Doug Fischer

Morales finally at right weight, can’t wait to fight Maidana

Forgetful Freddie: Morales had a special message for Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who recently told Rick Reeno of that he fears for the veteran’s health in the Maidana fight.

“I heard that there’s a comment out there from Freddie Roach, asking what I’m doing fighting again, and that I shouldn’t be fighting, and that he’s worried about my health,” Morales said. “First of all, Freddie, I admire your work and your concern for me, but there’s something very important that you forgot.

“(Freddie) forgot that I beat his fighter, fair and square. And he forgot that they put a lot of pressure on me to make weight (130 pounds) in (the return bouts). For every pound over (130 pounds) I was going to get charged $500,000, and after two pounds (I was going to be charged) $1 million (per each additional pound). Mentally, I was beaten.”

Maidana expects a tough fight: Maidana didn’t ask to fight Morales but he says he was proud to accept the Mexican legend’s challenge and he doesn’t expect a walk in the park when they meet on April 9.

“I can tell he’s excited about returning, and I think his fights last year got him back into fighting shape, so he‘ll be ready,” Maidana said through a translator. “I’m not surprised that he chose to fight me. He thinks he can beat me by outboxing me. He looked good boxing in one of his fights last year so I’m taking him seriously.

“I’ve heard people say that he has no chance against me but I don’t see it like that. Old or not, he’s still Erik Morales. He’s got a lot of experience. I don’t think it will be an easy fight. But I only fight one way, and I’m going to try to knock him out.”

It ain’t for the money: Whenever well-known fighters return to the ring after brief retirements fans wonder if the comebacks are financially motivated.

Morales, however, insists that he didn’t come back for the money.

“I’m OK, financially,” he said. “I’m not struggling. I own a trash collecting company (in Tijuana and Rosarito Beach, Baja, Calif.). I have my promotional company, Latino Box, which has 15 fighters under contract. I own real estate. I rent houses.

“I didn’t come back because I was desperate for money.”

Morales said he did it for himself and for his fans, especially those who didn’t get to see him fight live during his prime.

“My comeback has been an opportunity for Mexican fans to watch me fight live on TV and not have to pay for it,” he said. “All my fights in the U.S. were pay-per-view in Mexico. Now they can see me on free TV.

“It’s also an opportunity for my kids, who are 13 and 14, to watch me box and see how I fight.”

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