By Ryan Burton
Juan Manuel Marquez pursued a showdown with countryman Erik Morales for many years with no success. It appeared that a fight between the two Mexican legends was going to finally take place this Saturday but Marquez ultimately didn't agree to the fight and decided to try to secure a third fight versus Manny Pacquiao.
On April 9th, Morales will face the heavy handed Marcos Maidana of Argentina in place of facing Marquez. Morales addressed this topic with the media during the fight week activities in Las Vegas.
When asked if he was disappointed that he was facing Maidana instead of Marquez, Morales told BoxingScene, "Boxing is a business. He made a decision and I happy to be facing Maidana. This will be a great fight."
The media asked Morales how he felt about the reversal in roles between himself and Marquez. For years Morales was above Marquez in terms of popularity and Morales said that he has always been chasing him for a fight, but now it is Morales who tried to land a fight with Marquez.
Morales said that he has always been more popular than Marquez with the fans and pointed to his ability to draw fans to his fights.
"In Mexico I never fought on free TV like he does. After being gone for three years I drew 18,000 fans in my first fight back. Then I drew 50,000 in my next fight," Morales told the media.
Morales was reciting the attendance totals for his fight versus Jose Alfaro in Monterey, Mexico and his following fight at the Plaza de Toros in Mexico City versus Willie Limond that drew 50,000 fans.
The Tijuana based 3 division champion also mentioned Marquez's low attendance total for his previous fight with Michael Katsidis which attracted less than 6,000 fans to Las Vegas.
"That is something I have that he doesn't. I can sell and he doesn't. The people want to see me fight. How many tickets were sold for his fight with Katsidis?"
Morales feels that Marquez's stature as a top 10 pound for pound fighter doesn't change the fact that he is still more popular amongst the Mexican fans.
"The fans have always followed me and haven't done the same with him," said Morales.
Morales-Maidana takes place on April 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV and will be broadcast on HBO PPV.
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