Boxing


Barrera/Marquez: Too many are counting Barrera out

Barrera vs Marquez13.03.07 - By Geoffrey Ciani, photo by Naoki Fukuda: In the lead-up to the highly anticipated Mexican showdown between Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez, I’m utterly amazed by the number of observers who seem to think Barrera stands no chance. This is simply inexplicable. After all, we’re talking about an all time great here— we’re talking about Marco Antonio Barrera.

The way some are talking you would almost think the respective careers of these two outstanding pugilists was reversed. In a battle of resumes, few (if any) would argue that Marquez has had a better career than Barrera. To be sure, both of these Mexican boxers have been amongst boxing’s elite for over ten years. There is, however, one big difference: Barrera’s career shined in the spotlight, personified by success in high-profile bouts, whereas Marquez’s is the tale of one stuck on the outside looking in.

Both of these fighters are 33 years old and both have something to prove. I expect a very competitive bout between two of the best in the business. Strangely enough, many observers seem convinced that Marquez has this one in the bag.. Simply astonishing! Sure, Marquez is an outstanding technical boxer, and yes, he did have more success against Pacquiao, but unfortunately, he still has to beat Barrera to secure the “W” on his ledger, and that is no easy task.

This is just the latest example of the boxing community underestimating Marco Antonio Barrera. The first time this happened was after he suffered back-to-back losses against Junior Jones—that was almost ten years ago, and yet today, Barrera is still an elite talent in the sport. He was also written off after his shocking loss to Pacquiao, after which, he soundly defeated Erik Morales in the rubber match of one of the most memorable trilogies in boxing history.

Frankly, I have no idea who will win come Saturday night. Marquez may very well wind up victorious. He is an outstanding technician who certainly has the skills and desire to compete on Barrera’s level. At the same time, Barrera is also an outstanding technician who is more than capable of being victorious.

In terms of technical skill, perhaps Marquez does have a slight edge over Barrera, but this edge hardly warrants counting Barrera out. I would argue that Marquez is technically superior when boxing at a distance, but on the inside, it’s a completely different story—few can pound away on the inside as viciously as Barrera. Likewise, Barrera probably has a slight edge in overall brawling ability, but Marquez is more than capable of mixing things up when need be.

Whether or not big fight experience plays a factor remains to be seen. If it does, Barrera has excelled in such situations time and time again; Marquez has limited experience in this realm and has been known to succumb to pressure. It will be interesting to see what happens when both are forced to dig deep. Both have exhibited an ability to do so in the past.

This is a pick’em fight if ever there was one, which is why I’m amazed by the fact that so many are counting Barrera out. Whatever happens, I suspect boxing fans are in for a treat. Enjoy!

To contact Ciani:

geoff@eatthemushroom.com

To read more by Ciani, please visit The Mushroom Mag:

http://www.eatthemushroom.com/mag

Article posted on 13.03.2007



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