Morales KOs Limond in six
Erik Morales, the quintessential Mexican fighter, rallied to stop Willie Limond with the most traditional of Mexican punches — the left hook to the liver — in the sixth round of a scheduled 12-round main event at Monumental Plaza de Toros in Mexico City on Saturday.
Morales (50-6, 35 knockouts) looked bloated and shopworn during the first three rounds of the bout as the 31-year-old Scottish fighter boxed circles around 17-year veteran.
Limond (33-3, 8 KOs) exhibited a sharp jab, smart footwork, a tight defense and crisp counter punching while Morales slowly stalked the well-schooled stick-and-move boxer. However, the popular Mexican fighter, who weighed 143 pounds as did his naturally bigger opponent, gradually fought himself into shape with each round.
Morales began to cut the ring off in the fourth and time Limond with hard jabs and right hands. He landed three- and four-punch combinations to Limond's body and head when the game Scotsman foolishly stood his ground with the future hall of famer in the fifth.
Midway through the sixth Morales landed a perfect left hook to Limond's side that caused him to take a knee. Limond bravely got up on wobbly legs only to get nailed with the same shot to the liver that clearly sent ripples of pain throughout his body as he dropped down to his knee again. Limond got up a second time and was immediately sent back down with yet a third left hook to the body.
Referee Jay Nady waved the fight off at 2:46 of the round, correctly ruling that Limond could not continue.
“I'm going to get better and better with each fight,” Morales promised the live crowd of 54,000 and the millions watching on Televisa in Mexico during his post-fight interview. “I'm really dedicating myself to boxing and I know I can make 135 pounds.”
If he can indeed make the lightweight limit high-profile bouts with his fellow Mexican legends Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera await him in 2011.