Barrera vs. Marquez This Satuday: This Could Be A Classic!

13.03.07 - By Jim Amato: This coming Saturday on HBO/PPV, Marco Antonio Barrera will put his WBC Super Featherweight title on the line against former featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez. This pairing has all the ingredients for a superb, fan entertaining contest. Barrera is 63-4 with 42 knockouts. Marquez is 46-3-1 with 35 KO's. Each boxer is highly respected within boxing circles. Both boxers are thirty three years old. There were many who thought Barrera had peaked when he whipped Naseem Hamed in 2001.

In 2003 Barrera was battered and beaten by Manny Pacquiao in eleven rounds. Now it was said that Barrera's career was on the decline but Marco has won six straight since the loss to Manny including victories over Paulie Ayala, Erik Morales, Robbie Peden and two over Rocky Juarez. Is he washed up?

Marquez has met quality opposition but Barrera has faced a slightly tougher schedule. Nevertheless Marquez has traded leather with Alfred Kotey, Freddie Norwood, Daniel Jimenez. Robbie Peden, Manuel Medina and Derrick Gainer. In 2004 Marquez got of the canvas early and battled back to salvage a draw with Manny Pacquaio. In 2006 Juan was outslicked by Chris John and lost his title. Juan has since scored two KO victories.

Who do I like in this battle? This should be a great, great fight. Barrera is very under rated as a good, sound technical boxer who can adapt to his foe's style. He barely beat the talented Rocky Juarez the first time they met. In the rematch, Barrera won with room to spare as he relied on his boxing skills. Marquez is a very well schooled fighter who knows his way around the ring. They are both good, punishing punchers although I give a slight edge to Barrera in the power department. I also give Marco the edge in boxing ability because of his fine jab. If allowed to by his opponent, Barrera can dictate the pace of the action behind the jab. I feel Marquez has the slightly better chin but both are equally game and seriously tenacious.

I look for Barrera to take an early lead. Marquez will keep it close going into the middle rounds. Then I see Marquez ever so subtly taking play away from him. We should see some great exchanges throughout the battle but I do see Barrera fading some the "championship" rounds.

I'm going with Marquez by a razor close verdict.

Article posted on 13.03.2007

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