Garcia KOs Morales, retains WBA/WBC junior welterweight titles
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Danny Garcia knocked out Mexican legend Erik Morales in the fourth round of their rematch to successfully defend his World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council junior welterweight belts Saturday in the first boxing card at Barclays Center.
Garcia landed a vicious left hook to take out Morales 83 seconds into the fourth round to remain unbeaten in 25 fights while sending the four-division champion to his ninth loss in 61 fights in a 19-year professional career.
“I’m OK, I’m OK,” Morales said through a translator after the brutal knockout. “I was prepared to win this fight, but I couldn’t do it.”
Morales plans to have one more fight in his hometown of Tijuana and then retire for the second time.
“This is my last fight in the United States,” Morales said. “I want to say goodbye in Tijuana, Mexico. Time passes everyone by. I came to fight. I was ready. It’s early signs that it’s over.”
The 24-year-old Garcia, who won their first fight via unanimous decision, was simply too fast and too strong for the 36-year-old Morales.
Garcia almost ended the fight in the third round when he nailed Morales with a big right on the chin, nearly knocking him down.
The young fighter then ended Morales’ misery with a massive left hook on the chin and referee Benji Esteves immediately waived off the fight at one minute, 23 seconds.
“He’s a crafty veteran and he hit me with a few good shots,” Garcia said. “I thought it was going to go 12 rounds because he’s a warrior. He knows how to take a good punch. We train hard and we’re happy it came early.”
Earlier, Garcia refused to fight Morales after the latter tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol, which often is used to assist in weight loss but the $1 million purse was simply too much to resist.
Known as one of Mexico’s all-time greatest fighters, Morales is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.
He won world titles in the junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.
Morales was also involved in many memorable fights, including epic trilogies with Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera.