Boxing


As Ring Legend Barrera Returns Tonight, We Ask - Can Marco Win Himself A Fourth World Crown?

by James Slater - Marco Antonio Barrera, one of the greatest, one of the most popular amongst fans and one of the more exciting warriors of the past 15 years or so, returns to action tonight at the age of 36. Hoping to make one final run at making boxing history by becoming the first Mexican boxer to win world titles in four different weight classes, "The Baby Faced Assassin" takes the first step in his campaign by taking on little-known Brazilian Adailton De Jesus..

The scheduled lightweight ten-rounder will be the co-main event to the Julio Cesar Chavez-John Duddy clash in San Antonio, Texas, and Barrera, 65-7(43) will be having his first fight since losing on a 5th-round TD to Britain's Amir Khan in Manchester. Unless he's really deteriorated since that bad night, or unless we are about to see one unexpectedly super effort from 31-year-old De Jesus, 26-4(21), Barrera should have no real problems getting his first win in almost 18 months.

But can the former ruler at 122, 126 and 130-pounds really go on to grab a belt up at 135-pounds?

Still a huge fan favourite despite his advancing years and lack of recent success, Barrera will enjoy cheers tonight, and promoter Bob Arum, as quoted by Ringtv.com, says he will look to get the Mexican star back in the ring quickly after he's taken care of De Jesus; a decent enough fighter, but one who has never met anyone of Barrera's class (although De Jesus did give the then 6-0 Yuriorkis Gamboa a reasonable test back in late 2007).

Arum explained which of the current champions at lightweight it may be that Barrera faces down the road.

"I hope to have him [Barrera] very shortly fight for a lightweight championship," Arum said. "Maybe against [Humberto] Soto or maybe against [Miguel] Acosta. Both fighters are under contract with Top Rank and so he'll have that opportunity to be the first Mexican to win world titles in four weight division."

Khan, one of the fastest fighters in the entire sport, was simply too quick and too slippery for the ageing Barrera, but neither of the two champions Arum mentioned would be expected to give the 36-year-old as much of a problem in that area. 30-year-old Soto, 52-7-2(32) and the reigning WBC lightweight champ, is no speed merchant, at least in comparison to Khan, and he hasn't been knocking guys out as of late, either. Sure, fellow Mexican Soto would start favourite over Barrera, but a win for the 72-fight veteran would not be a massive, massive shock.

As for 32-year-old Acosta, 27-3-2(21) and the reigning WBA 135-pound champ, he IS a hard-hitter and he is also arguably faster than Soto. Coming off an impressive-looking 6th-round KO win over the previously unbeaten Paulus Moses, the Venezuelan would likely be too much for today's version of Barrera.

The again, Barrera, a real fighter through and through, never chose the easy path when it came to who he fought. Marco gets a pass tonight, seeing as how he is entitled to a tune-up, but with him planning to go in with either Soto or Acosta soon after tonight's bout, it's clear to see that his willingness to rumble with the best remains.

Look for Barrera to get some rounds in, before taking out De Jesus in around seven or eight rounds. How soon he actually goes for his fourth world title will then prove most interesting.

Article posted on 25.06.2010



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