No longer in his prime, Erik Morales loses to Marcos Maidana

The upset of the night had Nobuhiro Ishida knocking out the Texas Bad Boy, James Kirkland.

In their Las Vegas clash, Saturday at the MGM Grand, they were the main attraction of a PPV boxing card filled with many of the sport’s top names. In essence, Erik Morales (now 51-6), the stellar ex-champion and soon to be Hall of Famer, was there to provide Marcos Maidana (29-2), with a big payday.

Things went from tough to impossible for Erik Morales, after he lost vision from his right eye.

By now I suppose everyone has heard of or witnessed the machismo on display by this fraternity of great Mexican fighters. They just don’t know when to quit. In this one, Morales landed his share of clean shots, but his power wasn’t going to bother the younger, stronger man.


When it got to the middle rounds, Morales was still landing the combos even with his right eye nearly shut. He gave the Argentinian all he could handle. But after 12 rounds, the decision was never in doubt, 114-114, 116-112, 116-112, for Maidana.

The fabulous undercard dubbed “Action Heroes” lived up to its billing:

Robert "the Ghost" Guerrero, from Gilroy, CA.

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (28-1-1, 18 KOs) easily defeated Michael Katsidis (27-2, 22 KOs) winning with scores of 117-108, 118-106 and 118-107. Guerrero entered as the number nine ranked lightweight in the world according The Ring Magazine people and Katsidis was ranked as the number four ranked lightweight by the same publication. Was it an upset? Not at all. Guerrero knows all facets of the game, not only offense, but the defense as well. He was way too quick for the Australian. In other words, Katsidis got the worst of it.

Just 30 seconds into their bout, James Kirkland, the Texas bad boy, was on the receiving end of a powerful left hook delivered by Nobuhiro Ishida that had him stretched out on the canvas. Not that I believe in paybacks but wouldn’t it have been sweet to have all of Kirkland’s KO victims sitting ringside and then pan their mugs for a reaction. Kirkland went down again at 1:44, and got back up on wobbly legs. (one more pan) Another combination returned him to the mat before ref Joe Cortez finally called a halt to the bout at just 1:52 of the first round. The 27-year-old Texan who was in jail for two years on a weapons charge, now goes to 27-1, while the 35-year-old Ishida rises to 23-6-2. Kirkland later claimed the knockdowns were merely flash knockdowns. His KO victims should start using the same line.

Paul Malignaggi (29-4, 6 KOs), the former IBF junior welterweight champion was awarded an unanimous decision victory over Jose Miguel Cotto (32-3-1, 24 KOs) over ten rounds, winning 99-91, 99-91, 97-93. Paulie’s hand-speed was the difference and he realized early that Cotto’s little brother  pose none of the problems he faced with big brother. A cut over Paulie’s eye dripped some blood but nothing that would prevent him from winning this one.

Junior welterweight Danny Garcia (21-0, age 23) added the venerable Nate Campbell (33-8-1, age 39) to his resume. The cards read 99-91, 98-92 and 100-90 and that performance may signal the end to Campbell’s brilliant career. He has now lost three in a row (Victor Ortiz, Walter Estrada and now Garcia).

Olympic gold medalist Rakhim Chakhkiev (10-0, 8 KOs) stopped Harvey Jolly (12-16-1, 6 KOs) in round three of their cruiserweight battle.

Junior middleweight Mikael Zewski (9-0, 5 KOs) won a split decision versus Clint Coronel (4-2-2, 1 KO). Zewski looked impressive to two judges who had it 60-54, 59-55, but the third judge was watching a different match and saw it 60-54 in Coronel’s favor.

Lester "El Cubanito" Gonzalez of San Diego

On Friday’s “Solo Boxeo Tecate” card on Telefutura from Buffalo Bill’s Star Arena in Primm, Nevada, the 2008 Olympian from Las Vegas by way of Accra, Ghana, Bastie Samir, whom we have seen fight locally at the Four Points by Sheraton in San Diego and at the Club Nokia in Los Angeles, found himself struggling in an all out battle with a local boxer from the Black Tiger Gym on Miramar Road in San Diego, Lester “El Cubanito” Gonzalez. After the bout, many ringside observers came over to the Gonzalez corner and went out of their way to tell Gonzalez and his seconds that they thought he had won the match. Not to name drop but among those ringside observers was Oscar De la Hoya who thought there should be a rematch.


Share This Post

Pin It on Pinterest