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Erik Morales – Danny Garcia one week away; Kirkland-Molina also on card

Erik Morales James KirklandBy Allan Fox: Next week on Saturday, March 24th, 35-year-old WBC light welterweight champion Erik Morales (52-7, 36 KO’s) makes his long awaited first and likely his only title defense against unbeaten #4 WBC contender Danny Garcia (22-0, 14 KO’s) at the Reliant Arena, in Houston, Texas. Morales didn’t impress in winning the World Boxing Council title last September in defeating 22-year-old Pablo Cesar Cano by a 10th round stoppage.

Morales took a lot of punishment in that fight, as he did also in his loss against Marcos Maidana last year in April. Morales is getting the most out of his career by hanging on and fighting four divisions over his prime weight class of super bantamweight. However, he’s not likely to hold onto his title for very much longer because he’s not strong at this weight and his age starting to show itself. Garcia, 23, is a good fighter with excellent skills and decent power. I don’t see him as being anything special when compared to guys like Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley at 140, but he’s a tough fighter for a guy like Morales and it’s going to be a real test for Morales to see if he’s got enough left to win this fight.

On the undercard of this bout will be junior middleweight contender James Kirland taking on Carlos Molina in a tough pick em fight. Kirkland is coming off of an impressive 6th round stoppage of Alfredo Angulo last November, whereas Molina recently defeated Kermit Cintron by a 10 round decision last July. Kirkland has a lot of questions to answer whether he can take a clean shot because he was bothered every time Angulo landed cleanly. If not for Angulo gassing out after only one round, we may have seen a much different fight. It’s unclear whether Kirkland is better than he was in getting stopped in the 1st round against Nobuhiro Ishida last year.

Also on the card will be former lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo fighting Jose Miguel Cotto, the brother of WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, in a 10 round bout in welterweight action.

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