Name: Erik Morales
Alias: El Terrible
Birth Name: Erik Isaac Morales Elvira
Birthplace: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Hometown: San Ysidro, California, USA
Height: 5′ 8″ / 173cm
Reach: 72″ / 183cm
Boxing Record: click
Promoting Record: click
Trainer: Jose Morales (1993-2005), Jose Luis Lopez, Sr. (2005, starting with Pacquiao rematch)
Manager: Jose Morales (1993-present)
Erik Morales has proven himself to be one of this era's most exciting fighters.
Legend has it, Morales was born in a boxing gym. His father, Jose, was a professional fighter himself. Morales quickly excelled in the sport and the amateur ranks and desired to turn pro. At first, his father Jose was strongly against the possibility. He knew just how difficult it was to be successful in such a brutal sport. Ironically, it was his mother who gave young Erik her blessing to box professionally.
Morales would do well in the pro ranks. His first fight in the USA against Jose Luis Torres caught the eye of a boxing manager who worked with Bob Arum's Top Rank Boxing promotion company. The manager immediately got Morales a deal with Top Rank. From then on Morales would excel. He admitted to having a great difficulty making the 122-lb limit and in a recent KO Magazine interview said he thought about moving up in weight in 1996 but decided to stay at the lighter weight.
He eventually fought Daniel Zaragoza for the WBC title and won stopping the old champion in 11 rounds. Morales was to fight Junior Jones, a dangerous and accomplished fighter from Brooklyn. Jones's record coming into the bout was 44-3. He was coming off of a loss to Kennedy McKinney but was said to have been sharing a training camp with Evander Holyfield and training hard for this fight. Morales suprised everyone by stopping Jones in just four rounds.
Morales would make a few other notable defenses in the next year, including beating former Olympic Games Silver Medalist Wayne McCullough.
On Feburary 19, 2000, Morales would begin one of boxing's most acrimonious and brutal rivalries, against Marco Antonio Barrera. There had been bad blood for years between the two coming into their fight. The fight proved to be a great one, with both fighters brawling round after round. Morales won on points but many boxing fans vehemently disagreed. In fact, the WBO refused to give Morales the title after he beat Barrera, saying the decision was wrong. This would be Morales's last fight at 122 pounds. He would then move up to 126 pounds.
He fought for the WBC featherweight title against Guty Espadas and won a decision, although some fans also questioned the outcome of this fight. A bout between Erik Morales and Prince Naseem Hamed was discussed for years, but with Hamed losing to Barrera this bout fell through. Following Barrera's victory over Hamed, public interest grew for a rematch. The Barrera-Morales rematch was set for June 2002. Morales would suffer his first defeat in 42 fights, but again there was a controversial ending, with most fans believing Morales deserved the win by a margin of 115-113.
Morales went moved up to 130 pounds and won titles against Jesus Chavez and Carlos Hernandez. Morales then fought Barrera in a rubber match. Many people questioned this match, as Barrera was coming off a terrible loss to Manny Pacquiao, and people thought he was a shot fighter with no chance of winning. Barrera proved everybody wrong and beat Morales. This is the only Morales-Barrera bout where people generally did not question the outcome.
A Pacquiao-Marquez rematch fell through because Marquez demanded too much money. Promoter Bob Arum then offered Pacquiao the chance to fight another fighter of his, Erik Morales. The bout was considered a fan's dream, as both Morales and Pacquiao are crowd pleasers with their "all-out" styles. Pacquiao was coming off a potential 2004 "Fight of the Year" with Juan Manuel Marquez, and Morales was as well, with Marco Antonio Barrera. Morales won over Pacquiao by scores of 115-113. He then movied up in weight to 135 pounds, with the desire to be the first Mexican to win titles in four different weight classes. But he lost to Zahir Raheem by wide margins.