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By Hermie Rivera

One Shot Away or Morales is History
Sun, 29 Oct 2006

Erik 'El Terrible' Morales, a hard working-multi-titled-champ gets a final stab at redemption when he takes on Manny ’Pacman‘ Pacquiao to close out their heralded trilogy in Las Vegas, Nevada.

November 18th is when Erik engages Manny in a bid to evade ignominy against a steadfast rival who wants him out of the fight scene earlier than usual.

That has been the fixed purpose of Pacqiao ever since halting Morales in a rematch that fattened his money chests—a fortune in U.S. dollars earned in such triumph.

"Eric Morales should never be allowed to upset the applecart!” That’s Team Paquiao’s latest battlecry resonating at the Wild Card gym of chief trainer Freddie Roach as they step up their drive for a decisive win in this budding opus.

What a way to end it--a knockout like what Manny fashioned out against an outclassed Erik.

Now, who of the two warriors can gain the edge once they go for the jugular? Or who's likely to fall into a trap they'll be conjuring in between swaps of ferocious blows that's certain to thrill the legions who'll be watching live at the site or on broadcast outlets. Not to mention the huge multitude of fans willing to go hungry while waiting for such a horrendously delayed free TVcast.

”End it the best way possible, a knockout we should all expect after the 6th round,” barks Freddie during a torrid session with his ward at his Hollywood training pad. A sure route to further Manny’s stardom if executed properly right?

But like any displeased loser, Erik is most insistent his 'kayo' by the Pacman was all about a flawed set-up with a new team sans his Papa Jose who was conspicuously absent during those crucial sessions.

Morales' presence is assured by his troupe at the Thomas and Mack Center where he hopes to wreck whatever countermarch Pacquiao has ordered for the "Grand Finale.'

Undaunted by taunts of a beating from Pacman's camp, the Tijuana fight mogul says "he'll do the punching in the ring for a conclusive ending."

A slimmed-down Erik has been paraded by his handlers in a bid to tone down the nagging bombast on his supposed weight worries.

“What we’ve come to know” cried an observer on Erik's try at the scales (142 lbs,), “is an anxious fighter raring to go after his Filipino tormentor pronto."

By the way, Manny remains the bettors favorite in this highly-awaited rubber bout that should usher in a generous serving of fistic skills and know how.

“This is the fight I’ve always wanted--Pacquiao's singing notwithstanding,” Morales intoned during a rare chat with ace reporter Dyan Castillejo at his Otomi Mountain camp.

Pray tell me how Erik can regain lost grounds with Manny threatening to expose a weapon that could run roughshod over his preparations?

Will El Mexicano blow his lead (gained in training if any) once the Filipino hero unloads his ‘ugly’ singing at the weigh-in?

Not to worry folks. There is nothing to suggest that the "Finale" will be unbearably dull knowing that both Pacquiao and Morales have been delivering the same action-filled slugfest we’ve all come to admire.

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