A 34 year-old Erik Morales showed he still had the heart he’s shown his whole career and backed it up with accurate punching and a solid defence to take an off-colour Marcos Maidana the full twelve rounds, before going down to a majority decision on the judges cards.
The three-weight world champion started slowly in the first two rounds and was hurt by a wicked left hook by the Argentinean in the first round, which virtually closed his right eye straight away and left the Mexican warrior hampered for the remainder of the fight.
It took Morales till the third round to get settled into the fight, but he dominated the next three rounds, stunning Maidana with his accuracy and raising questions as to whether the two-time world title challenger had prepared properly for the fight.
The 27 year-old did come into the fight through rounds six, seven, eight and nine, but never discouraged Morales, who kept coming at the younger fighter and showed no signs of tiredness until the last two rounds, which Maidana won both of. Those two rounds made the difference on my card, as I scored the contest 115-113 to Maidana.
I don’t think words can do justice to the heart, skill and knowledge that Morales showed in this fight after having so many wars over the years and a semi-retirement in 2007. “El Terrible” was given a draw as one of the judges scored the contest 114-114, but the other two favoured Maidana’s work rate and scored it 116-112 in his favour to hand him the interim WBA welterweight title for the second time.