Action Heroes round-by-round
Interim WBA light welterweight title bout
Marcos Maidana vs. Erik Morales
Big chants for Morales. Maidana starting aggressively, hoping to capitalise on the fact that Morales has been starting slower since his comeback. Maidana is bullying Morales already, punishing the body up against the ropes with big hooks. Maidana goes close with an uppercut. Morales is looking very slow and his punches are lacking snap. Morales gets some punches off from long range. Maidana coming inside at will, threatening with the uppercut repeatedly. Maidana is pushing Morales back far too easily, and the round ends with Maidana going to the body up against the ropes.
10-9 to Maidana and it looks like the sacrificing of a veteran that many said it would be when the fight was first made.
Morales right eye is a mess — no cut but plenty of swelling. Maidana landing some good hooks to the punches while Morales goes upstairs with some straight punches to the head. Morales puts together a good combination to the head of Maidana that pushes the Argentine back briefly. Morales lands a shot to the body of Maidana and it seems to hurt. Maidana comes back strong with some solid shots to the body and a big right hand but Morales isn't bowed. Not a bad round for Morales but Maidana landed the better, harder punches.
20-18 to Maidana
Maidana connects with a straight punch to begin the round. Morales trying to get the jab working, sneaking in some body shots. Maidana tries to bully his way inside but seems to lack his usual intensity. Morales is able to move around the ring away from Maidana, connects with a straight right. Maidana is continuing to stalk Morales and look to punish the body. Morales' eye is pretty much closed. Morales is doing the right things but he just lacks explosiveness. Difficult round to score as Maidana was the more aggressive but didn't land anything with any real quality. Probably Morales' round, but only just.
29-28 for Maidana
Morales is showing how he's the better technical boxer, working with a certain smoothness that Maidana lacks. He's also taking Maidana's punches better than expected. Morales is working well from a distance and forces Maidana to adopt the type of roughhouse tactics that really shouldn't be needed in what is designed to be a showcase fight. He gets caught rubbing his head into Morales eyes and later on connects with a low punch. Maidana is throwing more but he's missing. Morales didn't do much in the round but it was far better than the very poor fare served up by the Argentine.
Maidana throws caution to the wind and kicks it up gears as he tries to restamp his authority on the fight. Heavy punches being thrown by Maidana but incredibly Morales responds in kind, outslugging the dangerous puncher. What a performance this is from the veteran early on. Morales hurts Maidana with a straight punch and starts bossing Maidana with quality punches. Maidana is warned for punching on the counter and its looking like he's punching heavy. Morales is looking comfortable as he picks apart Maidana with superior shot selection and handspeed.
48-47 for Morales
Maidana tries to bully Morales to begin with but is struggling to hide the gulf in technique that exists between the two. Morales gets the jab working but Maidana lands the uppercut. Morales is looking really good boxing at a distance from Maidana. Maidana is surely sailing close to a points deduction with his roughhouse tactics. Morales is landing the crisper, cleaner shots while Maidana looks completely uncoordinated. Maidana gets a good right hand towards the end and a left hand. But then Morales responds with a flurry. Incredible stuff.
58-56 for Morales
Morales has built a great platform to secure a legendary victory but given the problem with his eye and his age the next six rounds will be difficult for him to navigate. What will help with that is the lethgary of Maidana who's by no means pushing a fast pace, instead he's just blodding foward trying to bully the Mexican. Morales is still producing the better work, pushing Maidana back with a good uppercut. Morales sets up a nice left hook with several unanswered jabs. Maidana is swinging and missing in response. Maidana puts some good work together toward the end of the round but again he's missing more than he's landing.
68-65 for Morales
Morales catches Maidana with sweet left hook and Maidana is rocked, holding on for desperation. Maidana is looking very weak as he Morales hunts for the finish. Maidana lands some counters but Morales is proving capable of taking the best that Maidana can dish out tonight. This is remarkable. Maidana is able to regroup and push Morales back with some one-two combinations but Morales answers back with some work of his own. Maidana tries to punish Morales up against the ropes but the Mexican counters with a nice uppercut. More roughhouse tactics from Maidana, clearly trying to use his head. But at the moment Morales is doing the better work.
78-74 for Morales
Maidana pushes the action at the start of the ninth round and clearly hurts Morales, punishing Morales up against the ropes. A bad opener minute for Morales comes to an end when he's able to connect with some smart jab as they exchange. Morales dominates the next minute of exchange as it looks like Maidana has punched himself out, Morales is just looking superb with his shot selection. Maidana comes back strong in the third round, and gets some punches in. Better from Maidana but he's clearly struggling.
87-84 for Morales
Morales may be three rounds away from an astonishing victory. Maidana puts together some good one-two as he pushes Morales back. Morales fires back with combinations of his own, and connects with a thunderous left hand. Morales jumps in with a nice jab, which he follows up with another as Maidana holds. Morales is always moving forward in a remarkable performance, Maidana is falling back again. Maidana is swinging wildly again. Morales goes close with some overhand punches. This is all Morales. Just wow.
97-93 for Morales
Maidana comes back with good hooks to the body but Morales fires back with straight jabs down the pipe. Maidana lands a thunderous hook to the head of Morales and the veteran is looking in trouble for a moment. But Maidana just doesn't have the gas tank to sustain the pressure and Morales is able to again regroup and push the advantage. Morales targeting the body in ugly exchanges on the inside, as Maidana repeatedly punches on the break as he has all night. Maidana's round as Morales tires.
106-103 for Morales
Maidana looks to finish the fight, starting aggressively but Morales is getting clean punches off in response. Maidana's technical shortcomings have again been exposed as he all he has to offer is aggression. Maidana looking to punish the body of Morales but the veteran is keeping it together to get off nice jabs. Maidana is however outworking Morales in this round, with his body hooks looking good. Maidana pushes Morales up against the ropes and again works the body. Maidana gets a left hand and an uppercut in toward the end but even a final flurry doesn't stop Morales hearing the final bell.
115-113 on my scorecard which ironically is what I believe I had for Khan-Maidana.
Whatever happens the moral victory is Morales — after the derision that greeted his comeback he has put in a superb performance. The judges scorecards are 114-114 and two for Maidana on scores of 116-112. Disagree with those scores, but it was close.
Marcos Maidana defeats Erik Morales via majority decision
to win WBA interim light welterweight title