Three trainers break down the weekend’s big fight (or fights). This week: Ken Adams, Henry Ramirez and Ronnie Shields weigh in on the Marcos Maidana-Erik Morales and Robert Guerrero-Michael Katsidis fights on Saturday in Las Vegas on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Trainer of former junior middleweight contender James Kirkland,
Trainer of heavyweight contender and junior welterweight prospect Josesito Lopez.
“Obviously I have to favor Maidana at 140 (pounds). He’s the bigger puncher, younger. I don’t really know what Erik Morales has left. He hasn’t fought anyone competitive since 2007 [David Diaz] I think. He has a couple of wins on the comeback trail. Obviously this is a big step up with Maidana. Who knows? Erik Morales might be the kind of guy to pull it out. He’s a warrior at heart. That never goes. It’s just hard to see him winning, especially with Maidana being the big puncher he is. If Amir Khan can’t knock out Maidana, I don’t see Erik Morales being able to do it. Morales skills are better (than Maidana’s). When Morales gets hit, he’s a warrior, he’s going to tend to fight back. If he can stay disciplined for 12 rounds, with Maidana’s constant pressure, who knows? The way I see it is if Maidana is able to compete with Khan, who is bigger, faster and stronger than Morales, I don’t think he’ll have any problem with Morales.”
“That’s in interesting fight. I think Katsidis will make it exciting. I think Guerrero will probably win by stoppage in the mid to late rounds, though. His left-handed stance. He can box a little, can bang a little. I think he’s better (than Katsidis) in every aspect. I think it’ll be competitive. I think it’ll be one of those fights where the rounds are competitive but Guerrero wins most of them, maybe 9-3 or 8-4 (in rounds) if he doesn’t get Katsidis out of there. Guerrero has grown on me a lot. Everyone said he was a big puncher but I didn’t see it because he wasn’t knocking people out. I think lately he has showed me a lot more. He didn’t stop (Vicente) Escobedo but he knocked him down twice. And I was impressed that he knocked out (Jason) Litzau. That win looks better and better as Litzau has looked better and better.”
Trainer of many big-name fighters who is now mentoring Cuban stars Guillermo Rigondeaux and Erislandy Lara, former welterweight titleholder Kermit Cintron and others.
“I like Maidana. He’s a power puncher and he’s been active. I just feel that he’s going to put a lot of pressure on Morales and I’m not sure Morales will be able to handle having been out so long. He’s only human. And he’s not getting younger. He has fought a few times (since returning from a 2½-year layoff) but not anyone up to the level of Maidana. It’s always about the level of the opponent. Maidana showed me a lot when he fought Amir Khan. Everybody knows he can take a good punch but to get up from that body shot the way he did and come back and almost win the fight … he deserves props for that. I don’t think Morales is being suicidal by fighting Maidana. I just think he should’ve at least fought a B-level opponent before stepping up to the plate like this. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe he sees something that Maidana does. I don’t think he’s going to outbox Maidana, though, not for 12 rounds. The kid will put too much pressure on him. (Maidana) gets hit a lot but he keeps coming. And it’s not like Morales is a one-punch knockout guy. I’m sure Morales will go the body, which might be smart. I still just think that Maidana is going to run right through him and win a unanimous decision.”
“I’ve been going over this fight with Juan Diaz. We’ve both gone back and forth, back and forth. I don’t know. Katsidis didn’t show me much when he fought (Juan Manuel) Marquez. He had the early knock down but Marquez is such a smart guy, a strong guy, that he was able to withstand that and come back and knock him out. Guerrero is a different type guy. He’s very dangerous in the first half of fights but that changes in the second half of fights, especially against (Joel) Casamayor, who dropped him late. That surprised me. I think he gets bored when he gets a lead. It reminds me of Victor Ortiz. They get a lead and all of a sudden they get bored. I think that’s what happened against Casamayor. I think in this fight Guerrero will get a lead and keep it, although it could be a close fight. Guerrero by a close unanimous decision.”
Photos / Gene Blevins-Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions