION.
Uuuuugh. 69-62 Alexander.
Round eight: Clinch. Whiffed right hand from Bailey and a clinch. Bailey starts to walk him down, Alexander lands a left and angles off. Clinch; Alexander actually throws some from close-range in a refreshing change of pace. Again. Straight by Alexander. Whiffed flurry, left to the gut. Uppercut in close lands for Bailey, but there wasn't much steam on it. Clinch. Narrow miss from Bailey. Alexander lands a combination in close. Somebody hurt someone. Please. 79-71 Alexander.
Round nine: Alexander more or less bellows every time he throws a punch. Probably for the same reason he throws those pointless flurries from way out.
Staring contest for the first minute. Clinch. Hook from Alexander and a clinch. Whiffs from both men, left to the body for Alexander. Right from Alexander. Bailey lands the right, but not a big one. Jabs from Devon. What a complete turd of a fight. 89-80 Alexander.
Round ten: Can we just throw both of these guys back to 140 and let Matthysse eat them?
Look, there is pretty much nothing happening. Alexander throws every once in a while, half the time from way out of range. Bailey doesn't throw. Rinse, repeat, squeeze lemons into my eyes because it's less agonizing than this. 99-89 Alexander.
Round eleven: I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts do do do doo do there they are all sitting in a row....
Wait, what? Oh, right. The "fight."
Bailey right lands. Nothing happens. Alexander still hopping around pretending like he's actually doing something worthwhile. Bailey lands an uppercut, Alexander shrugs it off. 109-98 Alexander.
Round twelve: You've got to give Bailey one thing: at least when he does nothing, he doesn't try to disguise it.
Yep, that's pretty much the only thing that happened in this round. If Quillin and N'Jikan aren't beating each other with ring posts by round three I'm setting things on fire. 119-107 Alexander.
Final Result: Alexander def. Bailey by unanimous decision