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Erik Morales: The First Four Division WBC Champ

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Erik Morales: The First Four Division WBC Champ

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Erik Morales: The First Four Division WBC Champ

Erik Morales, also known as “El Terrible,” has proven himself as one of the greatest smaller weight professional boxers in history. His career accomplishments are a testament to his unquestionable talent and dedication, as he accomplished something that had never been done before in becoming the first boxer to win titles in four different divisions of the World Boxing Council (WBC). From super bantamweight to light welterweight Morales made history with his exceptional skills and memorable bouts.

Let’s take a look at this remarkable fighter’s life and achievements.

Early Life and Beginnings in Boxing

Erik Isaac Morales Elvira, born on Sept. 1, 1976, in the northern part of Tijuana, Mexico, was destined for the boxing world. Morales’ introduction to boxing was unconventional, given that he is the son of former fighter José “Olivaritos” Morales and Isabel Elvira.

Erik had a boxing ring as his playground, and by age five, was put up to box against an opponent twice his age. Despite his first defeat, it marked the start of an illustrious amateur career where he showcased his resilience and determination, totaling 144 fights with only nine defeats. This early exposure to the boxing world played a significant role in molding Morales into the legendary champion he became.

Professional Debut and Early Victories

Morales, showcasing an unwavering spirit, made a triumphant entry into the professional boxing scene on March 29, 1993, at 16. His debut match against José Orejel ended in a swift two-round knockout, setting the tone for his future career.

The early part of his career was significantly influenced by training sessions with established figures like Lupe Pintor and Mauro “Betillo” Gutiérrez, who recognized his potential and urged him to debut. His first year as a professional boxer saw him secure seven impressive victories, confirming that Morales was a force to be reckoned with.

In 1994, Morales stepped into the ring six times, winning every bout. His fight against José “Pepillo” Valdéz on December 19, 1994, was particularly noteworthy as he won the “Mundo Hispano” Super Bantamweight title. This victory was a critical moment in his career, leading him towards unprecedented heights in boxing.

Ascension to the Big Leagues and First World Title

The turning point in Morales’ rise to the top arrived when he signed with promoter Bob Arum, escalating him to unprecedented recognition in boxing. This new contract saw him go up against former world champions like Héctor Acero Sánchez and Kenny Mitchell, affirming his place among the sport’s elites. The ultimate test came on Sept. 6, 1997, when Morales faced off against Daniel Zaragoza for the World Boxing Council super-bantamweight title.

At only 21, he demonstrated exceptional skill and tenacity, knocking out Zaragoza in the 11th round to claim his first world title. Morales’ reign was formidable; he defended his title nine times, including a notable victory over double former world champion Junior “Poison” Jones and adding the WBO super-bantamweight title to his accomplishments. These wins solidified his place in the big leagues and marked the onset of his remarkable journey toward becoming a four-division WBC champion.

Morales would battle fellow countryman/hall of famer Marco Antonio Barrera in an epic trilogy of fights beginning with the first in February 2000.

Return from Retirement and Historic Victory

Morales came out of retirement in March 2010 at the age of 33 to fight Nicaraguan José Alfaro in Monterrey at 147 pounds. Despite the break, Morales showcased his indomitable spirit, emerging victorious against his adversary and winning the WBC International welterweight championship. The return journey wasn’t devoid of challenges. In April 2011, he faced Argentine Marcos Maidana, where an early blow to his right eye resulted in significant inflammation. Morales fought gallantly for 11 rounds despite the hindrance, narrowly losing by decision.

After aligning with Golden Boy Promotions, Morales returned to the ring on Sept. 17, 2011, in Las Vegas for a shot at the vacant super light welterweight title. He was matched against top-ranked Pablo César Cano, who was filling in for the injured Argentine Lucas Mathysse. Morales, harnessing his vast experience and unrivaled determination, won by TKO in 10 rounds. The fight was ultimately stopped as Cano, suffering from a broken cheekbone and a deep cut on his eyebrow, could not continue.

This victory made Morales the first Mexican to win four world titles in different divisions, an incredible accomplishment further amplified by all his belts being “Green and Gold.”

Morales’ illustrious career finally concluded in June 2014 when he officially announced his retirement from professional boxing. Despite experiencing two consecutive losses against American Danny García to close out his career, Morales’ remarkable career inspires boxing enthusiasts worldwide. His journey, marked by resilience, unwavering dedication, and undeniable talent, will forever be remembered in the annals of boxing history.

Indeed, the legacy of Erik Morales will continue to influence aspiring boxers for generations to come, and his matches will always hold a special place in the hearts of online sports betting enthusiasts.

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Michael is the CEO of Last Word On Sports INC and is happy to be involved with Big Fight Weekend. He is credentialed with several international governing bodies. He cites the Hagler-Leonard fight as his introduction to boxing--and what an introduction that was!

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