Garcia vs Morales 2: Time, Facts, Stats and PredictionWritten by Lee Cleveland
Tonight from the brand new $1 Billion USD Barclays Center in Brooklyn, RING Magazine WBC/WBA Jr Welterweight Champion Danny Garcia faces Mexican legend and future hall of famer Erik Morales.
Fight Time: The Showtime card begins at 8PM EST. The main event, Garcia vs Morales 2, will likely start between 10:15 and 11:15 PM EST.
Broadcast Channel: Showtime (in the U.S.)
Danny Garcia and Erik Morales will be featured in the main event of an intriguing televised card showcasing four championship bouts. The event will mark the first major championship boxing card in Brooklyn, New York, in 80 years.
Danny Garcia won a unanimous decision over Erik Morales in March to claim the WBC 140-pound (63 1/2-kilogram) world title. And in July, Garcia upset Amir Khan in the fourth round, seizing the Brit's WBA title and, more importantly, gaining recognition as the lineal/RING champion.
Will Morales exact revenge this time?
Erik Morales twice tested positive for Clenbuterol, a powerful drug that promotes lean muscle. But there were only traces of the drug present and Morales passed the third test.
On Thursday, it was feared this bout wouldn't take place or Garcia's titles wouldn't be at stake if it did. However, despite all the rumors and a few positive drug tests, the bout will go as planned.
Of note, this is the second time in as many bouts Erik Morales has brought controversy. In Garcia vs Morales I last March, then-WBC light welterweight champion Erik Morales came in two pounds over the contracted limit and was subsequently stripped by the WBC of his title at the weigh-in. As a result, the title was only at stake for Garcia.
Morales vs Garcia 2 Facts
- Champion: Danny Garcia
- Titles: WBC, WBA, RING Magazine
- Records: Erik Morales 52-8, 36 KO; Danny Garcia 24-0, 15 KO
- Age Gap? At 36, Erik Morales is 12 years Garcia's senior; Garcia was 5 years old when Morales turned pro
- Ratings: Danny Garcia is the RING jr welterweight champion while Erik Morales is rated No. 6 in the stacked division by the same publication
- Physiques: Erik Morales carried a small spare tire into their first bout. With or without extra help, the Mexican star appears leaner this time around.
- Odds: Garcia (-800) is a strong favorite over Morales (+500)
- Misc: Since returning to the ring in 2010 after a 3 year hiatus, Erik Morales is 4-2
- PunchStats: In their first meeting, Garcia out-threw Morales 779-547, outlanded Morales 238-164 and landed twice as many powershots, 170-71; Morales connected on more jabs, 93-68 and both men landed 30-31% of their overall punches.
A future hall of famer, Erik Morales turned pro in 1993 and beaten some of the best fighters over the last 20 years including Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera, Carlos Hernandez, Jesus Chavez and Kevin Kelley. He lost decisions to Danny Garcia, Zahir Raheem, Marcos Maidana two to Marco Antonio Barrera. "El Terrible" has been stopped twice, both times against Manny Pacquiao.
Many believe Erik Morales is running on fumes and that he continues to enthrall fight fans as a result of his vast experience and guile, quality skills, and courage and heart. But the fact remains, Erik Morales hasn't defeated a 'name' fighter since his unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao in 2005 and is 0-6 versus elite fighters in the last 7 years.
But Morales can still "bring it!" He can give elite fighters a proverbial 'run for their money.' The question is: Can he defeat an elite fighter today?
Fighting at jr welterweight, "El Terrible" is a blown-up featherweight who'll need to employ an educated jab, utilize superior timing and "out-think" his opponent if he has any chance of winning tonight.
- Overall experience/Ability to set traps
- Quality of opposition (although not recently)
- No stranger to big fights
- 3 inch reach advantage
- Excellent left jab
- Sheer, all-around grit
At just 24 years, Danny Garcia is a world champion with an extensive amateur pedigree, fighting over 120 matches. He turned pro in 2007 after becoming a national amateur champion a year prior.
After Garcia vs Morales I, the Mexican legend said of Garcia, "He's a normal fighter, not a great fighter."
For Danny Garcia, perhaps no single fight trait stands out at the moment... But he may very well be the "entire package." He's not lightening fast, but is explosive. He doesn't have the power of Marcos Maidana or Lucas Matthysse but can certainly crack. Defensively he's good, but not impenetrable. And his overall technique is far from Floyd Mayweather but he's probably more polished than most of the top 12 in his division.
But his best trait - at least to date - is his ability to counter on the inside and at mid-range. He's not Juan Manuel Marquez yet in this category but he's been highly effective nonetheless.
In order to beat Morales tonight, Danny Garcia must counter well and counter hard off Morales' jab and impose will without getting over-zealous or home run-happy. He must use his superior power to gain Morales' respect early and not get suckered into traps.
- Punching power
- Size, a natural jr welterweight
- Inside brawling
- Quality chin
- Amateur pedigree
In order to win, Erik Morales has to be closer to perfection than Danny Garcia. The latter will get points due to his ring aggression and powershots.
Although Morales got Danny''s attention with a few of his zingers in Garcia vs Morales I, he failed to hurt the Puerto Rican. However, Garcia badly hurt Erik in the 11th Round and was seemingly on the verge of a stoppage.
This result of this bout will have more to do with size than age - And Erik Morales, at this weight, simply isn't big, powerful or fast enough to beat Danny Garcia.
Result: Garcia TKO 5 Morales
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.