|La Sona Norte in Tijuana is the toughest area in a poverty-stricken town known for its hard streets, and even harder residents. It is a place where hope for a better life is not readily accessible to the “common” man, but lawlessness, prostitution,|
alcoholism, and mind altering chemicals are. Not all of Tijuana is like this, as I do not mean to make the Mexican city sound like a wasteland, but the only area that is cared for by the Mexican Government is the downtown, and the reason for that is the tourists. It is like many other frontier cities in Mexico, where I live included, in that wherever the “gringo” carouses, is where all is well. Let me tell you this, I am willing to bet my last dollar that the “gringo” does not frequent La Sona Norte area, but that is where the life and fighting spirit of Erik “El Terrible” Morales was forged.
Many of us have heard of his mythical story and how “El Terrible” was born in a boxing gym owned by his family, and has been wearing boxing gloves for as long as he has been able to walk. How his father, Jose, who also manages and trains his eldest “baron” (English Translation: Male Child), started his son’s fistic education at an age when most of us are learning our ABC’s. Fighting is not something Erik does; it is his who he is. The man eats, sleeps, and dreams of combat. How else would one explain the fact that he is one of the sport’s true natural talents that could literally box circles around most of his opponents, but chooses to stand inside and wage an all out war every time he steps into a squared circle. Morales’ height and reach advantages were a given in the lower weights, but he refused to use them, choosing instead to punish his foes and test his own metal in the process. His sheer enjoyment of physically and mentally punishing anyone who dared challenge him emerged every time he stepped into a ring.
Can anyone remember poor little Paulie Ayala and how “El Terrible” looked elated at the beating he was dishing out to the tough Texan, even mocking him for his lack of pop. There were times in that fight that he actually laughed in Ayala’s face after he would hit him with merciless punch after merciless punch. This lust for blood and pain was also very evident in his fight against Manny Pacquiao. After clearly out-boxing the Filipino superstar, taunting him several times as well, Erik decided to give “Pac-Man,” and the crowd assembled a real treat by switching to a southpaw stance in the final stanza, and inviting Manny to hit him with his best shot. Pacquiao did, and “El Terrible” smiled at the end of the carnage. It was truly a sight to see, but one that you would think those of us that have followed Morales would come to expect. It is a standard that few in the sport have set, and Erik is definitely one of the “few.”
His contempt for his challengers is fearsome, and the rage he has shown in the past, especially towards his nemesis, Marco Antonio Barrera, is downright evil. The words that have come out of “El Terrible’s” mouth, regarding Barrera, and even some of his kin, are usually lost in translation, as Top Rank’s translator, Ricardo Jimenez, has made the messages more “public friendly.” For those of us who understand his Spanish, we know that what Erik often says, is nowhere near as nice as what the translator gives the public. So, next time you see Erik’s face looking like he wants to kill someone as he is speaking, then you hear the translator say something that sound hard, but nice, just know that “El Terrible’s” message has been watered down for the sake of the women and children in the room.
The man’s tyrant ways also extend to outside of the ring, as Erik is a tireless businessman who is always on the go. His interests include a recording studio, musical band manager, boxing promoter/manager, and countless other ventures. By all accounts, he pursues his business ventures with the same ferocity that he pursued Marco Antonio for thirty-six rounds. With so much success outside of boxing, why would he still look to fight the best out there? Because he can!
So fight fans make sure you tune in to HBO on September 10, 2005, and witness the fury that is Erik “El Terrible” Morales. If his past trends continue, you will see a harder than expected fight because Morales just can’t help himself. He is older now, and his reflexes are slowing down, but you can still hear his warrior heart as it pounds loudly inside of his fighting spirit. That heart will be on display for everyone to see, come September 10.
Contact Sergio Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org