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Erik Morales Has Questioned His Ability to Beat Marcos Maidana

Erik Morales will face Marcos Maidana Saturday in Las Vegas in his first true test since returning to the ring a year ago. When Maidana watched some of Morales’ comeback fights, he said Morales looked like someone who was coming back from retirement. Apparently Marcos isn’t the only one questioning Morales’ ability.

Between Maidana’s words and the questions from the media, Morales has said he’s expressed uncertainty recently. In a pre-fight press conference, Morales admitted “After so many interviews, I am starting to say to myself, ‘Was this the right decision? Am I the only crazy one that thinks I can win?” But when the media’s not around, he regains confidence saying, “When I am alone at night lying in bed, I start thinking to myself, I am not wrong.”

Morales says he is going to win Saturday and prove all the doubters wrong, but something tells me all the questions are there for a reason. Plus, you have to be 100% confident heading into a fight, especially as an underdog. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think this is the best mentality to have entering a big fight.

Marcos Maidana: Erik Morales Looked Like a Guy Who’s Been Retired

Marcos Maidana and Erik Morales are set to meet on Saturday at the MGM in Las Vegas for the WBA light welterweight title. Maidana is 27 years old, 29-2, and coming off a loss to Amir Khan in December. Before the loss, he had recorded impressive wins over Victor Cayo and Victor Ortiz. Now he’s set to face Erik Morales who’s 34 years old, 51-6, and whose partial claim to fame is going 1-2 in legendary trilogies against Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao. After losing four straight fights from ’05-’07 (including two to Pacquiao), Morales decided to hang up the gloves and he retired for just over two years.

Morales returned to the ring a year ago, has won three fights since, and is now fighting an up-and-comer. During a recent press conference to promote the fight, Maidana was asked for his thoughts on how Morales looked in his three comeback fights. Maidana was not kind, saying “he looked like a fighter that was retired for two years, but that doesn’t take away anything. I’m prepared for the best possible Morales for this fight. I think that he’s going to come.”

Maidana is preparing for the old Morales, but his words point to an issue for Erik — he has a long way to go to get back to his old form. Now if you thought the critical talk was all going one direction, you were wrong.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. Hit with $3.35 Million IRS Tax Bill

Floyd Mayweather Jr. finds himself in trouble once again, but luckily his funds should be able to bail him out. The Detroit News reported Friday that Mayweather owes the IRS $3.35 million from income taxes in 2009.

Yes, it’s 2011 now, but he owes money from 2009.

What’s sad is that this is the second time Mayweather has been faced with unpaid taxes. In 2007, he agreed to a payment plan for $5.6 million owed to the IRS. You think with the type of money he has he would be able to afford to pay his taxes, and that he’d have a few accountants reminding him to do so.

Even though this should be remedied quickly especially for a guy with as much money as Mayweather tells us he has (just look at this for evidence), it’s sad he’s getting his name in the news for the wrong reasons once again. In case you don’t know what we mean, just read this, this, and this.

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Rola El-Halabi Shot in Dressing Room by Stepfather Roy El-Halabi

Female boxer Rola El-Halabi was shot in the dressing room prior to her scheduled fight Friday night in Berlin, Germany. The shooter was Rola’s stepfather, Roy El-Halabi, who also hit two security guards with his shots, according to Boxing Scene.

A translated report from the German Sudwest Presse says Roy was fired as Rola’s manager in January, making this seem like his way of seeking revenge. The report also says Roy cleared everyone except Rola out of the dressing room before shooting her in the hand. There is no word yet on the extent of the injuries.

Rola El-Halabi is 11-0 in her career and was set to fight Irma Balijagic Adler for the vacant IBF lightweight title. Their bout was supposed to be the last on the card at The Trabrennbahn Karlshorst, but the horrific incident ended the evening. This was scheduled to be El-Halabi’s first fight since June of last year.

Sadly, this story is almost identical to what happened to another female boxer in November.

(El-Halabi and Adler are pictured at their weigh in with El-Halabi on the left)

Manny Pacquiao Fight Camp 360 Preview on Showtime and CBS (Video)

Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming May fight against Shane Mosley will be airing on Showtime, marking a landmark departure for Pac Man from his traditional home on HBO. The move, which we told you about two months ago, allows for extra exposure for Pacquiao on CBS, which owns Showtime. For the first time, the premium channel is running a series called Fight Camp 360 which is Showtime’s answer to 24/7, a wildly popular program HBO runs to promote its fights. Here’s a sneak preview of what to expect on the first episode of the show:

The entire first episode of the four-part series will air at 12pm ET on Saturday, April 2nd on CBS. The fight between Pacquiao and Mosley is on May 7th and no matter how much you hear that Shane can beat Pacquiao, don’t believe the hype. He doesn’t have a shot.

Video: Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins Brawl at Press Conference, Was it Real?

Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins are set to meet for a rematch of their December 18th draw on May 21st. The boxers had their pre-fight press conference on Monday and did exactly what a pre-fight conference is supposed to do — drum up interest in the show. An actual scuffle broke out between Pascal and Hopkins over Pascal suggesting Hopkins take a blood test to prove he was clean. Check out this video of their fight and let me know if you think it’s real or fake:

If you see B-Hop and Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy, you’ll see they’re both smiling and appear to be laughing. Maybe it’s a nervous laugh because they don’t know what’s going on, but fighting at a pre-fight press conference is the oldest promotional strategy around. Many writers seem to buy it thinking that the Hopkins’ anti-Canada viewpoint is fueling the feud (Pascal is from Canada and their two fights are in Quebec).

I certainly am not buying it. Not only is this a classic promotional move, but if Pascal were really concerned about Hopkins’ legitimacy he would have put the blood test stipulations into their contract, not drummed it up now. What do you think?

Ricardo Mayorga Wants to Face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in September

Just two weeks ago Ricardo Mayorga fought Miguel Cotto and lost in the 12th round when he couldn’t continue because of a dislocated thumb. The 38-year-old said after the loss that he planned to retire, but only two weeks later it appears he’s had a change of heart.

La Cronica de Hoy in Nicaragua says Mayorga is targeting Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for a September fight. Chavez Jr. is fighting Sebastian Zbik in June, so only a three month layoff would be a quick turnaround, making it unlikely in my opinion.

Notifight and Boxing Scene add that Mayorga wants to fight in September because they’re having a tribute show to Alexis Arguello who died in July of 2009. As I said back when he declared his impromptu retirement, I wouldn’t hold him to his word. My guess is he’ll wind up fighting at least one more time. Heck, look at Roy Jones Jr. — he’s 42 and still fighting.