In Boxing News: Manny Pacquiao Looks For Late Stoppage

The boxing writers in the Phillipines are never at a loss for words when a Manny Pacquiao bout is on the agenda, and the last 24 hours have been no different. Erik Morales, reports Tempo, has lined up all-southpaw sparring partners, most of whom were already part of his team leading up to the Mexican’s initial clash with Pacquiao, with the exception of former WBA featherweight champion Freddie Norwood. Norwood has been brought in to help Morales deal with movement, a perceived weakness after his loss to Zahir Raheem. Pacquiao, meanwhile, has said he has a hunch he will be able to take out Erik Morales in the late rounds, considering Morales will likely struggle to make the 130-lb limit. If Morales comes in over by one pound, he pays me $250,000, but the fight goes on, said Pacquiao. Pacquiao added that he felt Morales may tire in the later rounds. Plausible as it sounds, the only flaw with this theory may be that Morales didn’t appear to tire that much in the later rounds the first time they met.

Graham Houston of Boxing Monthly (always worth reading) writes, those who think Erik Morales is finished might get a big surprise when Erik Morales faces Manny Pacquiao. For a fighter such as Erik Morales, motivation is everything. When he lost to Zahir Raheem last September it was one of those fights where he just couldn’t get interested. Against Pacquiao, Morales knows he had better be ready for a 12-round war, and – says Houston – rest assured, he will be.

Bernandez Fernandez reports that according to Zahir Raheem‘s manager, Cameron Dunkin, Raheem is like middleweight standout Winky Wright in that most of the top guys in his division would rather duck him than fight him. And why not? Raheem would pose a tough test for anyone, but is not yet enough of a box-office attraction to financially force the bigger draws to the table. A rematch with Morales is Zahir’s biggest fight and best chance to break through in terms of public recognition. We all know it. We’re almost at a point where we have to beat Morales again to prove that the first fight wasn’t a fluke, said Dunkin. In the same column Fernandez reports that Tim Witherspoon is considering a comeback, after some disappointments as a trainer.

British boxing writer Steve Bunce writes that one bout stands out in a series that could signal the renaissance of British boxing – Scott Harrison vs. Joan Guzman. People have been predicting the sport’s re-emergence for five years and Harrison vs. Guzman, says Bunce, is part of an amazing 10-week sequence of 16 major fights involving British boxers on British soil which suggests the renaissance of the fistic art in the UK is well and truly under way. Perhaps the biggest fight on deck in the UK is Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy (March 4). That is one to really look forward to.

Heavyweight David Tua has a partial victory in a long-running court battle with his former managers. The High Court in Auckland has found that Tua validly cancelled his contract with Martin Pugh and Kevin Barry in 2003, and does not have to pay them any earnings since then. Tua’s managerial situation turned very messy and his battle with his former management team may be one of the biggest fights of his life, given how much is riding on the outcome.

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