Juan Manuel Vazquez
La Jornada newspaper
Thursday, February 18, 2021, p. a12
All boxers want to be the best in the world. It is a rule to survive in a tough job, recognizes Erik Terrible Morales, former world champion in four divisions, but the Mexicans have something special, he says, as if it were a natural disposition.
We are a rough people, says the Terrible; That is why it is so popular abroad when two Mexicans fight. Everyone in this business has pride and wants to be recognized, but we seem to have it in our blood or that it is part of our history.
On Saturday in Las Vegas, two Mexicans will once again star in a highly anticipated card. Super featherweight world champion Miguel Berchelt will defend his title against Óscar Valdez, a fight they anticipate will be the best in 2021.
When Berchelt and Valdez discuss their motivations, they both agree that they want to measure up to those who came before them. But above all, they aspire to be worthy heirs of the Morales y Barrera trilogy.
Our trilogy became a classic, says Marco Antonio Barrera, former monarch of three categories, but I would advise Berchelt and Valdez not to think about repeating our history, to leave it in the past and do better. I would like young people to no longer say, I want to be like Morales-Barrera, but like Berchelt-Valdez, because that would speak of an evolution, that Mexican boxing is alive.
It is not only marketing, both Morales and Barrera acknowledge, about the fighting between Mexicans. Both, today good comrades, try to explain that there was something deeper than simple competition when they faced each other. It is more than sporty, it tries to expose Barrera; “There is something about how we understand honor. I used to say at that time: I can lose, because it is part of the competition, but not against the Terrible. With whoever, less with him ”.
The Terrible lived it similarly. There is something, he considers, like an impulse that makes a lawsuit something more like a ritual.
It is a sport and there are rules, but there is something else, it is like raffling off an honor shot. That is Mexican boxing, a fight with courage, but also very tasty.