Barrera, Marquez Fight for WBC Title

Barrera, Marquez Fight for WBC Title

Barrera, Marquez Fight for WBC Title

WBC super featherweight champion, Marco Antonio Barrera, will square off with WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez in the 12-round WBC Super Featherweight Championship on Saturday at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

You can bet this match at betED.com, which has Barrera a slight favorite at -125, with Marquez at -105. The OU (rounds) is O11.5 (-350) and U11.5 (+250).

WBC 130-pound champion Marco Antonio Barrera (63-4, 42 KO's) is from Mexico City. He’s 33-years-old, 5'7", 130-pounds and is trained by Rudy Perez.

Barrera is considered the consummate boxer/puncher and is a former, three-time WBO super bantamweight champion, IBO & WBC featherweight champion.

He’s a future Hall of Famer who can slug, box, turn out the lights, or seemingly always stick his way to another victory. He is the simply the Master Craftsman of his generation from 122 to 130-pounds. Barrera's record in world title fights is 19-3, with 12 knockouts.

Challenger Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez (46-3-1, 35 KO's) is also from Mexico City. He’s 33-years-old, 5'7", 130-pounds, and is trained and managed by Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain.

Marquez is a counter puncher by choice and it usually takes him a few rounds to heat up. His willingness to trade early resulted in the toughest fight of his career, a brutal 12-round draw with Manny Pacquiao, in May 2004. In that bout Marquez was on the deck three times in the first round and he had to rally the rest of the evening to manage a draw.

With the exception of the Pacquiao bout, he looks for his opponent to make the first move and then he will return fire with short left hooks on the inside and looping overhand rights to the head.

The WBC Super Featherweight Championship will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9pm ET/6pm PT.

 

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Re: Barrera, Marquez Fight for WBC Title

KEVIN IOLE: Barrera has proved he will get job done

I was tempted to write that Juan Manuel Marquez was going to defeat Marco Antonio Barrera and claim the super featherweight title when they fight tonight at Mandalay Bay.

Tempted.

Marquez is one of boxing's best-kept secrets, despite a long career and a glittering record. He has consistently been either overshadowed by more popular fighters, but it's not a stretch to say he could be 50-0 instead of 46-3-1.

But no matter how much I respect him, I'm going to resist the temptation to pick him, because after all these years I know better than to question Barrera.

And so when the great Mexican champion said he feels as good as he ever has, that's enough for me.

If Barrera were a football player, he would be Tom Brady. I would bet that if you asked each of the 32 NFL coaches who they would want on their side if they had to win a game to save their child's life, most would choose Brady.

Of course, it wasn't always that way. In the 2000 NFL Draft, after scouts had years to dissect his college game film and months to scrutinize every conceivable body part, Brady was chosen in the sixth round by the New England Patriots, 199th overall.

We assume that these guys doing the picking are experts, because they're paid millions of dollars to decipher the game film and the Wonderlic tests and the cone drills and the 40-times, but how expert can you be if you are drafting a quarterback and you choose either Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger or Spergon Wynn before Tom Brady?

That, though, is exactly what happened in 2000 and nary a peep was heard.

I guess it's understandable, since Brady didn't have the arm strength of John Elway or the athleticism of Michael Vick or the sheer overwhelming numbers of Peyton Manning.

All Brady does is win, using whatever resources are available to him.

If you think about it, that's also a pretty apt description of Barrera.

He has 42 knockouts in 67 professional fights, but he never has been a feared puncher like Mike Tyson. He boxed Naseem Hamed into oblivion, but he's not celebrated for that skill like Floyd Mayweather Jr.

He twice has been in the Fight of the Year, but when you think of a brawler these days, Manny Pacquiao's name is the first that jumps to mind.

Barrera is just a low-key guy who pays attention to his job, completely respects his opponent and is so prepared he might become boxing's first Eagle Scout.

Barrera is coming off a clear-cut victory in September over Rocky Juarez, a young, strong and determined challenger. Headlines called the bout a snoozer and dubbed his win lackluster, but Barrera offered no apologies, then or now.

"The goal is to win the fight and keep the (championship)," Barrera said. "That's what I did."

That's the goal tonight, as well. Barrera knows he's near the end of a brilliant 18-year career and has spoken openly of engaging in just a handful more fights.

If he wins tonight, Barrera will chase a rematch with Pacquiao, who beat him in a stunningly one-sided 2003 bout, then probably retire.

As much as Barrera wants Pacquiao -- like many elite athletes, he's a fierce competitor who can't stand to lose at anything -- he has not thought ahead to even consider a strategy for that fight.

He's too consumed by Marquez to do that. If anyone can respect an underappreciated and wonderfully gifted fighter such as Marquez, it's Barrera, himself a guy who is supremely gifted but largely underappreciated.

This is the kind of a situation where you can expect a Brady-esque performance from Barrera. There are many who suspect he has hit the end of the line, that his performance against Juarez was a none-too-subtle indication that the 18 years and 67 fights and thousands of rounds in the gym have finally caught up to him.

If it has, Marquez will prove that tonight, because if he isn't one of the world's 10 best fighters, he's at least in the top 15. Barrera is a cinch for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, but Marquez, with a couple of more big wins, is good enough to earn himself a bust there as well.

Seven years, three Super Bowls, four Pro Bowls and an NFL record postseason winning streak later, we no longer doubt Brady.

Nor should we doubt Barrera.

So despite my temptation to choose Marquez, I'll take Barrera by decision in what figures to be a fascinating fight.

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Re: Barrera, Marquez Fight for WBC Title

TAKE FIVE: MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA VS. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ

By Jeff Haney
Las Vegas Sun

Fight facts

Principals: Marco Antonio Barrera (63-4, 42 KOs) vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (46-3-1, 35 KOs)

At stake: Barrera's WBC super featherweight title

Time/site: Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Doors open, 3:30 p.m.; pay-per-view begins, 6 p.m.

Tickets: $50 to $400, mandalaybay.com

TV: HBO Pay-Per-View, $44.95

Promoters: Golden Boy Promotions and Romanza Boxing

Featured undercard bouts: Daniel Ponce De Leon (30-1, 28 KOs) vs. Gerry Penalosa (51-5-2, 35 KOs), WBO/IBA junior featherweight championship, 12 rounds; Demetrius Hopkins (25-0-1, 10 KOs) vs. Steve Forbes (32-4, 9 KOs), USBA junior welterweight championship, 12 rounds

Betting line: Barrera -140/Marquez +120

1. End is near

In his 18th year as a professional, after 68 pro fights (including one no-decision) and world titles in three weight classes, Marco Antonio Barrera can sense the final bell of his Hall of Fame career approaching. "Instead of just going into the sunset, he wants to put an exclamation point behind his career," Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, said. Barrera, who would like to fight perhaps twice more before retiring, wants to make his remaining bouts memorable. That should be the case Saturday, when world featherweight champ and fellow Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez moves up to 130 pounds to challenge for Barrera's belt. "I've had a beautiful career," Barrera, 33, said. "It will be coming to an end soon. I want it to be special."

2. Too much sports? Nah.


Saturday's fight is being offered on pay-per-view by HBO during the middle of the second round - and the first weekend - of the NCAA basketball tournament. Yet Mark Taffet, HBO's senior vice president of sports operation and pay-per-view, downplayed concerns about a weekend of sports overkill. "We've been here before on March Madness weekends," Taffet said. He believes fans, looking to stay wired after a full day of basketball competition, will naturally be drawn to switch over to the fight at night. Among notable pay-per-view fights on days with heavy NCAA tournament action: Erik Morales vs. Manny Pacquiao in 2005, and Evander Holyfield vs. Lennox Lewis in 1999.

3. Bragging rights

Although both fighters hail from towns in Mexico's Federal District - Barrera from Iztacalco, Marquez from Iztapalapa - they have yet to meet in the ring. Barrera hinted he's anticipating a toe-to-toe tussle rather than another stick-and-move boxing clinic like the one he put on in his most recent fight, a 12-round unanimous-decision victory against Rocky Juarez last September at the MGM Grand. "We should never forget that in our blood, in our roots, we're always going to have that warrior mentality of throwing and receiving punches," Barrera said, encapsulating the traditional Mexican approach to the sport.

4. 'Pacman' fever

The specter of Manny Pacquiao, another of the world's leading 130-pounders, looms behind the scenes of Saturday's showdown. Pacquiao stopped Barrera in 2003 and fought Marquez to a draw in 2004 after knocking him down three times in the first round. Both crave another shot at the explosive Filipino, along with the accompanying big payday. Barrera said he wants to take care of business Saturday before thinking about his next fight. Marquez, meanwhile, is commanding plenty of respect at the betting windows in Las Vegas, where money has driven the price on the underdog down from plus-150 (risk $1 to net $1.50) to plus-120, according to MGM Mirage odds.

5. Long time coming

A counterpunching specialist, Marquez, 33, elicited some surprise by projecting a victory by knockout. His opponent wasn't buying it. "A lot of people dream of knocking out Barrera," Barrera said. "That's all it is - a dream." Marquez has been yearning for a fight with Barrera for at least five years. "No regrets," Marquez said. "The opportunity is here and I will take advantage of that. It's going to be a very tough fight, a war. He wants to retire, but he wants to retire as a champion."

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Re: Barrera, Marquez Fight for WBC Title

Marquez defeats Barrera for WBC title
March 17, 2007

LAS VEGAS (AP) -Juan Manuel Marquez unanimously outpointed Marco Antonio Barrera on Saturday night, taking Barrera's WBC 130-pound belt.

Two judges scored it 116-111 for Marquez and the third had it 118-109.

The wild fight ended with both men bleeding - Barrera from his left eye and Marquez from his right - and raising their arms in victory.

Controversy erupted late in the seventh round. Barrera (63-5, 42 KOs) connected with a right to the chin that left Marquez (47-3-1, 35 KOs) crouched with one glove on the canvas, but referee Jay Nady ruled it a slip. When Barrera stepped in and hit Marquez again, Nady subtracted a point from the champion.

That meant Barrera lost the round 10-8 instead of winning it.

Earlier in the round, Marquez stunned Barrera with a right to the head, then a left.

The 33-year-old fighters came from neighboring towns in Mexico but had never met. It didn't take long for them to get acquainted.

Early in the second round, they went toe-to-toe in the center of the ring. That set the tone for the third round, when another furious exchange erupted.

Near the end of the fourth, Marquez knocked Barrera into the ropes, but the champion slipped away and landed a combination.

Heavy exchanges at the end of the fifth and sixth rounds brought the Mandalay Bay crowd to its feet.

Marquez, who moved up from 126 pounds, had said he would knock Barrera out - a prediction Barrera dismissed as ``a dream.''

AP NEWS

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