The CBZ Newswire

Erik Morales Fails to Meet Weight, Stripped of Belt

by on Mar.24, 2012, under Boxing News

by John Martinez

[Editor's note:  This first appeared on Boxscore News, but was reprinted courtesy of the author] 

Looking soft and without his regular definition, Erik Morales was stripped of his junior welterweight title belt after failing to meet the 140 pound weight limit for his upcoming Saturday tilt with Danny Garcia. Entering the weigh-in two pounds over the required limit, the 35-year old Morales opted to not risk weakening himself in order to lose the weight overnight as a result he will forfeit $50,000 of his $1 million dollar purse. But in something only found in the bizarre world of boxing, the title now becomes vacant and if Morales can be victorious Saturday he will regain his title despite not fighting at the required weight.

With his 10 round TKO over Pablo César Cano last September, Morales (52-7, 36 KOs) became the first Mexican national to ever receive a title in four unique weight classes. But the boxing legend appears to have his work cut out for him as his 24-year-old challenger from Philadelphia, Garcia (22-0, 14 KOs), appears to be in top condition tipping the scales at 139 1/2.

 Morales’ decision of opting to keep his shirt on for the pre-fight promotional photos, clearly, never went unnoticed by Garcia. Instead, the shirtless Garcia used the opportunity to rile the pro-Morales crowd in attendance playing-up his solid physique to the howling fans. Afterwards, many in attendance were left to wonder aloud if Morales may have been looking past Garcia possibly opening the door for a Saturday night upset.

In the undercard, light middleweight James Kirkland (30-1, 27 TKOs) continues his drive back into top contention as he faces off with Carlos Molina (19-4-2, 6 TKOs). The Texas native, Kirkland continues his comeback after losing in a shocking first round upset to Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida in April of last year. With three victories under his belt since the loss, Kirkland entered today’s weigh-in not only in amazing condition, but in amazing spirits. Looking determined and into-the-moment, the south paw exuded an aura of energy and confidence of a fighter ready to impose his will on his opponent Molina.

My Predictions

Watch for the young charging Garcia to attempt to work the ring vet’s body testing Morales’ apparent lack of conditioning. But the Mexican hero has a warrior’s heart and somehow should find a way to triumph in a close and difficult affair. Morales by decision.

Molina is a quality fighter but Kirkland appears confident and in-form and should stop him mid-bout.

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