Will Marco Antonio Barrera Fight Again? Should He?

by James Slater - Unless he needs the money, there really is no need for all-time great Marco Antonio Barrera to fight again. It's been just over a week since his technical decision loss to the much younger Amir Khan, and though the nasty cut he suffered high on his forehead will not in any way have healed yet it's likely Barrera has made up his mind as to whether or not he'll fight on..

Barrera doesn't NEED to fight again unless he is in financial difficulties, but his WANTING to carry on punching is a different thing entirely. Marco's goal - the one the upset loss against speedster Khan either ruined or severely set back, depending on your opinion - was to become the first man from the great fighting country of Mexico to win world titles at four different weights. If achieving this goal is something that still burns inside of "The Baby Faced Assassin" he will be lacing up the gloves again in time. Sure, many of his ardent fans wish he would retire right now and not risk further damage to his reputation or health, but the choice, as with any pro fighter, is his and his alone.

Barrera, though he was outclassed and out-punched by Khan in Manchester, will have convinced himself fully by now that the cut and the cut alone saw to it that he lost the fight. Barrera said as much during a post-fight interview mere minutes after the bout had ended in the 5th round, and though fighters are sometimes prone to saying things when the adrenalin is still pumping they later change their opinion on, this is unlikely here. But even giving Marco the benefit of the doubt, wouldn't he have lost anyway the way Khan was out-landing him, cut or no cut?

Barrera will believe not, and thus he can be expected to fight again, probably this year. But at age 35, and boxing up at lightweight, what chance does Barrera really have of becoming anything close to one of the elite again? And who will he fight next if he does come back once more? Looking at the current top-tier guys at 135-pounds, things don't bode too well for the veteran becoming a belt holder at lightweight.

Yes, just lately the picture may have become a little unclear as to who the top dog is at 135-pounds (alphabet title-wise, anyway) - what with three of the four major belts becoming vacant due to the stripping of champ Nate Campbell, and two of them remaining so for the time being (The IBF and the WBC straps; the latter to be decided by Edwin Valero and Antonio Pitalua soon) - but will this help Barrera any?

Currently a talent-rich division, the small-for-the-weight and ageing Mexican legend would be a big underdog against guys like Valero, Pitalua, Yuri Romanov, Ali Funeka, Juan Diaz, Juan Manuel Marquez and others.

He's still as gutsy as they come, but will Barrera prove to be too brave and full of heart for his own good?

Article posted on 23.03.2009

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