May 20, 2006: Barrera vs Juarez I – An Old Aztec Warrior Refuses To Lose

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In sure respects, Marco Antonio Barrera isn’t your typical Mexican fighter. When in comparison with such compatriots as Julio Cesar Chavez, Ruben Olivares, and longtime rival Erik Morales, Barrera had a comparatively placid upbringing. He was in actual fact born into an prosperous household in Mexico Metropolis with ties to the film business and didn’t want prizefighting in the way in which his extra determined countrymen did. Earlier than successful his first world title in 1995, Barrera had already enrolled in a prep college and was intent on sometime turning into a lawyer.

“However the folks didn’t let me retire,” Barrera mentioned in a 1995 interview, talking of the Mexican boxing followers who grew to become enamored together with his rising expertise. Shortly turning into a fan favourite within the Fabulous Discussion board in Inglewood, Barrera placed on a terrific present there towards former champion Kennedy McKinney, making a reputation for himself on a global stage within the inaugural broadcast of HBO’s Boxing After Darkish collection.

Barrera made a reputation for himself towards McKinney again in ’96.

However whereas a younger Barrera was famend for boxing “Mexican type,” as Gennady Golovkin would later name it, an older, extra mature model of Barrera exhibited a number of the cerebral craft he did not name on in his powerful defeats to Junior Jones and Erik Morales. Most notably, Barrera got here in a three-to-one underdog towards unbeaten featherweight sensation “Prince” Naseem Hamed earlier than placing on a shocking boxing clinic, utterly neutralizing the “Prince” behind his jab and a properly executed recreation plan that had Hamed confused and floundering.

However after a younger Manny Pacquiao steam-rolled Barrera in 2003, many thought the top had come for an excellent champion. That’s, till November of 2004, when Barrera met reigning 130 pound champion Erik Morales for a 3rd and remaining time and brilliantly out-hustled his Tijuana rival in one other 12 spherical epic. Barrera had mounted an surprising comeback again into the higher echelon of the game, and regardless of having 63 fights and over fifteen years of fight beneath his belt, “The Child-Confronted Murderer” was virtually pretty much as good as he ever was, a maestro within the ring with the aggressive machismo that after outlined him nonetheless in reserve.

In 2004, El Barreta settled the rating with Morales and revitalized his profession.

In actual fact, Barrera was so good in 2006 that many missed challenger Rocky Juarez, regardless of the youthful man’s explosive one-punch energy and embellished newbie pedigree. A 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist, Juarez scored the 2003 Knockout of the Yr towards Antonio Diaz with a shot that made nearly everybody take discover. However Juarez’s weak point was his over-reliance on his energy, as many thought he virtually gave away his battle towards Zahir Raheem in 2004 earlier than dropping his unbeaten document by the hands of Humberto Soto the next yr. Heading into the Staples Heart to face Barrera in 2006, Juarez wasn’t given a lot of an opportunity towards The Ring‘s quantity three ranked pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

However regardless of being the underdog, Juarez made an announcement early, wobbling the champion with a tough left hook to the temple on the finish of spherical three. It was clear that Juarez was not content material with being outworked in the identical method as he had been in his disappointing performances towards Soto and Raheem, and was bringing the battle to the veteran champion. Barrera’s greatest weapon early was his left jab, which the veteran timed in such a means that Juarez couldn’t anticipate it as he tried to work inside Marco’s patented range-finder.

Barrera’s jab gave Juarez bother early.

A battle broke out within the sixth because the champion started to commerce freely in shut quarters with Juarez, Barrera getting the higher of the fight as he started to place the harmful challenger on the retreat. “El Barreta” had one other sturdy spherical within the seventh, however by the eighth Juarez was placing strain on the outdated champion, who was beginning to look uncomfortable.

Spherical ten featured a number of the greatest two-way motion of the battle. Juarez started the spherical combating brilliantly on the within, ripping well-placed uppercuts and hooks beneath and across the guard as Barrera languished in shut. However then the champion picked up steam as he drove Rocky again to the ropes and related with combos of his personal. Decided to get the final phrase in, Juarez then struck with a straight proper hand which had the outdated champion stiff-legged towards the ropes. It was probably simply sufficient to safe the spherical for the challenger and produce the competition even nearer on the playing cards.

Bleeding from the nostril and small cuts over each eyes, “The Child-Confronted Murderer” appeared like an outdated Aztec warrior as he went toe-to-toe and punch-for-punch with Juarez within the following spherical, giving pretty much as good as he acquired regardless of showing battered and exhausted. And within the closing stanza it was Barrera who boxed with intelligence and authority, his late surge securing an in depth victory on the scorecards, although when Michael Buffer stepped into the ring to announce the winner, it was nonetheless any man’s battle. Initially, Buffer introduced the battle as a break up draw, not a unpleasant end result, however shortly later it was introduced that the scores have been tabulated incorrectly and that in actual fact Barrera had received by break up choice.

A bloodied Barrera rallied late.

Whereas Barrera may have marched ahead together with his profession by taking over much less dangerous fights, Marco selected to present the sport challenger from Houston a second likelihood simply 4 months later, claiming “it’s for all of the folks, for myself, and to place all of the controversy to relaxation.” And the getting older Mexican legend as soon as extra rose to the event and received Barrera vs Juarez II in additional decisive vogue, though this could be the final vital victory of his celebrated profession. In his subsequent battle Barrera would exit in type in a spirited however dropping effort towards Juan Manuel Marquez, and regardless of one-sided losses to Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan within the twilight of his profession, by then the legacy of one in all Mexico’s all-time biggest boxers was greater than safe.              — Alden Chodash



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