20 Yr Anniversary – Marco Antonio Barrera Dethrones Prince Naseem Hamed  — Boxing Information


April seventh 2001, marks the twentieth anniversary of the featherweight battle between Marco Antonio Barrera and Prince Naseem Hamed. The battle was a battle between two of the very best featherweights of their time. 

Marco Antonio Barrera, of Mexico Metropolis, Mexico, began his professional profession at an early age of 15 in 1989. His nickname was the Child Confronted Murderer. After having a brief novice profession and being a five-time Mexican nationwide champion, Barrera determined to present the skilled rankings a go. In 1992, American audiences obtained their first glimpse of Barrera when he stopped Esteban Ayala within the fourth spherical on the Nice Western Discussion board, in Inglewood, California. From there on, Barrera turned a fan favourite. He was recognized for his aggressive fashion who favored to throw punches to the physique and head of his opponents. In 1995, Barrera obtained his first world title shot and he received the WBO World Tremendous Bantamweight Title by defeating Daniel Jimenez by unanimous resolution. Barrera made 4 title defenses for the remaining of 1995. In 1996 for his fifth title protection, Barrera confronted off with Olympic Gold medalist and former world champion Kennedy McKinney. This could be HBO’s first Boxing after Darkish telecast. Each fighters engaged in among the best fights of that 12 months. Barrera dropped McKinney a complete of 5 instances within the battle which resulted in a TKO win for Barrera within the twelfth spherical. Barrera was heralded as the subsequent Julio Cesar Chavez and on prime of the pound for pound lists. Barrera made three extra title defenses.

Then Barrera bumped right into a stumbling block. 

On the finish of 1996, he misplaced by a fifth spherical disqualification in opposition to former world champion Junior Jones in an upset. Within the battle, Barrera was dropped twice within the fifth spherical and regardless that Barrera obtained up, he was in dangerous form. The nook got here in too early proper earlier than the bell rang which resulted in Barrera being disqualified. Barrera had a rematch with Jones in 1997 and Barrera was extra cautious this time round. He ended up dropping on factors to Jones in a twelve spherical unanimous resolution. Many critics began to really feel that Barrera was not the fighter that he was made out to be. After nearly a 12 months layoff, Barrera was again in 1998. He reeled off three straight victories and ended up changing into a world champion for the second time. He defeated Richie Wenton for the vacant WBO World Tremendous Bantamweight Title. Barrera made two profitable defenses of the title in 1999 after which confronted off along with his arch nemesis Erik Morales in a WBC and WBO unification bout. In what was the battle of the 12 months for 2000, Barrera got here up brief and misplaced a cut up resolution. Many observers felt Barrera did sufficient to win the battle. Afterwards, Morales determined to maneuver as much as featherweight and the WBO rewarded their belt again to Barrera. Barrera made three defenses of the title. Then Barrera determined to vacate the title and transfer as much as featherweight to problem the very best fighter of the division, who was Prince Naseem Hamed

Prince Naseem Hamed from Sheffield, United Kingdom, began his professional profession on the age of 18 after a small novice profession in 1992. He was a southpaw with a clumsy fashion however had freakish energy in each fingers. He moved up within the skilled rankings shortly and inside three years he obtained his first title shot. He received the WBO World Featherweight title by defeating Steve Robinson by an eighth spherical TKO in 1995. From there, he began destroying his opponents. Hamed solely fought out of the UK for probably the most half after which he got here to America with a bang. Hamed confronted off with Kevin Kelley at Madison Sq. Backyard in 1997 for his ninth title protection. The battle was among the best fights of that 12 months. Each fighters exchanged knockdowns in a slugfest. Hamed would find yourself stopping Kelley within the fourth spherical. This was additionally the primary battle on HBO for Hamed which made him an attraction. Not solely was he an entertainer however he was an motion fighter. Hamed continued to beat good fighters and on the finish he made a complete of 15 profitable title defenses of his WBO title. Hamed determined to vacate his belt and he picked Barrera as his subsequent opponent. The thought course of was Barrera can be a extra profitable battle for him and a neater opponent than Juan Manuel Marquez or Erik Morales. 

Within the lead as much as the Barrera/Hamed battle, Barrera was a 3-to-1 underdog. What was insulting, was two out of thirty specialists picked Barrera to win the battle. No person was giving Barrera an opportunity to win the battle. You’ll be able to say some boxing critics felt Barrera was nonetheless a brawler and that will have performed in Hamed’s favor. Another excuse was Barrera was shifting from tremendous bantamweight to featherweight, so possibly they felt Hamed’s energy can be an excessive amount of for Barrera. Lastly, Hamed was so hyped, many felt no fighter can beat him. Nevertheless, if you happen to had been one of many few people who analyzed the battle completely, you noticed the Barrera win coming. In Barrera’s final title protection at tremendous bantamweight in opposition to Jesus Salud, an fascinating commentator was available to name the battle. That was Emanuel Steward, who was Hamed’s coach. Steward observed a change in Barrera’s fashion. Barrera took the method of boxing successfully utilizing jab and never brawling. Steward was impressed by Barrera’s efficiency. He knew if Barrera fought Hamed the identical means he fought Sauld, it was going to be a tricky outing for Hamed. 

So on April 7th, 2001 the stage was set for Barrera and Hamed on the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The battle was televised on HBO PPV with a energetic crowd of many Mexican followers and in addition a variety of British followers who made the journey from throughout the pond. Barrera got here in with a document of 52-3, with 38 KO’s and Hamed had a flawless document of 35-0, with 31 KO’s. No main title was on the road for this battle however this was for the lineal title which was extra essential. 

Earlier than the battle began, there was about an hour wait till the primary occasion began. Hamed had points along with his gloves and was not prepared. As soon as the glove state of affairs was corrected, the battle was on. This might have been a psychological recreation that Hamed was taking part in to get within the head of Barrera. Nevertheless, Barrera stayed cool and calm and able to battle. Instantly, Barrera made a press release within the opening spherical. An off balanced Hamed along with his fingers down obtained caught with a Barrera left hook. Barrera saved a decent protection and used his left jab successfully. Barrera landed just a few of these exhausting jabs on Hamed’s chin. Hamed quickly realized he would want greater than his awkwardness and energy to defuse a decided Barrera. In spherical two, Barrera continued to work his jab very successfully. Hamed determined to make use of soiled techniques. When each fighters clinched, Hamed was off balanced and had Barrera in a headlock. Then he pulled him right down to the canvas with him. As Barrera freed himself, he sneaked in a left punch whereas Hamed was on the canvas nonetheless. This precipitated a delay within the battle by which referee Joe Cortez warned each fighters to not implore soiled techniques. It was spherical for Barrera. The third spherical was shut as each fighters had been slightly extra tactical. There was extra exercise from Hamed within the spherical as Barrera boxed fastidiously. Barrera obtained himself again to gear in spherical 4. He saved shifting to his left, away from Hamed’s left hand. Barrera caught Hamed with a left hand that shocked Hamed momentarily. Hamed began to again up and Barrera adopted him and landed just a few physique punches. Hamed had a comeback in spherical 5 and Barrera was much less lively within the spherical. The spotlight was when Hamed was in a position to land a tough left hook on the chin of Barrera however Barrera took it properly. In spherical six, Hamed confirmed extra frustration and began the spherical fast. He was lunging with energy photographs making an attempt to catch Barrera with a fortunate shot but it surely was not working. Hamed even switched briefly to a standard stance to offset Barrera. Barrera continued to field fantastically all through the spherical. In direction of the tip of the spherical, as each fighters clinched, Hamed landed a left hand on Barrera and Barrera answered with a left of his personal.  

Halfway by means of the battle there was issues from Emanuel Steward who suggested Hamed that he was dropping the battle and he wanted to choose it up. 

In spherical seven, Hamed got here out aggressively and he began to make use of his jab. The spherical was just like the battle of the jabs with Barrera getting the very best of it although. In spherical eight, Hamed as soon as once more got here out with a variety of strain. He began to throw exhausting proper fingers that had been partially blocked by Barrera. Midpoint within the spherical, as Hamed got here ahead and threw a left hand that missed, Barrera countered along with his proper hand. The punch landed on Hamed’s chin which froze him to the purpose the place he grabbed onto the rope briefly. Barrera took management of the spherical after that. Barrera continued to have his means in spherical 9 with efficient counter punching. Hamed was having issue as he was throwing one exhausting punch at a time. On the finish of the spherical, Hamed obtained near Barrera and he obtained clipped with a left hook whereas he jumped up within the air to get away from Barrera. In-between rounds, Emanuel Steward advised Hamed that he wanted a knockout and wanted to throw extra punches. Spherical ten was a greater one for Hamed. He did take the recommendation of Steward and got here out sturdy. Although he was a lot busier, Barrera would nonetheless land good counter photographs to again off Hamed. In spherical eleven, Barrera opened up extra and put the strain. At this level, Barrera was so assured, he began throwing extra combos to the physique and head of Hamed. This was the second for Hamed to land an enormous punch however he was so outclassed that Barrera took his coronary heart away. Going into the ultimate spherical, Barrera simply wanted to proceed what he was doing and Hamed wanted a comeback of a lifetime with a knockout. Barrera began extra aggressively and went after Hamed. He related with punches to the pinnacle of Hamed. Midpoint within the spherical, Hamed threw a wild left hook that missed that precipitated him to have his again in the direction of Barrera. To provide Hamed a style of his personal medication, Barrera took Hamed and rammed his head to the ring publish. This was in retaliation of Hamed’s soiled techniques earlier within the battle. This precipitated Barrera a degree deduction within the battle. Because the battle resumed, Hamed caught out his hand to the touch gloves however Barrera needed no a part of it. Barrera closed the present touchdown combos on Hamed to finish the battle. 

There was no query on who received the battle. Barrera received a unanimous resolution by scores of 115-112 (twice) and 116-111. It was a masterful efficiency by Barrera and considered one of his many greatest wins of his illustrious profession. The victory was one of many greatest achievements in boxing historical past. To Hamed’s credit score, he did go to distance with Barrera and confirmed toughness. Nevertheless, Barrera humbled the Prince that evening. 

It’s secure to say the loss took so much out of Hamed. He took a 12 months off and got here again in 2002. He defeated Manuel Calvo by unanimous resolution to get again within the win column. Hamed didn’t look good within the battle and appeared out of form. Sadly, this could be his final battle and Hamed retired. What a disgrace as Hamed retired on the age of 28 and doubtless may have gone longer in his profession. There was an opportunity of him having future fights with Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, or Manny Pacquiao. Hamed was a extremely good fighter in his prime when you look again at his profession. For this reason Barrera’s win over him was very good. Hamed ended his profession with a document of 36-1, with 31 KO’s. Hamed was inducted within the Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame in 2005 and rightfully so. 

For Barrera, the win obtained him extra common and he would add extra to his legacy. In 2002, he would win the WBC World Featherweight title by defeating his arch enemy Erik Morales of their rematch by unanimous resolution. Barrera didn’t settle for the WBC title however extra importantly, he received the Ring Journal title. Barrera would have one other setback the next 12 months in 2003. As the favourite, he misplaced to Manny Pacquiao by an eleventh spherical stoppage. This was considered the tip of Barrera and lots of questioned if he would ever come again. As soon as once more Barrera made one other comeback. In 2004, he received the WBC World Tremendous Featherweight title defeating Erik Morales by majority resolution. It could be their third battle and last battle with Barrera successful the trilogy.  Barrera would defend the title 4 instances earlier than dropping it to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2007. Barrera would by no means regain the title once more and fought for 4 extra years. Barrera ended his profession with a document of 67-7, with 44 KO’s. Barrera was inducted within the Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame in 2017 and is taken into account among the best Mexican fighters of all time. 

Wanting again, the Barrera and Hamed battle was probably the most vital fights of 2001. Naseem Hamed was generally known as the Prince however on that evening Barrera was the King. 


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