Moralde back atop ring after beating Covid-19

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John Vincent Moralde comes off from a victory over the coronavirus when he returns to the ring on Sunday to fight Mexican Jose Enrique Durantes Vivas.

Moralde confirmed to BusinessMirror that he would be fighting in the Top Rank card main event world lightweight unification bout between Vasyl Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I am always in good condition. I am just checking my weight,” said Moralde, of Buhangin in Davao City, who is set to fight in an eight-round non-title bout with a 128-lb catch weight. “My opponent looks so tough, but I am more  prepared than the last time I was.”

Moralde (23-3 win-loss record with 13 knockouts) was the first Filipino boxer to be tested positive for Covid-19 that forced the postponement of his fight last July 16 against Alexis del Bosque. He waited for three months in Miami to secure another fight from Top Rank head Bob Arum.

“I didn’t mind Covid-19 here in the US for my family. I sacrificed a lot for my children,” added Moralde who tested negative twice of the virus upon his arrival in Las Vegas this week. “I am not the only one who was tested positive. There are other boxers who got the virus, that’s why I don’t worried much.”

“It’s just like a normal illness here for the athletes,” said Moralde, referring to the disease which infected two Top Rank boxers—women’s lightweight prospect Mikaela Mayer and World  Boxing Organization junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring also last July. Both were asymptomatic and have already recovered.

Moralde, 26, is guaranteed of at least $6,000 of the $10,000 purse, win or lose. If he wins, his stock will rise and could negotiate for a title eliminator or regional title bouts next.

Vivas, also 26, is holding 19 wins against a loss with 10 knockouts.

The Sanman Promotions of JC Mananquil, who also handles Moralde, recently signed former ALA fighters, including ex-world title challengers featherweight Jeo Santisima (19-3 record with 16 knockouts), minimumweight Melvin Jerussalem, flyweight Esneth Domingo and super flyweight KJ Cataraja.

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