Can Erik Morales do the impossible?

Let me start by saying that I am a big Erik Morales fan. The guy is a true legend. I’ve rooted for him on all of his fights against the ones against Manny Pacquiao and I have to admit that I felt a sense of sadness watching him lose to Pacquiao.

His career should have been over after losing to David Diaz; it was his fourth straight loss. But you all know how boxers are. Very few of them do not know when it is time to hang their gloves up. The few who actually figure it out refuse to accept it. They try to hang on to their former glory and no one can blame them. Boxing is something they have done all their lives and the thought of not being able to do it anymore hurts them.

Morales battle-cry in this comeback is that he wants to be the first Mexican to win four titles in four different divisions. He is racing against Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Mother Time.

This sunday, he will fight Marcos Maidana, a dangerous light welterweight who has tremendous knockout power. El Terrible’s team wanted to fight Maidana because of his flaws. He is a very rough technical skills and he is slow. Morales thinks he can exploit these weaknesses and get a win.

I have no doubt in my mind that Morales knows how to beat Maidana. My only worry is that his war-torn body may not be able to turn those ideas into action.

I fear for Morales’ well-being in this fight.

Will I skip watching it?

Nope.

Like a true-blue Morales fan, I will be intently watching and waiting for another miracle. But if this ends up being the last time we see Morales in the ring, I’d probably spend the evening watching his old classic fights. Back in the times when Morales fought like this

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Fight Camp 360 Episode 1

One of my worries about the switch from HBO to Showtime was that the latter was not capable of creating drama through their weekly documentaries about the fight. I wrote about it on an article a few weeks ago.

The first episode came out this week and I have to say that there were no surprises. HBO 24/7 is indeed much better. Heck, even Manny Pacquiao himself did not know what the name of the program was. Anyway, for those who have not seen it yet, here is episode 1.

After I watched the first episodes HBO 24/7, I could not wait to see the fight. HBO 24/7 gave out a palpable sense of excitement. Maybe it was because of the poetic lines or the good narration or even the shots they chose. There was something there that got me excited for the fight.

This episode of Fight Camp 360 had none of that. The only good thing about it is that I saw my ugly mug at 7:23 of the second part :).

Kidding aside, I hope the next ones will be better than this. The fans deserve better.

On Meeting Freddie Roach

Saying that I have always wanted to be in the same building as Manny Pacquiao is quite an understatement, so when I received the news that I was going to see him train in Baguio, I went bananas, yet another understatement.

However, there was another reason why I was amped to be in Pacquiao’s training camp. It was because I’ll be able to meet the great Freddie Roach. Being in the same room with someone who holds so much knowledge in the one thing I want to learn most was something I looked forward to.

I reached the Shape-Up Boxing Gym located at the Cooyeesan Hotel Plaza a little early. I walked towards the gym where someone told me that the champ will start training at 1 pm (I was there at 11) so I decided to eat lunch at one of the stores downstairs. While I was at the middle of my meal, Freddie Roach walked in. I ditched my half-eaten rice and abodo and ran out of the store to chase Freddie.

Click on http://solarsports.ph/freddieroach to read my piece on Freddie Roach. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Pics from Pacquiao’s training camp

I was lucky enough to be allowed to go to Baguio and visit Manny Pacquiao in his training camp. It was a surreal experience for me. Being a long-time boxing fan, I really couldn’t believe that I was inches away from Pacquiao as he was doing his workout. Better yet, I never thought I’d have the chance to talk to people who I look up to, the first of which is Freddie Roach.

Here are a few of the pics I had during my first three days in the camp.

Luckily for me, Freddie Roach gets bored easily. He often gets to the gym at noon for Pacquiao’s training which starts at 2 pm. I was able to talk to him about a ton of things while waiting for his favorite student to get into the gym.

The heir apparent of the boxing kingdom that is the Wild Card Gym of Los Angeles. Amir Khan is destined for great things. He has power and speed. If he works on his defense more, he’ll be a force to reckon with in the welterweight division. Freddie told me that he think Amir is going to get a shot at Floyd Mayweather before his career is through.

This guy is the second Pinoy fighter I followed. the first is Luisito Espinosa. After this picture was taken, Freddie Roach told everyone in attendance that Penalosa is the best technical fighter the country has ever produced.

How strong was Donaire’s punch?

See for yourself.

Here he is before the fight.

Here is Montiel after the fight.

Damn.

Props to Referee Russell Mora

Boxing referees often get it wrong. We’ll all seen how referees affect the outcome of the fights. We all saw how Joe Cortez award the title to a battered and bruised Francisco Lorenzo when after Humberto Soto’s punched grazed the back of Lorenzo’s head when while he was down. We all witnessed how Laurence Cole credit Marco Antonio Barrera with a knockdown against Manny Pacquiao when no punch was thrown.

Being a referee isn’t easy. There are a lot of things to be considered. You are so close to the action that sometimes things are more difficult to see.

In the fight between Nonito Donaire and Fernando Montiel, the referee got it perfectly.

After Donaire landed a check hook, Montiel crashed down the mat and started shaking. He tried to get up and failed. By the count of 8, Montiel was still down but he summoned whatever was left of his consciousness and willed himself to get up before Mora could reach the count of 10.

Some referees might have stopped the fight even if Montiel made it to his feet and it would have been perfectly okay. However, Mora knew what was up for grabs in this fight. Montiel is a warrior. He has proven time and again that he is one of the fiercest competitors in the sport. Mora decided to give Montiel the benefit of the doubt but after two more punches from Donaire, Mora wrapped his arms around Montiel to save him from more punishment.

I often write about referees who do terrible jobs. it is but fair for me to give props to one that called the fight perfectly.

Good job Russell Mora. I hope to see you working on more fights.

Personalized Nike Shoes for Underdog Boxing

I’m a big fan of Nike Shoes. I’m don’t have a collection or anything like that but I can appreciate a good pair of Nike shoes. I thought it would be fun to design my own personalized Nike shoes and I wanted these to have a Filipino colorway. I just felt it would be cool to have shoes for Underdog Boxing to celebrate its one year of existence.

Here are the prototypes. I’m still going back and forth which one I should order.

Here are the pictures of Kobe’s Venomenon Filipinized. I’ve long wanted Venomenon shoes so it was the first thing I tried out.

Notice the “Underdog Boxing” label

I also made Filipinized Kevin Durant Flywire shoes. These are more affordable compared to the Kobe Venomenons.

Here are Hyperdunks, just in case it’s is still physically possible for me to play basketball again.

Last but not the least, here are Nike Trainers. Not a big fan of trainers but these are the only designs that allows me add Underdog Boxing outside the shoes.

If you’re wondering why I’m obsessing about the Philippine flag, it’s because I’ve always wanted to buy these Air Force 1’s

but I never got the chance to cop them so I’m trying to design my own. Too bad NikeID does not have Air Force 1’s in their list.

This blog is primarily for Philippine boxing so it’s also fitting to design shoes that have a Filipino theme.

Anyway, you guys can help me out. Leave a comment on what you think is best!