Live Saturday night from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada (HBO PPV), Manny Pacquiao meets Erik Morales for the third bout of their classic trilogy. Tijuana’s El Terrible (48-4, 34 KOs) beat Pac-Man (42-3-2, 32 KOs), from General Santos City, The Philippines, to the punch in their first go-round, but it was close, whereas Manny turned the tables in the rematch and handed Morales his first loss by KO. Now the two warriors meet in the rubber match, with one fighter (Pacquiao) on the ascendant, at the top of his game, and the other fighter (Morales) hoping to regain his former status as one of Mexico’s premier fistic assassins. This is how The Sweet Science writers see Pacquiao-Morales III.
There's little reason to believe this rubber match will be any different than the rematch. Morales appeared old, tired and used up. Pacquiao is at the top of his game. That said, don't be surprised if this one is a little more competitive than the last one. Morales, with his new training regimen, may use the jab more. But the bottom line is that he doesn't have the stamina to last with a whirlwind like Pac-Man. Every great fighter has his day. Saturday will be a sad one for the great "El Terrible." Pacquiao TKO 11.
Expect Pacquiao do a demolition job on a shot Morales. Morales will probably fight well for three rounds but the drop in weight is too much for the aging warrior who will go out on his shield between rounds eight and ten.
Peter M. Carvill
It's a good idea not to go against Pac-Man. I won't say Erik Morales is washed up or is a has-been, but the smart money is still on Manny for at least the decision.
Jesse K. Cox
Despite his new training methods, I think losing the weight is still going to come up and bite Morales in the behind somewhere around the ninth or tenth round. It seems tougher every fight for him to get down to 130. If he even gets there for this fight. I'm picking Pacquiao to stop Morales sometime after the tenth. If Morales comes in at 133 and they still fight, all bets are off.
I feel Morales knows how to beat Pac-Man since he's done it in the past. This will be all up to conditioning for Morales. Everything I've been hearing regarding the Morales camp is extremely positive so I'm predicting a unanimous decision win for "El Terrible" who will try to take Pacquiao to school.
Here comes another shootout, and it's one I just can't see Morales winning. Pac Man in 9.
Morales has lost something along the way and Manny Pac is still picking up steam. The weight loss and years of hard battles have taken their toll. "Pac Man" will soundly defeat "El Terrible" and I'll bravely say by brutal 8th round stoppage.
All things being equal the younger, stronger fighter should prevail. Not that the issue of Erik Morales fighting Manny Pacquiao in November of 2006 speaks to equality, balance and indistinguishable terms for our referencing. Morales, mentally worn at 30, seeks to reconstitute himself for the rubber match with Manny Pacquiao. He's taken his body down to weight scientifically. He believes he's a new man at 130. Pacquiao, who reversed a decision lost with a stoppage win in the rematch, will be hoping to better his own best performance, playing the faster, more powerful hitting soldier of fortune. Neither man is afraid of the other. Morales will have to erase Pacquiao's advantages applying tactical brilliance, something he's disdained in the last four mega fights he's contested. No one tells Morales how to win; he's closed his door to adaptive impulses, or so it seems. We are ripe for a surprise; but, Pacquiao's a superstitious guy. He's ready for something magical from Morales, one last flight toward greatness. The Philippine star and Freddie Roach are ready, waiting, solutions laced up. They are not about to be surprised. Or so they have been saying."
If things hold to form this one could be decided by respective expertise of the combatants' cutmen. Barrera has a lot of miles on him, and I expect Pacquiao to prevail if one of them doesn't bleed to death first. If Pac-Man doesn't win it's probably an indication that those rumors of less-than-dedicated out-of-the-ring stuff may be true.
In short, this one is too close to call. Morales appears to be shedding the weight comfortably, while Pac-Man is still in prime form. I'm going out on a limb: Draw.
You can't help but love a fight like Pacquiao – Morales. Both are fighters in every sense of the word and will bring their all to this battle. Morales has worked hard to get his weight and training right which makes the fight that much more appealing. The question is, just what does he have left? Pacquiao is in his prime which is why I'm leaning towards him winning a decision victory. The Filipino has it all and Morales is going to have to fight the fight of his life if he wants the win. Morales winning might be better for boxing as it would open up a host of other bouts but it's hard to bet against the Pacman. Manny Pacquiao via unanimous decision...or late round TKO.
Morales' well-documented weight problems could come back to haunt him in this fight. The always charging PacMan should be able to stop him even sooner than he did last time. Pacquaio TKO 9.
Erik Morales has the blueprint to beat Manny Pacquiao. He showed it conclusively (though not to the populace of Manila) the first time they fought, much like Juan Manuel Marquez did after he was nearly vaporized by Pac in the first round: He moved side-to-side -- hands high -- behind an educated left jab and lead rights, keeping Pac off-balance and frustrated -- reducing him to hail-Mary lefts. Pac came back with a vengeance in the return, armed with a newly-developed right hook, courtsey of Freddie Roach, and duplicated what he did to Marco Antonio Barrera: shocked, beat-up, beat-down and left him in ruins. Whether it was “El Terrible’s” hubris or being weight-drained is for Monday morning quarterbacks. The defeat for Morales was so crushing; any thought of matching the two again would have been cruel and inhuman punishment. Manny put a period to Erik’s career, with an exclamation point. But, here we are again Saturday night for the rubber match. After being made to look like a wooden Indian against Zahir Raheem and the annihilation at Manny’s hands, most think the shell of Erik will be butchered even earlier. I don’t. Morales is a proud, proud man, seething to show Barrera and the world who’s best. Like Floyd Patterson that put the decimation by Ingmar Johansson behind him and stretched Ingo in the return, I think Morales will return to cold-blooded form, take charge, use his five-inch reach advantage and win convincingly.
My heart’s with Manny. My instinct’s with Morales.
Morales heads into his latest rubber match hoping to forget about the worst defeat of his career in which Pacquaio did the unthinkable and sent him down and out for the first time. He blamed his weight struggles as the reason for ending up on the canvas and he's confident he can handle Pacquaio's electrifying speed as he did in their first contest. The problem is that Morales isn't getting any younger and has to make the junior lightweight limit once more, which will surely take its toll. Look for Pacquaio to be too much for the aging Morales, with his speed, movement, and punching power once again proving to great an obstacle to overcome. Morales won't go easily though as he's still a dangerous foe and his valiant effort should make for an intriguing fight. Pacquaio by unanimous decision.
I cannot find a reason to pick Morales, especially after his last two fights. Another KO victory by Pacquiao looms.
Having lost three of his last four fights, one wonders what Erik Morales has left. While I do not think he is a shot fighter, he will not silence any naysayers on Saturday night. Manny Pacquiao by decision
A fight where you put on your Mr. T mask and predict "pain." Pac-Man and El Terrible are so close in "styles make classics" status that it may come down to something like whoever fits the weight easier. In this case it appears to be Pacquiao.