By Fiona Manning: Marco Antonio Barrera, better known as the Baby-Faced Assassin, has no problems putting respect and friendship on the line tomorrow night against another former world champion, Paulie Ayala at the Home Dept center in Carson, CA. He spoke to Eastsideboxing.com at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel shortly after his weigh-in where he came in at a ready 125.5, Ayala at 126. There were no taunts or smack talking, no throat-cutting gestures. Both fighters look genuinely happy to be back in the mix against a guy each respects.
EB: Marco, thank you for your time.
MAB: No problem. You picked me to beat Prince Hamed I never forget that.
EB: And if you do I’ll keep reminding you.
EB: You look like you’re in great shape.
MAB: I am. I am ready.
EB: People are questioning the loss to Pacquiao but they are also picking you to beat Ayala. How much did out of the ring troubles contribute to the loss to Pacquiao?
MAB: It was everything. I left my manager. This was like a divorce. And the camp problems, we had to leave Big Bear because of fires.
EB: But you went back there to train for this fight.EB: People counted you out when you lost to McKinney.
MAB: Exactly. I keep coming back.
EB: So you are like the phoenix which keeps rising from the ashes or are you a cat with many lives?
MAB: Like the cat I think. I have more than nine lives. I am still good. The best is yet to come. I have respect for Ayala but I must win this fight. We are both very serious about this fight. We must win – well, I will win but we will both be ready tomorrow night.
EB: What will you eat tonight?
MAB: Tortillas and steak and ice cream.
EB: My good friend and yours, Robbie Peden wishes you good luck. And he is still sorry about hurting your rib in sparring a couple of years ago.
MAB: (laughs) I am sorry he hurt my rib too. Tell him thank you. And I wish him good luck.
EB: He is waiting for the winner of Carlos Hernandez vs Erik Morales next month. Who do you see winning this fight?
MAB: I have to say Morales because I would like to fight him again – but I think Hernandez is very, very strong. Morales has a tough fight on his hands.
EB: Do you want to fight Pacquiao again?
MAB: Si, senorita.
EB: Thank you for your time Marco and good luck tomorrow night.