By Rick Reeno
Eric Gomez, head matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions, expects an exciting fight when Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5, 38KOs) and Erik Morales (51-6, 35KOs) do battle for the WBC's 140-pound "Diamond Belt" on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After being away for nearly three years, Morales returned to boxing last March with a decision win over Jose Alfaro, and then followed it up with a TKO of Willie Limond in September, and a twelve round decision over Francisco Lorenzo in December.
Not everyone is pleased with the fight. Marquez is considered to be a heavy favorite, and most insiders are expecting a relatively easy win. Gomez expects a real fight. The two Mexican icons have a real dislike for each other. When the two boxers were fighting under the Top Rank banner, Marquez always complained about Morales receiving preferential treatment. And, Marquez has recently made claims that Morales, when he was on top, refused to fight him.
"I think it's going to be an exciting fight. There's history there. Morales will get up for this fight. Fighters like Morales, they get up for the big fights. It's like Marco Antonio Barrera with Morales. Every time they said Barrera was finished, he would get up for the big fights, like he did in the third fight with Morales, and the first fight with Morales," Gomez told BoxingScene.com.