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Erik Morales stops Limond in 6th, but looks totally shot

By Dan Ambrose: Former three division world champion Erik Morales (50-6, 35 KO’s) picked up his second win in his comeback by stopping 2nd tier fighter Willie Limond (33-3, 8 KO’s) in the 6th round on Saturday night at the Monumental Plaza de Toros, Mexico. Morales, 34, dropped the 31-year-old Limond three times in the 6th round to get the stoppage at 2:46 of the round. Referee Jay Nady stepped in and stopped the bout after Limond took a knee for the third time in the round.

Up until Morales discovered that Limond couldn’t take a left hook to the body, Morales was looking about as bad as you can look for a fighter that’s seen little action in the past three years. Limond was not only faster fighter, but he was also able to dominate Morales with counter shots. Morales wasn’t pulling the trigger with his shots and was getting beaten to the punch.

The fight was for the vacant WBA continental Americas light welterweight title, but both fighters came in three pounds over the limit at 143, as if it really matters. Morales, who in his prime had slender body with zero fat, now has visible fat around his midsection and sides. Presumably, Morales will lose that fat at some point in time before he takes on someone like Juan Manuel Marquez. That’s the fight that is being talked about.

Personally, I think it’s a horrible match-up. Morales is no way ready for that fight judging by how awful he looked against the B level Limond and in his fight with Jose Alfaro in March. I had Morales losing that fight by 9 rounds to 3. However, Morales was given the decision by the scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112. It’s nice to be popular. I saw this as home cooking for Morales. The guy is carrying around too much fat, and just can’t pull the trigger like he used to. He may have beaten the 2nd tier Limond, but that guy isn’t a top tier fighter, and yet he was dominating Morales for the first four rounds. I gave all of the first four rounds to Limond. The 5th was close, as Morales began to pressure Limond and throw body shots.

In rounds one through three, Limond moved constantly and peppered Morales with right hands and jabs to the head. Limond’s hands were a lot faster than Morales and his reflexes appeared to be a lot better as well. Morales just looked slow and lethargic. In the 4th round, Limond continued to totally dominate the slower Morales with fast shots. However, in the last 20 seconds of the round Morales rallied and was able to land some nice shots.

It wasn’t enough for me to give him the round, but it was finally some life from Morales that was starting to show. Morales fought slightly better than Limond in the 5th. It was very close, because Limond continued to land often with nice shots. Morales, though, was moving forward at all times looking to land punches. I gave Morales the round, but it wasn’t impressive work from him.

In the 6th, Limond was fighting effectively until catching a hard left to the body that sent him down on the canvas. Morales quickly realized that Limond can’t take it to the body, and immediately put him down again with another big left hook to the midsection. Upon getting up one more time, Limond was sent back down with another left to the midsection by Morales. This time referee Jay Nady stopped the fight at 2:46 of the round.

Overall, I’d say Morales looks like a good B level fighter now. No way I do see him competing with any of the champions at lightweight or light welterweight. He’s too slow, too fat and too gun shy to beat a champion. I know he wants to fight Marquez, but I just don’t know how he could. I don’t think Morales can make it down to 135 to make that fight happen. If Morales doesn’t mind fighting Marquez without his WBA/WBO lightweight titles being on the line, then I think this would be a great fight. However, I don’t think Morales can burn off the blubber on his midsection to get down to 135. I think that weight is here to stay.

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