Although it was previously reported and announced that Erik Morales would be facing the UK's Anthony Crolla on the Mayweather vs Ortiz PPV undercard on September 17, BoxingScene.com reports today that Jorge Barrios might instead be the opponent for "El Terrible."
Barrios (50-4-1, 35 KO) is a tough fighter, and was previously scheduled to face Morales (51-7, 35 KO) in December 2010. However, legal issues kept Barrios from leaving Argentina, which put Morales into a fight with Francisco Lorenzo instead. It appears now that Barrios can leave Argentina to fight in September.
Which fight do you like better? Barrios has been in with the better opponents, but there was something kind of cool about Crolla (21-2, 9 KO) getting a shot on a show like this against a legend like Morales, in part because I thought he could well give Morales a hell of a fight that some wouldn't expect. Neither has much name value in the States, though Barrios does have a little thanks to past fights with Rocky Juarez, Joan Guzman, and Acelino Freitas. Barrios hasn't fought in the U.S. since 2008 (when his lip ripped open Joker-style against Juarez), but he's won three straight in Argentina against mediocre opposition. Crolla has won eight straight against opposition that is largely even worse than what Barrios has faced.
Who would you rather see against Morales on September 17?
If Morales wins on September 17, he's the guy Golden Boy seems to want for Amir Khan in December. Freddie Roach thinks there are better fights, but is soft enough on the matchup (since it's easy for his guy and he knows it) to say that Morales does always come to fight. Frankly, I don't think Morales will fight Khan. He's not dumb, and unless Golden Boy is willing to give him more money than they'd like to for the bout, I just see it as unlikely that he takes it.