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October 20th, 2012, Barclays Center
, Brooklyn, New York.
Years from now when large venues such as Barclays cease to exist or perhaps floating arenas are the “it” thing, historians will look through the history books of Barclays arena and recall significant moments from rap legend Jay-Z performing 8 consecutive nights to perhaps Nets NBA title to championship boxing returning to Brooklyn in over 80 years.
The history books will show how a 24-year-old Philadelphia bred fighter by the name of Danny Garcia demolished a Mexican legend in Erik Morales. History will speak about how Morales fought valiantly for the 4 1/2 rounds the fight went on, it will cast Morales in a light of being a warrior and not what he truly was on Saturday night. A cheater who should not have been in the ring in the first place.
However the likelihood that history will touch on a positive test and how Morales realistically did not deserve to headline on such a historic fight card will be largely ignored.
While Morales earned his due respect and his fair share of main event headlines throughout his career not to mention his legendary status of being a warrior in the ring, Morales should have not been given the first fight in a new venue, at least not in Brooklyn. His positive drug test aside, Morales did nothing to earn a rematch against Garcia, not for bragging rights and certainly not for a belt. Morales never deserved a rematch with Manny Pacquiao after he was stunned by Zahir Raheem back in 2005. 7 years ago Morales was considered a bit long in the tooth and now, well now he is just a shell of a former fighter who gave fight fans so many great memories.
That is an unfortunate statement but it’s true.
His last big win was against Manny Pacquiao in 2005 and since that fight Morales has went 4 wins 7 losses. While he fought with hints of his former younger aggressive self against Marcos Maidana, he would ultimately would end up losing against the Argentinean. Morales would then get a shot at the belt when Timothy Bradley was stripped of the belt due to inactivity against relatively unknown Pablo Cano. Morales gets the win and from there a loss and a rematch knockout to Garcia lands Morales to the present.
Add the fact that he tested positive for a diuretic and the last 7 years Morales looked more like a fringe contender than an all time great.
This was supposed to be Goldenboy’s opening of the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, New York?
Make no mistake the card itself was good. The undercard fighters put on a great night of action in the new arena, Hasaan N’dam and Peter Quillen stole the show with the back and forth action they displayed, Paulie Malignaggi got up from an 11th round knockdown to win a tough fight against Pablo Cano.
However with this being the first major fight in the new arena, the main event felt a little flat. Garcia deserved a far better opponent that a fighter with just a name and the Barclays arena deserved a better main event. Richard Schaffer mentioned after the fights that he had something big planned for February at the Barclays arena but the question would be why then? This past Saturday was the inaugural fight at the arena, if Goldenboy wanted to establish them selves in the East (GBP has exclusive rights with the Barclays arena) then GBP should have went all out. Hopkins last fought in April and in hindsight maybe holding Saul Alvarez out of Mexican Independence weekend and perhaps having him the main event would not have been a bad plan, instead of a fighter that only tarnished his legacy with a failed drug test, GBP could have had a helped a fighter continue on his rise in the ranks and boxing resume.
Sadly hindsight is 50/50 but one thing was obvious, Morales did not deserve the fight and getting knocked out in 4 rounds is not that way anyone wants to remember Erik Morales. It is highlight reels such as from Saturday night that boxing fans would rather see fighters go out riding into the sunset than being a possible knockout of the year as Morales has become.
However that is not the case so fans got to witness the good and bad, Saturday night, Morales was the bad.
Personally it was very exciting to be able to cover the first fight in a new arena. Barclays is definitely a nice arena, for anyone that has been to Staples in Los Angeles, it had a similar feel to that arena, but with less L.A. Live and more old schools Brooklyn vibe around the arena. Either way, it was a nice place; personally I would prefer to attend a fight back in Brooklyn than at Madison Square Garden.
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