Four-division titleholder Erik Morales insists that it will be different this time against Danny Garcia during Saturday night’s Showtime-televised return bout for the RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight belts at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Morales (52-8, 36 knockouts) has blamed the pre-fight gall bladder surgery that he endured last December for his performance, against Garcia in March, when Morales was dropped in the 11th-round of a unanimous decision loss that dethroned him as WBC beltholder.
The surgery forced Morales to withdraw from his originally scheduled match up with Garcia that was slated for Jan. 28.
Morales had become Mexico’s first fighter to win four belts over as many different weight classes with last September’s 10th-round TKO over the previously unbeaten Pablo Cesar Cano, only to come in at an overweight 142 pounds against Garcia, losing his belt at the scales.
“I know my son, and I know he had problems due to the gallbladder surgery before the first fight. This time has to be different because there are no excuses or injuries,” said Morales’ father and trainer, Jose Morales.
“I have to be honest and say that Erik is very well motivated for his rematch against Danny Garcia. My son did a great job for almost 12 weeks to make sure that the result will be different. For this fight, he has had more time to plan everything and do different things.”
Morales, who turned 36 last month, held his training camp in the high altitude of the Centro Ceremonial Otomi, mountains that are located in Temoaya, Estado de Toluca, Mexico.
“I had a very good training camp and I am ready,” said Morales. “All I have to say is that I am ready to put a great show next Saturday night.”
Morales’ routine in preparation for Garcia, 24, included running at 8 a.m., as well as gym workouts at 5:30 p.m. with four different sparring partners.
“Training camp was excellent, and I strongly believe I will have no problems making my mark on the division,” said Morales, whose diet included pasta, chicken, fish and meat on occasion. “My body responded well to my training regimen and I feel that this time the outcome will be different. I want to be a world champion again.”
Photo by Marty Rosengarten, Hoganphotos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org