“Chicago likes to know who it’s best are,” observed Richard "Maximus" Abraham (12-5, 4 KO’s) ahead of his clash with fellow Chicagoan welterweight Daniel ‘La Maquina’ Morales in the GLORY 44 co-headline fight, and both fighters drew large followings to the Sears Center to find out just who that was.
Jokes had been made in the pre-fight build-up about the winner being crowned the unofficial ‘King of Chicago’, but the real goal of the fight was to determine which of them would be taking a step forward in the rankings.
Morales transitioned into professional kickboxing from MMA and had a hard start, going 0-3 in GLORY before scoring his first win back in February on the GLORY 38 CHICAGO card. Wanting to go on a run and seeing himself as a future contender - future champion, in fact - he needed the win here tonight.
On the other side, Abraham found himself having gone from riding a four-fight win streak to riding a two-fight losing streak. Extending that to a third loss was unthinkable and so victory was essential for him as well.
Intensity was apparent as the fighters made their entrances and once the fight commenced they wasted no time in going to work. Both of them like to use their hands and fight at close range so their styles suited each other.
Things were even at first but over time Abraham edged ahead, his superior timing and combination work scoring well for him, as did his greater variety of techniques deployed.
Morales’ tight guard and good head movement kept him out of significant trouble for most of the fight and he did good work with his jab, but Abraham’s surging confidence spelled trouble for ‘La Maquina’ in the final round.
Halfway into the final frame of the fight Abraham backed Morales up under heavy pressure, landed a flurry of punches on him against the ropes and then finished with a head kick. Morales got himself off the ropes and circled away, but Abraham was right on top of him.
A 1-2 combination from Abraham was followed by a lead uppercut which sailed up through Morales’ guard and landed on his chin. Morales went down hard and Abraham stopped for a moment to look at him before jubilantly running to a neutral corner as the referee administered the count.
Morales beat the count but was now clearly on the losing side of the fight and needed a knockdown of his own to even remain hopeful of being in the race. The pair banged it out for the final minute of the fight but Morales couldn't find the shot he needed and Abraham couldn't find the finish he wanted.
After a pleasing three-round scrap, all three judges saw the fight for Abraham and returned a unanimous decision to snap his losing streak and move him up the rankings. In his post-fight interview, Abraham said he and his fellow Chicagoan will train together in the near future.
Richard Abraham def. Daniel Morales, Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)