Home Boxing News Morales Takes Unbeaten Run to ESPN

Morales Takes Unbeaten Run to ESPN

Fast-rising super bantamweight prospect Roman Morales makes a quick return to the ring Friday night at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa
Ynez, California. Morales, who fought just two weeks ago, will take on Rodrigo Aranda in a bout that will air on the nationally broadcast ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.

Morales (5-0, 4 KOs) of San Ardo, California is coming in off of a devastating first-round knockout of normally durable Juan Tepoz (4-6-1)
on July 22nd. Morales, a highly touted amateur before turning pro this past February, ran through Tepoz, scoring two knockdowns in the opening round. Morales had got off to a slow start in his bout prior, something his team had worked to improve upon.

“I told him to start fast, and to start fast we have warm up more in the dressing room,” says his trainer Rodolfo Tapia. “Work a little more, like we do in the gym. Then when the bell rings, show the people what you have. That was the plan, and it worked real good.”

Morales’ manager Repo Ric had some advice for his young upstart going into the bout as well. “I saw Roman eat before the last fight, and he had a turkey sandwich and some french fries,” recalls Repo. “I told him, ‘I want those fries slid off your plate and I want them slid off your plate now. For one thing, people are watching you and another it is three hours before the fight and you have french fries in your stomach with grease and
everything.’ So he threw the french fries out right away. The other was that he wasn’t warming up enough, so I told his trainer to warm him up a little more. So I don’t know which one it was, but he did start off a lot faster than he had normally, so hopefully this next fight he will start off fast.”

With really only one full week to train and prepare for his next assignment, Morales quickly got back into the gym, getting sparring with
both world ranked Eloy Perez and solid pro Rufino Serrano, who also fights this Friday. Some may be hesitant to schedule two fights so close together for their fighter, but Morales wiped a lot of any worries there could have been away by ending his last fight so quickly.

“He had a sparring partner for one round,” says Repo of the  Tepoz victory. “He went home and got right back in that gym, since he just went
down the street to do a sparring session, and he got some more sparring that week and is ready to fight again. If he had a hard fight with some bumps bruises then that would be different. But other than that no, keep him moving. If every fight was like the last fight, we would like to go two weeks after this fight.”

Shortly after the victory over Tepoz, Morales’ and his trainer learned that their fight this Friday would make television, and received some other encouraging words from their promoter. “After the fight, Gary Shaw called us over to ringside and was very happy,” recalls Tapia. “He told Roman to keep doing what he is doing, and he promised him a title shot next year. He told Roman that he has been doing good things and to listen to his coach, stay busy and stay focused. That made Roman very happy, and that is a big thing for the main guy to say that.”

Shaw’s words not only encouraged Morales, but also pleased his manager. “My dream was to get with Gary Shaw,” says Repo. “I like the man and I like his company. For me to get with him and with everything progressing the way it is, and for Gary Shaw to say what he’s saying, and for me to be able to do what I do, I love it. I really feel good that Gary talked to them and said he may have a title belt for them next year.”

Five fights in, Team Morales seems to be clicking on cylinders. “People have said some bad things about Repo, but now I tell them that they have to realize Repo is doing a pretty good job,” says Tapia, who is also Morales’ uncle. “I know a lot of people are jealous of Repo in Fresno and always talk bad things about him, but he has been really good for us. He’s been keeping Roman busy and taking him on his way to the top.”

It has been so far so good, but Repo Ric knows there is still plenty of work ahead. “I have been around plenty of promoters, and I have worked for plenty of promoters, and I have learned,” says Repo. “I get in there and learn, and the way I have been moving Roman Morales is showing me that I have learned. From some of the things I have picked up, and I am able to achieve on my own. All I do is boxing. My whole life is boxing, boxing, boxing. I think I am a skillful manager and I learned from the best and I am going to keep learning. I am never going to get too old to learn, and I am never going to learn everything, but I am going to keep learning.”

Next up is an opponent that could provide a stern test, despite his less than threatening record. Rodrigo Aranda (8-14-2, 2 KOs) of Las Vegas, Nevada is a veteran that has been in with a who’s who of prospects. “This kid we are going to fight is really durable,” says Repo of Aranda, who has only been stopped once in his career. “The purpose is to get some experience because it is hard to find him fights, everyone keeps pulling out. If everyone is going to keep pulling out, then we are going to have to go the distance with some of these fighters. That way he will have some ring experience. If he takes him out, he takes him out, but he doesn’t have to. Break him down and he’ll be 6-0, with four knockouts.”

Knockout or not, Team Morales plans to leave Santa Ynez with the victory and get right back to work on Monday.

Tickets for Friday’s event, promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, are available online at StarTickets.com.

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