Monday, May 29, 2023  |



Erik Morales talks Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, Canelo vs. Cotto

Fighters Network
Erik Morales (R) with one of his latest students, Jessie Vargas. Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank

Erik Morales (R) with one of his latest students, Jessie Vargas. Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank

Mexican icon Erik Morales never faced any big-name Puerto Ricans during his Hall of Fame career. However, the Tijuana-born fighter grew up with the Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry and is well aware of the importance of it to his countrymen.

This Saturday, Morales’
fellow Mexican Canelo Alvarez challenges Boricuan Miguel Cotto for the RING middleweight championship in a highly anticipated encounter. (The fight was also to be for Cotto’s WBC belt but he was stripped for not paying a reported $300,000 sanctioning fee.)

Its a beautiful rivalry,” Morales told through Nancy Rodriguez. “It’s a healthy rivalry, the fans love it. I know its gonna be a great, exciting fight for all of us to watch.

Morales, a former four-weight world champion, is famed for his duels with another countryman, Marco Antonio Barrera, but played politician when asked if he feels an all-Mexican fight is bigger than one between a Mexican and a fighter from another country.

You can talk about Mexican versus Mexican, Mexican versus Puerto Rican, Mexican versus the Philippines, Mexico versus the USA, it doesnt matter ÔǪ a Mexican being in there, thats the key and thats what makes it good,” he said.

Although the 39-year-old retired in 2012 he remains involved in boxing by managing fighters like IBF junior flyweight titlist Javier Mendoza and training others, like welterweight contender Jessie Vargas.

He expects a tough fight when Cotto meets Canelo on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas on HBO Pay-Per-View.

Its gonna be a difficult fight,he said. Cottos gonna have to keep his distance, avoid the pressure, use a lot of leg movement. I feel its gonna be something that is going to be difficult for Cotto to do against a powerful young fighter that hasnt had as many wars as Cotto has, so hes going to have a very difficult task in front of him. I feel the Mexican, in this case Canelo, has more opportunity to win this fight. I feel it should end in a knockout.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at