Keep your eye on featherweight prospect Victor Morales Jr.

Undefeated lightweight prospect Victor Morales Jr. (left) and manager Ken Sheer.

 

On May 19, from the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas, undefeated featherweight prospect Victor Morales Jr. will step into the ring for his second bout of the year and the first since signing with Los Angeles-based Sheer Sports Management.

 

Morales started boxing at age 7, just three years after recovering from some serious health issues that included an exploratory spinal tap that left him all but paralyzed from the waist down, at age 4.

 

After literally teaching himself how to walk again, he slowly started to regain strength in his lower body. He was determined to one day walk into a boxing gym and follow the career path of his father, himself a former boxer.

 

Stubborn, determined and driven by his dream, Morales made his boxing debut at age eight.

 

Jump ahead 12 years and we have a 20-year-old, still stubborn, determined and dream-driven fighter, who now has world title aspirations as a pro. And if his first eight bouts are any indication of his potential, then this is a fighter to keep your eye on.

 

Morales had a very strong amateur career that saw the Portland resident have early success in regional tournaments in the Pacific Northwest. By his 16th birthday, amid a lot of international amateur success, his in-ring achievements saw him capture the National Outstanding Boxer Award, the highest award in USA Boxing.

 

Sporting an impressive 118-12 amateur ledger but ineligible to participate in the 2016 Olympic trials due to age (11 days too young), he opted to turn professional.

 

Morales, who trains in Los Angeles, made his professional debut, at age 18, in the summer of 2016. Since then he has racked up an impressive eight wins, with four of them coming inside the distance. Now with a new management team behind him, Morales is channeling that same determination and focus that drove his amateur success into the pro game.

 

UCNLive.com caught up with father/trainer Victor Morales Sr. to get his thoughts on Jr.’s upcoming bout and what he sees ahead in 2018.

 

“We are out here in Los Angeles training and it has been going great. We are from Portland but we come out there for camps before bouts. We are training at Pullman’s Gym and getting in some great work and great experience,” said the elder Morales. “It has been a great experience for Victor Jr. to be out here training with guys like (WBA featherweight titlist) Leo Santa Cruz because you always have questions before you work with the best guys in the world and you wonder how you will fit in. But it has been eye-opening and a real world-class experience. It has been great though because he realizes he can compete with the very best. It has been great for his confidence and maturity as a fighter. He is more determined than ever to be a world champion one day.”

 

WBA featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz (left) and Victor Morales Jr.

 

Asked what strength his son brings to the pro game, it was clear that Victor Sr. feels fans are going to see a fighter who can both box and punch.

 

“He has a lot of amateur experience and success, so he had great experience coming into the pro’s. He was a gold medalist internationally. He beat fighters from all over the world. I would describe him as a boxer-puncher,” said Morales.

 

And while Victor Jr. has stopped four of his eight opponents, Victor Sr. feels those numbers don’t really tell the story of his son’s punching power.

 

“He is finally going to be fighting guys his own weight. Since he turned pro, he has been fighting guys in the lightweight division. He is a natural 126-pounder. Victor Jr. walks around at 130 pounds, said Victor Sr.

 

And what can fans hope to see in the near future from the fast-rising featherweight prospect?

 

“They are going to see a world-class fighter,” said Morales. “He is determined to be a world champion and fans are going to see a young fighter who can compete with the best in the world on his way to a world title.”

 

 

 

Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca and you can follow him at twitter.com/tibbs_bill.

 

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