Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mark's Top 40 at 40: 4

Mark Lyons is back with the latest edition of his top 40 favorite fighters list.

Not surprisingly, the fighter coming in at #4 is a boxer/puncher who liked nothing better than to mix it up whenever the going got rough.

Take it away Mark...

4. Erik Morales

Career Record: 48-6 (34)

Three Favorite fights: Manny Pacquiao I UD12, Marco Antonio Barerra I SD12, In-Jin Chi UD12

Oh man, where to begin...

I'll start with this- fistic church is now in session. This congregation only requires the lust for combat, unquenchable thirst to prove yourself and a jaw of concrete. Before it rained for 40 days and nights Erik gathered two of every species and they came because they knew what was good for them.

Watching highlights of this man makes me choke up. He is the epitome of a warrior, such a merciless bad ass with balls so massive that his exceptional skills are underrated. Anywhere, anyone, anyway, all night long.

Erik was Clint Eastwood. Even more apt, he was the real life Dirty Harry. Mean, ruthless, vindictive and yet still he was the good guy. A man who woke up in the morning, stuffed his balls in his holster, met another gladiator at the referee's instructions and said, "Go ahead, make my day". When you hit him with your best stuff he would come back at you with the tenacity and force of a hurricane. As if to say, "I'm Erik Morales, the most powerful entity in the world and my right hand can knock your head clean off. So you have to ask yourself a question. Do you feel lucky? Well do you, punk?"

Many a punk tried, but none of them were lucky. We as boxing fans were the lucky ones. In a 33 month stretch at the end of glorious career he fought Marco Antonio Barerra, Carlos Hernandez, Jesus Chavez and Manny Pacquiao three times. That is a vicious schedule by today's standards. Manny is already establishing himself as one of history's absolute top fighters. Who knows how high he can climb? One thing I feel pretty certain of, you wont see someone else stare him down and kick his ass again. Manny showed off his greatness in the last half of the three wars, but El Terrible was there the whole time, begrudgingly wilting with the honor and glory of a fallen samurai.

Oh yeah, there was another trilogy you may have heard of, against another all time great that included 2 violent wars and a fight where Erik was robbed after clearly out-boxing a man who wasn't there to fight. The first fight was as good and painfully violent as it gets. Both men asked no quarter and none was given. It could have went either way but the real winner was the world. That was Genesis. On the 19th day of February in the year 2000, Erik Morales created a fan that will never forget him.

Slugfests with In Jun Chi and Guty Espadas were just par for the course. He didn't always win, (maybe he could have won more if he didn't think with his sack) but look me in the eye and tell me there is greater theater than watching him eat a vicious combination only to explode out of a cannon and drive his opponent into the ropes with blazing fists of revenge.

You've all seen it, I don't have to recap everything. This isn't one of the guys from my youth that maybe only this old man and a few others saw. Southpaw in the 12th, defiantly hovering over Velardez' fallen body, blasting Diaz to the canvas in another screwjob, the unrelenting desire to prove his manhood and thrill us fans. You remember don't you? Do you feel lucky to have seen it? If you don't, you're a punk.

Shortly Erik will be back. He is a young man and there are still infidels to punish. It wont end as well as I will pray for. But I can guarantee you one thing... he'll make sure you get your money's worth. Get up in the morning, crack a beer or a bottle, take your vitamins, say your prayers and prepare for Revelations. The final chapter of war and violence from boxing's Santa Claus. Thanks buddy, I'll be there, prayer book in hand, ready to rock 'n roll with the Lord.

"Did you like that, Mark?"

"Yeah Erik, I loved it!"

Mark's previous entries: Intro, 40-36, 35-31, 30-26, 25-21, 20-16, 15-13, 12-10, 9-8, 7-6 & 5.

e-mail Mark Lyons


Mochomo said...

I loved it, beautiful beautiful 'post.' I was waiting for this one, I knew Erik had to make your list.