April 10th, 2011 By Pedro FernandezGAME MORALES BEATEN, ROBERT GUERRERO SHINES & JAILBIRD KIRKLAND GOT SMOKED!
San Leandro, CA- Having just watched the Marcos Maidana-Erik Morales fight at Ricky’s Sports Theater here in this city adjacent to Oakland, I have to tip my hat to Erik Morales. Yes, he was game, yes he showed heart, especially fighting from the first round on with a badly swollen and nearly closed right eye. But at the end of 12 rounds, I had given Erik five frames, almost calling one even to, thus the 115-113 score I had tabulated was as on the money as I could have been. That being said, the official scores were 116-112 twice, while the third judge had it even at 114-114.
MAIDANA KEPT WAITING FOR ERIK TO FALL
It may not have been the easiest fight to score, but there wasn’t one person watching in Hi Def on the big screen that thought Morales had won. At the end of the night, Morales said he wanted a rematch and Maidana, who should have been ashamed for allowing a 34-year old man going on 70 in boxing years to go the distance, stated he would oblige. To that I say why? Yes, it was closer in that Maidana should’ve allowed it to be, and Erik proved a point in that he still had good boxing instincts, but he has little left in his pugilistic tank. Should they go again, Maidana, who appeared to be in less than stellar condition, in all likelihood would prevail once more, only this time inside the distance.
GREAT FIGHT TO RETIRE ON FOR MORALES, BUT HE WON’T!
Having followed Erik Morales since he was fighting preliminary matches in his native Tijuana, I can tell you that he has nothing left to prove. All he can do is further damage his body and mind, you see the residual effects of professional boxing are unforgiving. They don’t care how great you once were, although he isn’t “punchy” per se, another fight with rough and rugged Maidana, if this one didn’t, could make Morales the greatest “punch drunk” fighter to ever come out of the Mexican border town. Maidana of Argentina is now 30-2, 27 KOs, while Morales drops to 51-7, 35 KOs. Having never considered him an all time great, I again tip my hat to “El Terrible.” Take the accolades and walk away Erik. You have a wife and family that are far more important than a rematch with Maidana.
“GHOST” GIVES JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ NOTHING BUT FRET!
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) looked about as good as he could in defeating Michael Katsidis (27-4, 22 KOs) over 12 rounds. Scoring with his money punch, the left cross at will and from the start, the southpaw from Gilroy, CA certainly proved that he is without doubt the best lightweight (135 lbs) in the world. Although it was no walk in the park as Katsidis is a rough as they come, Guerrero was in control round after round. Katsidis was docked two points for low blows in the eighth, while “The Ghost” lost one for the same infraction in round nine. Although I’m certain Juan Manuel Marquez will fight Guerrero this year, I’m just as certain Robert will lick the aged one like a stamp! Final scores were 118-107, 118-106, and 117-108.
MAX SHOULD HAVE LOOKED AT ISHIDA’S RESUME
HBO’s Max Kellerman stated before the first bell rang that Nobuhiro Ishida (23-6-2, 8 KOs) was nothing more than a tune up for James Kirkland. With a substantial height and reach advantage that was quite obvious to anybody watching, the Japanese fighter destroyed the previously unbeaten Kirkland (27-1, 24 KOs) by dropping him three times in 1:52 flat! Ishida, a jr. middleweight (154) took the fight with Kirkland at 160 thinking he could win, but probably not in the manner in which he did. Some call it the biggest upset thus far in 2011, but I’m not one of them for the lanky Japanese fighter, although he had but seven KOs in 31 fights, he was world class, something Kirkland hadn’t yet proven. Recently released from a stint in prison for gun possession, this was a parole violation as Kirkland was already a convicted felon. In closing, boxing doesn’t need a thug like Kirkland.
PAULIE BEATS THE “OTHER” COTTO ON POINTS
Brooklyn’s Paul Malignaggi, now fighting as a welterweight (147), won a unanimous ten round decision over Jose Cotto with scores of 99-91 twice and 97-93. Paulie advances to 29-4, 6 KOs. Puerto Rican Cotto is now 32-3-1, 24 KOs. For the first time I can remember in recent years, Paulie apparently did not hurt his fragile hands.
“STITCH” DURAN WAS AT RICKY’S AS WELL
Northern California native Jake “Stitch” Duran, one of the top cut men in both boxing and MMA, now a Las Vegas resident, was at Ricky’s tonight with family members and not in Vegas due to an ill relative. Anytime you go to Ricky’s (Rickys.com) you run in to somebody from the boxing or MMA world, so I wasn’t as surprised to see “Stitch” as he was to see me!