Although Erik “El Terrible” Morales won’t be in Puerto Rico to see his fighter Angel Fierro take on the biggest challenge of his career, the Mexican Hall of Famer believes Fierro has what it takes to defeat Alberto Machado.
The former world champion had been training Fierro alongside Fernando Fernandez and has seen vast improvement in the young fighter’s abilities inside the ring. Morales spoke with the media and gave an assessment on Fierro’s growth under his watchful eye.
“He has learned a lot with us. When we got him, he used to jump a lot. But now he is better in his offense. He is a great fighter who is very tough. He is very strong,” Morales said.
Fierro jumped at the opportunity to fight Machado once Hector Tanajara, Machado’s original opponent, withdrew from the bout due to illness. Fierro and Morales were already preparing for a fight in Mexico this month, so they had already been working in the gym to make sure Fierro was ready for fight night.
According to Morales, Fierro’s original opponent had a somewhat similar style to Machado, so things lined up for them to take on this challenge.
“Fierro is always working, always training. He was training to fight a guy very similar to Alberto Machado. Fierro is a fighter worth watching. He’s clean, young and strong. He’s going to give the fans a great fight on Thursday. He is a fighter who fights very well at a distance. He also throws very hard and when he’s throwing punches in bunches, you will see why we took this fight… We will work based on our ability. Remember that we are Mexican, and we have a different way of boxing. Mexicans fight with more heart and more perseverance,” Morales said.
Machado is a former world champion at super featherweight, facing the likes of Jezreel Corrales and Andrew Cancio in title matches. However, Machado made the jump to lightweight in an effort to become a two-division champion in a weight more suited to his frame.
Fierro has never faced an opponent of Machado’s caliber, but that hasn’t stopped him or Morales from taking a chance at a career-changing fight and adding another chapter in the long history between Puerto Rico and Mexico inside the boxing ring.
“There are opportunities that don’t come very often. We lost a fight last time that we weren’t supposed to. But in this fight, he has an opportunity that he has to take advantage of, and he will. You’ll see him make the most of it on Thursday. We know we are in Puerto Rico so it’s complicated. It’s going to be a tough fight. That’s the tradition because it’s Mexico vs. Puerto Rico. But he is going to come here and beat Machado in his hometown. We trust that the judges will do their job but there’s no doubt about it, we are going for the knockout,” Morales said.
Machado vs. Fierro headlines the March 18 Ring City USA card from Puerto Rico and will air on NBC Sports Network, starting at 9 p.m. ET.
Full Media Call: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldnGrxNmGFg&t=7s