The seven time world champion and future hall of fame member from Tijuana, Mexico didn’t have the answers tonight. Garcia was simply too quick, too active and had the advantage in the age department as well.
Each fighter started at a controlled stride and traded quick and snapping jabs. Morales (52(36)-8) landed a great three punch combination at the one minute mark and showed patience. He would connect often with strong overhand power shots, yet Garcia would outlanded him at a two, sometimes three to one pace. The Tijuana fighter showed more power in the opening periods, but Garcia worked from start to end to effectively steal rounds.
In round three, Morales was fighting effectively, but his tendency to lean into his opponent would lead to Garcia picking him off with his left jab. With about thirty seconds to go in the round, the Philadelphia boxer scored with a hard right to Morales’ head, after which the Tijuana fighter simply flashed a grin at him.
Round four saw Erik land effective combinations, but as before he was simply not fast enough to back away and avoid getting caught once again. Rounds five and six seemed to be where the power shifted and finally remained. In the fifth, Garcia landed two hard lefts in the opening minute. One minute later, a hard right from "Swift" knocked "El Terrible" back into his own corner.
Danny began to tee off on Erik in the sixth round and sent the 35 year old fighter into the ropes. After this point, it was Garcia who was landing the harder shots. Rounds seven through nine followed a pattern. Speed may not always kill, but it certainly can win a fight as evidenced by Danny Garcia. He held the upper hand in the stamina department as well.
Garcia began to do more and Morales less. An impressive two punch combination by Garcia to close the ninth brought the crowd to an impressive roar. The tenth stanza was probably the best round of the evening. Morales faked out Garcia with a feinted left, after which he landed a hard right. In the eleventh, Morales displayed the guts and sheer will that has endeared him to millions of fans worldwide since the early 1990’s.
The desire to trade shots and take two or three to land one pleased the Houston turnout. Sadly, it was this approach that led to the only knockdown of the bout, which was scored by Garcia after ninety seconds had elapsed. Morales missed wide with a right uppercut, after which "Swift" was able to land a flush left which sent Morales to the canvas. He beat the count and made it into the 12th and final period.
Garcia knew the fight was his and played conservative. He would catch Morales when and if he tried to get inside. The crowd showed its appreciation for Erik Morales as the fight ended. All three judges scored the fight as a unanimous decision victory for Garcia, as the scorecards read 117-110, 116-112 and 118-109, respectively. Danny "Swift" Garcia remains undefeated and is the new WBC champion, which is the title Morales was forced to relinquish yesterday after he failed to make the 140 pound junior welterweight limit.