Known throughout his illustrious career as “El Terrible,” THE RING’s No. 5-rated junior welterweight Erik Morales, of Mexico, says he’s changing his name to “The Professor” in advance of Saturday night’s HBO-televised defense of his WBC belt against the magazine’s No. 7-rated 140-pound contender Danny Garcia, of Philadelphia.
The 35-year-old Morales (52-7, 36 knockouts) made his announcment during Thursday’s final press conference at the Verizon Wireless West Club inside the Reliant Arena in Houston where the fight will be held, this, after feeling upstaged and somewhat disrespected by Garcia (22-0, 14 KOs).
“I’m young, humble and hungry,” said Garcia, who turned 24 on Monday. “It’s a new time, it’s a new era, my dream will come true Saturday night.”
Morales had a swift answer to Garcia.
“I’ve heard it all before,” said Morales. “Can they be that stupid? I am changing my name to ‘The Professor.’ I’m giving classes.”
In addtion, Morales became Mexico’s first fighter to win four belts over as many different weight classes with September’s 10th-round TKO over the previously unbeaten 21-year-old prospect, Pablo Cesar Cano, in his last fight.
Morales endured gall bladder surgery in December that forced him to withdraw from his initially scheduled match up with Garcia from Jan. 28.
Photo by Jon Elits, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com