By Lee Bates
The matchup between former WBA flyweight champion Eric Morel (41-2, 21 KOs) and WBO bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel (39-2-1, 29 KOs) is an intriguing one. The two will meet June 27th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The bout will be prior to the main event between WBO junior featherweight champion Juan Manuel ‘Juanma’ Lopez and challenger Oliver Lontchi. What makes the matchup intriguing is the element of surprise. Both fighters have elite boxing skills that they have displayed on numerous occasions. However, recently they each have flashed eye catching knockout power stopping 7 of their last 10 combined opponents between them. This leaves the door open for the fight to be either a chess match or a brutal KO.
After some legal problems, Morel’s career has been rejuvenated due to his hard work as well as promoter PR Best boxing (Ivan & Peter Rivera) who have kept him very active and now in position to challenge for a world title in just over a years time. Fightnews spoke with Morel while he was in Puerto Rico for the fight’s initial press conference.
Whats your opinion of Montiel as a fighter?
I think he’s an outstanding fighter. A very complete fighter. He can box and punch. That’s what going to make this such a good fight.
Being that New Jersey has a large Puerto Rican population, do you feel this gives you a home advantage for the fight?
I can tell you it definitely will feel good to have the support of the Puerto Rican fans that turn out for the event.
Being that you’ve been fighting at bantamweight more consistently than Montiel has, do you feel you will physically be the stronger fighter?
Honestly I do and I think I’m faster than he is as well.
Do you plan on using your height and reach advantage?
If that is what is working effectively for me during the course of the fight then yes. My plan is to prepared for any and everything.
Montiel has knocked out 5 of his last 6 opponents. Any concerns regarding his power?
As a fighter you have to respect any fighter’s power but my feeling is that you can’t hit what you can’t see.
Anything you want to say in closing?
Only that this going to be a really good fight and in the end I’m confident I will win my second world title in as many divisions.