By Rey Colon
Puerto Rican boxer Eric Morel (46-4, 23 KO's), a former U.S. Olympian and two-time world champion in different divisions, has decided to retire from boxing and plans to pursue a career as a manager and eventually wants to become a boxing promoter, according to his father and trainer Cyril.
A former WBA flyweight and WBO bantamweight champion, who represented the United States in the 1996 Olympics, lost his last two fights against unbeaten boxers Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz. They were his only fights in 2012.
Mares defeated him by unanimous decision when they fought for the vacant WBC super bantamweight title and Santa Cruz stopped him in five rounds to successfully retain his IBF bantamweight belt.
Morel was the 112-pound champion from 2000 to 2003, making five defenses before losing the belt to Venezuelan Lorenzo Parra in a bout held in Puerto Rico where he lost by unanimous decision. In 2005 he tried to dethrone Martin Castillo, WBA super flyweight champion, and lost by unanimous decision.
After a forced retirement of three years due to legal issues, he was able to defeat Filipino Gerry Penalosa in 2010 to win the interim 118-pound WBO crown.
"Eric had a brilliant career and we are grateful to all the sponsors who believed in his talent. He is negotiating with Golden Boy Promotions, because he has a three prospects. I support his decision. That's what I want from now on. Age comes. He is 37 years old. Look at what happened to Eric Morales when he was knocked out [by Danny Garcia] and I do not want that to happen to Eric who has never been knocked out. That last fight was stopped because Santa Cruz had more speed and was not going to slow down," Cyril said.
Morel will soon become a father for the third time and wants to spend more time with his family.
"Everything has to come to an end and we must accept it. He leaves with a good record and maybe one day he will be considered for the Hall of Fame. I think it's a good decision and I respect it. Eric will start as manager. He has a [prospect at] 154, 115 and 135, all good," Cyril said.