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Erik Morales Wants a Fifth Title, Anthony Crolla Might Be Next in December

Erik Morales will be back in December, and in 2012 plans to target a lightweight title. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Erik Morales will be back in December, and in 2012 plans to target a lightweight title. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Erik Morales says he wants to win a title in a fifth weight class, but first he will fight in December, and Anthony Crolla is back in the mix as a possible opponent.

Crolla (22-2, 9 KO) was the originally scheduled opponent for Morales on September 17, before the whole WBC mess played out, which opened up a vacant title belt at 140 for Morales to win. After Crolla, it was supposed to be Jorge Barrios, and then it was Lucas Matthysse, and finally, it was Pablo Cesar Cano.

Crolla, 24, still fought on the Mayweather vs Ortiz undercard that night, off television against club fighter Juan Montiel. The Manchester native didn't have as easy a time as might have been expected, and definitely not as easy as he'd hoped, winning an eight-round split decision.

Later that night, the 35-year-old Morales becamse the first Mexican-born fighter to ever win major titles in four weight classes, defeating Cano over 10 bloody rounds when the game younger fighter was pulled out of the bout by his corner due to a grotesque cut on his left eyelid.

Morales (52-7, 36 KO) now plans to target a drop down to 135 pounds next year to chase another title. That's not the worst idea, really -- he's soft at 140 pounds and probably can still pretty comfortably hit the lightweight limit. But one thing we've noted that needs to be noted again is that Morales is playing with fire in a big way. It'd be great to see him tip his cap and ride into the sunset now that he's got that fourth title, but he's not going to do that.

But he didn't look great against Cano, and frankly his performance in April in a close loss to Marcos Maidana was out of character in this comeback. It was, by far, the best he's looked since the comeback began in 2010. In his other fights, he just hasn't been that same guy.

He's still a warrior, but reality is that this story probably doesn't end on a high point, no matter how much we might wish it would. At some point, he's going to go a little too far, and he won't have the fight in him that he had against Maidana. If he plays it safe, he can cash out nicely, but knowing Morales, eventually he'll stop playing it safe.

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