However, after 12 rounds of back-and-forth action, it seems everyone underestimated the 34-year-old Morales. After a slow start - and with a badly swollen right eye, Morales rallied in the middle rounds and was extremely competitive until the final bell. While he was unable to do enough to oupoint the 27-year-old Maidana, Morales wildly exceeded everyone's expectations in making this a Fight of the Year candidate. The official scorecards read 116-112, 116-112 and 114-114. Both fighters appeared interested in a rematch.
On the undercard, Robert Guerrero scored a unanimous decision (117-108, 118-106, 118-107) over Michael Katsidis to win the vacant WBA and WBO interim lightweight titles; former IBF junior welterweight champ Paulie Malignaggi easily outpointed Jose Miguel Cotto; and, Nobuhiro Ishida shocked previously undefeated James Kirkland with a first-round knockout.
Elsewhere, heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek scored a lopsided unanimous decision over Kevin McBride to preserve his shot at a heavyweight title against Vitali Klitschko on September 10 in Poland. Scores were 120-107, 119-108 and 119-108. McBride, now 2-5 since sending Mike Tyson into retirement in 2005, came in at a flabby 285 pounds - 70 more than Adamek - and couldn't handle the speed, accuracy and workrate of the former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champ.
Finally, heavyweight George “Monk” Foreman III, son of former heavyweight champ Big George Foreman, scored a first round KO over Eric Lindsey to raise his professional record to 12-0. Impressed? Don't be. Foreman took a standing eight count before dropping Lindsey, whose career record is now 3-11 with just one win in his last 12 bouts ...