Victor Morales fought some of the biggest names in boxing as an amateur. He possesses profound skills and wants to shake up the featherweight division.
You may not know it, but featherweight boxer Victor Morales owns several victories over undefeated welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr.
Now, those wins came during their youth in the amateurs, but Morales got the better of Ortiz when they were kids. Ortiz has come a long way since then and has grown four divisions, but Morales was a stud as an amateur, and he still is today as a professional.
Morales (15-0-1, 8 KOs) is undefeated going into the co-main event of Golden Boy’s fight card on Thursday, May 12, against Alberto Torres. He’s looking to keep his undefeated record while pushing his name up the ranks.
Being from Vancouver, Washington, Morales doesn’t get the same press as some other fighters from larger areas. Morales is a boxing gem in the Pacific Northwest and has been for some time.
He started boxing at seven years old and came up with some of boxing’s best. Besides Ortiz, he also fought unified super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson, Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis and WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney.
Morales didn’t beat all those names, but he held his own and was an amateur national champion.
Watch Victor Morales vs. Alberto Torres on DAZN on Thursday, May 12 at 9 p.m. ET
“We were all at each other’s heads at that point,” Morales told FanSided. “You know, we were all training to be better than the other one. We all knew each other. They still, we all know each other now, you know, but it’s different now because now, it really means something now.”
Amateur success doesn’t always translate into professional stardom, but it’s usually the groundwork for a good pro boxer.
Morales came through the amateur system at a time filled with sensational fighters. They tested and pushed each other all the way.
Morales remembers Stevenson as being his most formidable nemesis during that time.
“I would say, Shakur,” Morales said. “Not necessarily it being the toughest fight physically, but you know, I fought him three times. The first time, not easy or not, you know, wasn’t close. The second one, trained a little bit. Now I knew who he was—trained harder. It was a lot closer. And then the third fights, I thought that I had the fight easy, but politics, the way politics were at the time, they gave it to him.”
Morales never got the W against Stevenson, but he gained valuable experience that still serves him today.
There’s a world of difference between amateurs and the pros. The gloves are smaller, and the punches cause more damage. The rounds multiply, and defense becomes more of an asset.
“Learning curve just being the defense for the most part,” Morales said. “The defense is a little bit different, you know. You got smaller gloves?. Meaning, I mean, you’re thinking 10 to 8-ounce gloves, but an amateur glove, you have 10 ounces, right at the hand versus an 8-ounce glove, pro glove, it’s all around. So it’s just it’s way smaller.”
Morales’s defense has been effective as a pro, but he got pushed to the limit against fellow undefeated boxer Rudy Garcia in his last contest. They slugged it out to a split draw, but Morales felt he did enough to win.
Still, he learned from his battle with Garcia.
“Well, I mean, I thought even rewatching it that I thought that I had the fight won for sure,” Morales said. “I think I had it like six rounds to four. So it was a close fight. But I still had myself winning. But I did take away, you know, some things that I definitely didn’t see in the fight that that I didn’t see during the fight that I did see afterwards. And that’s just what we went to work on this fight.”
Morales is focused on Torres but wants to have a monster 2022.
“The draw is a draw, but I’m still undefeated,” Morales said. “I want to finish out undefeated, and I want to be in the top 10 or top 15 by the end of the year.”
Torres is next up for Morales and could be his start at a 2022 run at the featherweight elite.