Barrera v Pacquiao: Barrera Has Nothing To Lose

By Matthew Hurley: When Marco Antonio Barrera steps into the ring against Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, October 6th he basically has nothing to lose. That’s because most people feel that his first fight with Pacquiao back in November of 2003, which he lost by an 11th round TKO, is a harbinger of things to come in the rematch. Also, there is no official title on the line. Pacquiao and Barrera are bigger than the belts but “The Baby Faced Assassin” is a marked underdog against the Filipino whirlwind.

That fact could play into Barrera’s hands, believe it or not. He’s been counted out before – after his losses to Junior Jones, his fight with Naseem Hamed and in his first and third fights with nemesis Erik Morales he was the betting underdog. His record speaks for itself and Barrera still contends that distractions, such as the leaked reports before the bout that he had metal plates put in his skull and the early breaking of his training camp due to weather conditions all conspired to in his lack of focus and preparedness. Whatever the case may be Barrera is making no excuses going into this bout.

“Training camp has been perfect,” he said recently. “I’ve decided that this is the last big fight I will be in. If I fight again it would be a retirement bout for my fans and not against a top level guy. This is it. I’m putting all I have into it.”

The question is, what exactly does Barrera have left? He’s given so much of himself and he could find himself in an overwhelming situation, much like his rival Morales did in his third bout with Pacquiao. Morales, his body depleted from war after war, simply couldn’t get away from his quicker, stronger foe and finally collapsed and allowed the referee to count him out in the third round after giving everything he had left. Morales came back and fought amazingly against lightweight David Diaz, a weight he was not suited for, but lost a slightly disputed close decision. He retired after that, but it was Pacquiao who really sent him packing. He admitted he felt every punch and he just couldn’t deal with “Pac Man’s” speed.

It was the speed, the punches in bunches, that befuddled Barrera in their initial match up. And the big problem for Marco is that Manny is even better now and he, the great Mexican warrior, is a much slower fighter. Most people think his only chance is for Pacquiao to come in unprepared and distracted. But rumors of distractions because of Pacquiao’s immense popularity have been running about ever since he became a star and he hasn’t lost since.

Still, Barrera is nothing if not a tough sonofabitch. He prides himself on that and Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach is not taking him lightly.

“Look, Barrera is an all time great,” he opined. “We took Morales lightly in the first fight and look what happened. (Morales won a decision in a fight of the year candidate.) We are not taking this guy lightly. We can’t take anyone lightly because anything can happen in the ring.”

Anything, that fleeting notion that something unexpected could happen, is what Barrera and his fans are hoping for. But if nothing happens he will wind up being knocked out again – only this time earlier.

Article posted on 02.10.2007

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