Danny Garcia will be putting his WBA and WBC Junior Welterweight titles on the line against former four-time world champion Erik Morales on Oct. 20 at Brooklyn, New York’s brand new Barclay’s Center. This is a rematch of their March 24 bout which Garcia won by a unanimous decision.
Garcia of Philadelphia won the WBC crown that night after the Mexican Morales was stripped of it before the bout for coming in over the weight limit of 140 lbs. Garcia punctuated the victory by decking Morales during the 11th round and won by scores of 117-110, 116-112, and 118-109. Just four months later, Garcia was back in the ring against WBA champion Amir Khan of England, and he took his belt with a fourth-round KO.
Morales stated that he was overweight and slow in the first fight against Garcia since he had surgery on his gall bladder a few weeks before they met and he wasn’t fully recovered from it. However, he better be in tip top shape for the rematch or the result will be the same or even worse for him. The 36-year-old Morales is one of Mexico’s best-ever boxers and has a 52-8 record with 36 knockouts. His reach is 72 inches and he stands 5-foot-8.
The future Hall of Famer has won titles in four divisions between featherweight and junior lightweight, but he doesn’t carry the same power when he moves up in weight. This means he needs to depend on his experience and boxing talent, which he has plenty of. He’s got a pretty good chin even though he’s been down a few times in his career.
He turned pro in 1993 and since then has taken on some of boxing’s best such as Jesus Chavez, Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera, Carlos Hernandez and Kevin Kelley. His losses inside the distance were to Garcia, Zahir Raheem, Marcos Maidana two to Barrera. Pacquiao stopped him twice, but he also beat Pacquiao and Barrera by decisions.
Garcia is just 24 years old and unbeaten at 24-0 along with 15 knockouts. He’s got a 69-inch reach and is 5-foot-9. This gives him an inch in height over Morale, but a three-inch shortage in the reach department. He has an excellent amateur career with 120 matches and was crowned a national champion back in 2006. He then turned pro the following year.
His confidence should be sky high after beating Khan and Morales already this year, but he still needs to be careful against the ever-dangerous Morales. Garcia’s defensive abilities aren’t the best in the boxing world and he’ll need to make sure he doesn’t leave himself open. It would be wise for him to go to Morales’ body to try and slow him down for the later rounds.
Morales will need to load up on his power shots to make sure Garcia knows he’s in a fight. He should also try to counter punch when Garcia’s throwing one of his patented wide punches. Also, he’ll need to be in excellent shape and state of mind to win this bout and even if he is, it’s going to be a tough mountain to climb. Look for Garcia to stop Morales in the late rounds or take another decision.