By Miguel Rivera
Former four division world champion Erik Morales has no idea which fighter will end up leading Mexican boxing in the near future.
2012 has been a big year of goodbyes in the Mexican boxing landscape. After suffering two bruising defeats this year, Erik Morales plans to have a farewell fight in Tijuana and then he will retire for good. Antonio Margarito retired earlier this year due to physical injuries. Jorge Arce retired two weeks ago after being knocked out by Nonito Donaire. And Juan Manuel Marquez, at age 39, is likely going to retire in the near future.
Who will carry Mexico? Only two bright hopes remain - Saul Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Both are superstars in Mexico, but critics in the country are wondering if either boxer has what it takes. Alvarez, while undefeated, was matched against opponents who were huge underdogs in 2012. Chavez already suffered his first loss when he was defeated by pound-for-pound boxer Sergio Martinez in September.
"I would call 2012 a year of transition [in Mexican boxing], because there are several outgoing pugilists like Arce, myself, and maybe Juan Manuel Marquez will also walk away. But, there are others who still continue to push strong. We have to wait until these boxers are supported by the television networks - like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Saul Alvarez, and some of the new Mexican world champions who were crowned this year. But we must not forget that this position [of carrying the landscape] is gained over time," Morales said to Tijuana Sports.