What are you Watching…Barrera vs. Pacquiao II on HBO PPV or Peter vs. McCline on Showtime?

By Christopher Roche, Brickcity In yet another sign that boxing is having a great year, fans will find themselves in a quandary this Saturday night, as two nationally televised cards will hit our screens. Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao will undoubtedly put on a great show, as they face off in a rematch of their 2003 bout. Their bout on Saturday night, from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, promises to be a thriller, and passions will run high. Barrera has won 6 of his last 7, and Pacquiao is on a five fight-winning streak. Both men are giants of the sport, and they are icons in their respective countries.

The national pride of the Philippines and Mexico is on the line yet again. Those two nations have developed a massive rivalry, and this bout will go a long way in securing bragging rights for the rest of the year.

Pacquiao told that this is a career highlight for him, and he trained harder than ever for this bout.

"Fighting Barrera is a career highlight for me," said Pacquiao. "He has already beaten great world champions like Erik Morales, Naseem Hamed and Johnny Tapia and I know I am going to have to train harder than I ever have before to beat him. But I am fully prepared to sacrifice and do everything necessary to beat him. And I will. It's going to be another exciting night for fight fans."

Barrera, for his part, is looking to move to the top of the pound for pound rankings, and he told that Pacquiao should be careful what he wishes for in this fight.

“Pacquiao and I have one thing in common and that is this is the fight we have most wanted," said Barrera. "But Pacquiao should have been more careful for what he wished for because he is going to be in the fight of his life. The battle is on and I am going to leave the ring as boxing's new No. 1 pound for pound fighter."

Boxing fans cannot ask for anything more, as those two great champions are primed to put forward their best efforts. The bout is available to over 60 million fans, and it will be interesting to see how many PPV buys it rings up.

McCline vs. Peter

WBC Interim Heavyweight Champion Sam Peter was undoubtedly disappointed when Oleg Maskaev pulled out of their scheduled main event at Madison Square Garden, but he cannot look past replacement Jameel McCline. McCline’s size and upset capability could pose an intriguing enigma for Peter. McCline upset once promising heavyweight Michael Grant, and he has defeated Shannon Briggs and came close against Chris Byrd. McCline will undoubtedly be up for this chance of a lifetime shot, especially since it is likely his last try at prominence, and Peter needs to be cautious that he does not fall into the trap of suffering a letdown because of Maskaev’s cancellation. Peter seems ready, and he released the following statement yesterday through his publicist.

“It doesn’t matter who I fight. McCline is a good fighter, a good boxer and good champion, but it doesn’t matter. I’ll adjust to any style (McCline is considerably bigger in stature that Maskaev). I am the Heavyweight World Champion and I’ll do whatever it takes to defend my title.”

Peter’s determination is one of his best attributes, and there is no reason to think that he will not be ready for “Big Time” McCline.

A very intriguing bout scheduled on the same card pits two fighters on the comeback trail, Andrew Golata vs. Kevin McBride. Golata is always dangerous and unpredictable, and McBride has retooled his camp and aligned himself with the great Buddy McGirt. McBride, of Clones, Ireland, has not fought in a year, but he said that he is ready to assume the mantle of a great Irish-American fighter, James J. Braddock as a modern day “Cinderella Man”. McBride released the following statement through his publicist yesterday as well.

“I wanted Andrew Golota all along. We’re in a legitimate fight for the IBF North American title. I want to show the world I’m back. I’m going to retire Andrew Golota like I did Mike Tyson. Kevin Martin McBride is the modern day James J. Braddock (“Cinderella Man”).”

Whether or not McBride or Golata can revive their careers remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, the Garden will be loaded with serious boxing fans representing Poland and Ireland. While the rivalry between Poland and Ireland is not quite at the level of Mexico and the Philippines, the element of national pride in this bout cannot be denied, and with the letdown following Maskaev’s injury and the subsequent change in the main event, the Golata vs. McBride crossroads bout has the potential to make the headlines.

The sport of boxing is clearly on the comeback trail, and while the sweet-science may never regain its popularity from Braddock’s days, Saturday night’s events will help continue the momentum established in 2007. After the historic Taylor vs. Pavlik bout, boxing needs to keep pumping out viable shows, because the public is hungry.

Hopefully, the bouts on Saturday will quell our appetite until Calzaghe vs. Kessler and Cotto vs. Mosley and next month!

Article posted on 02.10.2007

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