In an appearance on BoxingScene.com's Boxing Lab radio show last night, WBC junior welterweight titlist Erik Morales said his January return to the ring won't be against a notable opponent, and that he plans to use the fight as a test to see if he can comfortably make the lightweight limit at age 35.
[ Related: Morales to Return in January ]
As for his 140-pound title, surely Morales will be given the full year to defend that wasn't granted to Timothy Bradley, the fighter stripped of the belt that was all but handed over to Morales in September. So there's no need to worry about that.
A run at lightweight would have the veteran warrior targeting fights with WBC titlist Antonio DeMarco, who won the vacant belt on October 15 with a terrific victory against Jorge Linares, and lineal champion Juan Manuel Marquez, which is probably the biggest fight out there for Morales, and may be the biggest for Marquez outside of another bout with Manny Pacquiao.
Morales had an interesting quote regarding Marquez, too:
"Truly the fight interests me but it doesn’t interest [Marquez]. He doesn’t have plans to fight me" explained the Mexican legend. "He doesn’t like the idea. He knows fighting me would be a difficult [fight]. Very difficult. And I don’t think he’s willing anymore to take difficult fights."
This is, uh, some statement given the recent levels of competition for the two. Since Morales' comeback in 2010, here's his list of opponents:
- Jose Alfaro
- Willie Limond
- Francisco Lorenzo
- Marcos Maidana
- Pablo Cesar Cano
In that same time period, Marquez has fought Juan Diaz, Michael Katsidis, Likar Ramos and Manny Pacquiao. Prior to those fights, and going back to 2007, Marquez had fought Marco Antonio Barrera, Rocky Juarez, Pacquiao, Joel Casamayor, Diaz, and Floyd Mayweather.
Any idea that Marquez is avoiding stiff competition is frankly ludicrous. If both are going to fight on in 2012, as it seems they will, I do hope we see that fight, either at 135 or 140, whatever weight works best for them. It would be long overdue, but both still bring it when the situation calls for bringing it, and I have no doubt it would be a tremendous fight.