Diaz Defeats Morales

By Tom Donelson
Updated: August 6, 2007

Gloves IOWA CITY, Ia. — Erik Morales looked liked a fighter more relieved than irritated or mad that he just lost to David Diaz. This was a close fight that could have easily have gone either way.

Just look at the official scoring. Two of the three judges had the first round a 10-9 round even though Morales nailed Diaz with a right that sent Diaz sprawling to the canvas.

Diaz won the first 2:30 of the round, but most judges would give a fighter a 10-8 when he scores a knockdown. On this night, only one of three judges scored it a 10-8. One judge gave Diaz a 10-8 round advantage in the second round despite a referee scoring a Morales fall to the canvas as a slip.

What if the one judge scored the second round a 10-9 as oppose to a 10-8 or what if all three judges scored the first round a 10-8?

The decision would have been a draw and Diaz would still have kept his title.

Regardless, Morales fell to defeat against what most observers consider the weakest of the lightweight champions and he knew that his career as a championship contender over.

Morales have been one of Mexico’s greatest fighters and his career has Hall of Fame written all over.

The problem is that now, he can no longer comfortably fight at junior lightweight or featherweight and he does not have the power or quickness to fight the best lightweights.

Diaz simply outmuscled Morales throughout the fight. He did not use boxing tactics or skills; he simply kept pressuring Morales throughout the fight and wore him down. Morales held the advantages over the early rounds but Diaz’s natural strength took precedence in the later rounds.

The last round showed the difference between the two fighters. Diaz, with his right eye swollen shut, came out with grittiness and determination. He started to throw punches from all angles and never stopped throughout the round.

Diaz forced Morales to the rope repeatedly and his power punches nailed Morales to the body or to the head.

Morales had nothing much left as the round wore on. It was as if hundreds of rounds fighting tough wars against some of the best fighters of his generation took their toll.

Morales no longer had the strength to fight Diaz off and he simply moved through him as Morales’ punches no longer had the steam.There was a time that Morales was considered one of boxing more feared puncher but now in the 12th round, those punches could no longer hold off the waves of punches coming in his direction.

His ability to escape failed him and now he became a punching bag for the last three minutes of his fight. After the fight, Morales accepted the reality as he told the media that they saw the last of him in the ring.

There are times in which every fighter faces this moment and Morales looked in the mirror and saw a fighter that could no longer be a championship fighter. He lost five of his last six fighters and yes, he lost a close fight to Diaz but he still lost.

Morales can no longer compete with the best of the lightweights and no longer has the desire to fight at lower weights where he made history. Despite the occasional protest from his team, Morales’ face said it all.

It was a face that said, “I left all in the ring and there is nothing less to give.” Morales fought a tough fight against a good fighter but it was no longer enough. He then simply walked away.