One of the most beloved, respected, and balls-out tough veterans of boxing, Erik Morales, was out for revenge in the main event of Showtime's Brooklyn-based four-fight broadcast last night (Sat., Oct. 20, 2012), taking on recent Khan-queror Danny Garcia in a rematch of their March tussle. Despite his opponent's youth, speed, and power, Morales looked to use his savvy and endless heart to get one more notch on his pistol.
Sometimes, you don't get the storybook ending.
While their first fight was relatively close, Garcia was in control from the beginning, whaling away with big hooks to the body as Morales moved in and roughing the smaller man up with heavy blows upstairs. The beginning of the end came in the last ten seconds of the third round, where Garcia eschewed his customary looping right for a missile of a straight that punched clean through Morales' guard and damn near put him on his seat.
While "El Terrible" survived the round, the writing was on the wall, and as he fired off a combo, Garcia unleashed his trademark left hook to perfection, sending Morales plummeting through the ropes with a colossal shot to the jaw. The referee immediately and wisely waved it off, making Garcia the only man besides Manny Pacquiao to ever stop him.
For Garcia, the division is currently filled to bursting with intriguing matchups; ideally, he'll face Argentine murder machine Lucas Matthysse in a clash of the division's two top fighters. Alternatively, Brandon Rios would make an excellent dance partner if his planned fight with Pacquiao doesn't go through.
For Morales, the time has come for him to hang them up. His body can't take it anymore and the 140-pound elite is loaded with savage punchers. He had a good run and produced some of the sport's greatest highlights, but no king rules forever and no warrior fights forever.
Thank you, Erik Morales. From all of us.
The co-main event of the evening was originally envisioned as a showcase fight for Brooklyn's own "Magic Man," Paulie Malignaggi, taking on an unheralded Pablo Cesar Cano, whose only accomplishment of note was giving Morales a tougher fight than expected before falling via cut.
In boxing, as in all other things, no plan survives first contact with the enemy.
The hard-hitting Cano had no intention of being a stepping stone, battling through an early cut to wear down his faster foe with a nasty body attack. While Malignaggi kept a steady stream of jabs going all night, his notoriously poor punching power left him unable to keep Cano off of him and his low left hand left him on the wrong end of dozens of huge right hands, one of which dropped him hard in the eleventh.
While Paulie displayed technically-superior boxing, it looked as though Cano had pulled the upset, but this being Paulie's hometown, his resultant split-decision victory was woefully expected. Paulie has expressed interest in taking on the returning Ricky Hatton, who will be taking on Vyacheslav Sevchenko later this year.
'S cool, Pablo. We know who won.
In a fight that alternated between fun and ludicrous, Cuban-American prospect Peter Quillin defeated middleweight titleholder Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam by decision after dropping him a ridiculous six times, twice each in the fourth, sixth, and twelfth. While the scorecards were unreasonably wide in Quillin's favor, N'Jikam made the unbeaten "Kid Chocolate" earn his first belt the hard way, putting unrelenting pressure on his foe and firing back no matter how hard Quillin's left hooks rattled his brain. It was an excellent effort from both men and one that should be applauded.
We can only hope Quillin defends his belt against Gennady Golovkin sometime soon, because that would be bonkers.
The first fight of the evening was a welterweight title bout between Randall Bailey and Devon Alexander, won by Alexander. It was terrible. That's all the description you're getting.
For full results and play-by-play of the Showtime broadcast click here.