Victor Morales fought some of the biggest names in boxing as an amateur. He has deep technical skills and wants to shake up the featherweight division.
You might not know it, but lightweight boxer Victor Morales has fought undefeated welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr. multiple times win.
Now, those victories come from amateurs in their youth, but Morales beat Ortiz when they were kids. Ortiz has come a long way since then, developing four divisions, but Morales was a genius as an amateur and he’s still a professional today.
Morales (15-0-1, 8 KOs) is unbeaten in the co-main event against Alberto Torres’ Golden Boy Fight Card on Thursday, May 12. He hopes to maintain his undefeated record while promoting his name.
As Morales from Vancouver, Washington, he doesn’t get the same media coverage as some other fighters from the larger area. Morales is a boxing gem of the Pacific Northwest and has been for a while.
He started boxing at the age of seven and came up with some of the best in boxing. In addition to Ortiz, he also fought unified super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson, Olympic silver medalist Keshaun Davis and WBC featherweight champion Devin Haney.
Morales didn’t beat all of those names, but he had his name and was an amateur national champion.
Watch Victor Morales vs. Alberto Torres on DAZN on Thursday, May 12 at 9pm ET
“We were all in each other’s heads back then,” Morales told FanSided. “You know, we’re both training better than the other guy. We all know each other. They still, we all know now, you know, but it’s different now, because now, it really means something.”
Amateur success doesn’t always translate to professional stardom, but it is often the foundation of a good professional boxer.
Morales came through the amateur system at a time when it was full of sensational fighters. They test and push each other along the way.
Morales remembers Stevenson as his most powerful nemesis during that time.
“I would say, Shakur,” Morales said. “Not necessarily the toughest fight physically, but you know, I fought him three times. The first time, it wasn’t easy or not, you know, it wasn’t very close. The second one, a little bit of training. Now I Knowing who he is – training harder. Closer. Then the third game, I thought I was playing easy, but politics, the way politics was at the time, they gave him.”
Morales never got a W against Stevenson, but he gained valuable experience that still serves him to this day.
There is a world of difference between amateurs and professionals. Gloves are smaller and punches do more damage. The number of possessions doubles, and defense becomes more important.
“The learning curve is largely defensive,” Morales said. “You know, defense is a little bit different. Do you have small gloves? Mean, I mean, you’re thinking about 10 to 8 ounce gloves, but amateur gloves, you have 10 ounces, it’s on hand, and 8 ounce gloves , professional gloves, everywhere. So it’s just smaller.”
Morales has been effective defensively as a pro, but was pushed to the limit against undefeated boxer Rudy Garcia in the last bout. They tied the score, but Morales felt he did enough to win the game.
Still, he learned from his fight with Garcia.
“Well, I mean, I even want to rewatch it, and I think I’m definitely going to win this game,” Morales said. “I think I fought six to four. So it was a close fight. But I let myself win. But I did take away, you know, something that I definitely didn’t see in the fight, I didn’t see it in the fight, I did see it later. That’s exactly what we did in this fight.”
Morales is focused on Torres but hopes to have a monster in 2022.
“A draw is a draw, but I’m still undefeated,” Morales said. “I want to finish undefeated, I want to be in the top 10 or top 15 by the end of the year.”
Torres is Morales’ next opponent, and he could compete in the elite lightweight division in 2022.