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"El Terrible" Morales Takes On A Tough Test In Garcia Saturday Night! Undercard Breakdown.

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By Sig Guillermo
Reliant Arena, Houston, Texas-
 Saturday night brings yet another electrifying night of boxing as legendary Mexican warrior and reigning WBC Light Welterweight Champion, Erik “El Terrible” Morales (52W-7L-36KO’s) takes on a tough test in undefeated young superstar and current NABO Light Welterweight titlist, Danny “Swift” Garcia (22W-0-14KO’s).    

Known for his explosively charged barn-burners, Morales has always given as good as he’s taken. In his most recent performance, Morales grinded out a ten round technical knockout of Mexican countryman and NABF Light Welterweight champion, Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano (23W-1L-18KO’s-1D) to go on and claim his fourth world title in a fourth weight division on the Floyd Mayweather Jr./ Victor Ortiz undercard. Five months prior to his tenth round demolishing of fellow country man, Cano, Morales had engaged in an all out slugfest with WBA (Regular) light welterweight champion, Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (31W-3L-28KO’s) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 9, 2011. Despite losing via twelve round majority decision, the verdict remains arguable. Even at 35 years of age, Morales continues to prove time and time again the heart of a true Mexican fighter. With two epic-trilogy battles against future boxing hall of famers, eight-division world champion and pound for pound king, Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (54W-3L-38KO’s-2D) and former two-time WBO bantamweight/WBC/Ring Featherweight/Lineal/WBC and IBF Super Featherweight champion, Marco Antonio “Baby-Faced Assassin” Barrera (67W-7L-44KO’s-1NC), Morales has demonstrated that age is only a number. His list of opponents include: former WBC lightweight champion, David “Dangerous” Diaz (36W-4L-17KO’s-1D), former WBC International lightweight titlist, Zahir “Z-Man” Raheem (31W-3L-18KO’s), former NABF/WBC Super Featherweight/IBF Lightweight champion, Jesus “El Matador” Chavez (44W-7L-30KO’s), former IBO super bantamweight/WBA World bantamweight/NABF bantamweight titlist, Paulie “El Tigre” Ayala (35W-3L-12KO’s), former WBC featherweight champion, Kevin “The Flushing Flash” Kelley (60W-10L-39KO’s-2D), former IBA Featherweight titlist, Angel “Avispa” Chacon (37W-9L-16KO’s), former IBO featherweight/WBO super bantamweight/WBA World bantamweight champion, Junior “Poison” Jones (50W-6L-28KO’s), and former WBC Bantamweight/WBC Super Bantamweight/Daniel “The Mouse” Zaragoza (55W-8L-28KO’s-3D, International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee). Originally scheduled for January 18, 2012, the postponement would surface due to Morales requiring emergency gallbladder surgery. To the benefit of the boxing public, the fight was later rescheduled for March 24, 2012. This will be the first defense of Morales WBC title as well as the second undefeated prospect he has faced since coming back out of retirement in 2007.

Possessing a stellar amateur background, Danny Garcia has been on a great run of victories since turning professional back in 2007. At only 24 years of age, Garcia is coming off the two biggest wins of his career. First, as a co-feature to the epic Morales/Maidana battle, Garcia won a grueling ten round unanimous decision over former unified WBA/IBF/WBO lightweight champion, Nate “The Galaxy Warrior” Campbell (33W-8L-25KO’s-1D-1NC). Sixth months later, Garcia would reveal his skill in outhustling former WBO junior welterweight champion, Kendall “Rated R” Holt (27W-5L-15KO’s) to a narrow ten round split decision victory. Now when you speak of future boxing hall of famer, Erik Morales, you speak of boxing greatness. Morales, although well past his prime, is still a very lively foe and has proven to be extremely dangerous. Even at this stage of his career, he can still outbox as well as bang with the best of them. Although the difference in experience is vast, the youth of Garcia may close the gap in what may be the turning point of his career. Could Garcia’s momentum be shifted by the crafty Mexican veteran? Or will we see the rise of a new world champion? It remains to be seen whether Garcia can handle such a step up in class. Prepare yourselves for a brawling affair as we go to war on Saturday.

In the scorching undercard, WBO/NABO light middleweight titlist, James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (30W-1L-27KO’s) will meet former WBO/NABO Light Middleweight Champion, Carlos “King” Molina (19W-4L-6KO’s-2D) in a scheduled twelve round junior middleweight shootout. Kirkland is arriving from a tremendous sixth round technical knockout win over former interim WBO Light Middleweight Champion, Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (20W-2L-17KO’s) last November at the Centro de Cancun in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Since reuniting with ex-trainer and former four-division female world titlist, Ann “Brown Sugar” Wolfe (24W-1L-16KO’s-1NC), Kirkland has re-discovered a new sense of resiliency and determination. Against Molina, Kirkland will need to up his arsenal and endurance, for his adversary is well recognized for constantly coming forward.

Despite his lack of pop, Molina has tactical abilities in adjusting to styles. As proven in his upset victory over former IBF Welterweight titlist, Kermit “The Killer” Cintron (33W-5L-28KO’s-1D), Molina displayed the audacity and will in pressuring the former champion into a one-sided ten round unanimous decision win. Prior to his upset of Cintron, Molina has faced such notable opponents as: current WBC Middleweight Champion, Julio Cesar “La Leyenda Continua” Chavez Jr. (45W-0-31KO’s-1D-1NC), WBA Fedelatin light middleweight titlist, Erislandy “The Cuban Great” Lara (15W-1L-10KO’s-1D), IBF Latino Light Welterweight Champion, Mike “Mile High” Alvarado (32W-0-23KO’s), and former NABF/NABA welterweight titlist, Danny “Dynamite” Perez (34W-8L-17KO’s). As part of an anomalous semi-final WBC eliminator junior middleweight contest, the winner shall face current WBC Silver Light Middleweight Champion and #1 ranked WBC contender, Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan (32W-0-20KO’s) in the eliminator finals.

In addition to the pugilistic warfare arrives former WBO Inter-Continental super featherweight/WBO/NABO lightweight titlist, Jose Miguel Cotto (32W-3L-24KO’s-1D) who is set to face Mexican veteran and former Ring Magazine/two-time WBC Lightweight Champion, Jose Luis “El Temible” Castillo (63W-11L-54KO’s-1D) in a scheduled ten round welterweight contest. Jose Cotto, who is the elder sibling of four-time World Champion, Miguel Angel “Junito” Cotto (37W-2L-30KO’s), is looking to bounce back from a rough ten round unanimous decision defeat to former IBF Light Welterweight/WBO/NABO Light Welterweight Champion, Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (30W-4L-6KO’s) nearly one year ago. Now a shell of his former self, the once proud Mexican slugger known as “El Temible” continues his march towards another world title. Castillo is arriving off of a second round technical knockout of fellow countryman and Mexican veteran, Sammy Ventura (26W-22L-20KO’s) this past November. To the benefit of Jose Cotto, Castillo is long past the days of old.

Also featured will be 21 year old undefeated Irish talent, Jamie “The Nuisance” Kavanagh (8W-0-3KO’s) who will meet seasoned veteran, Julian “Baby” Rodriguez (19W-20L-13KO’s-4D) of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, in a scheduled six round lightweight bout. Kavanagh is looking to rebound from a debatable six round majority decision draw against Dominican novice, Ramesis Gil (7W-3L-5KO’s-5D) last December. Rodriguez has lost his last three fights and looks to turn the tide in upsetting the young Irish standout on Saturday.

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