Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Barrera ready for anything Marquez offers

Story by David Finger
Photos by Big Joe Miranda

WBC World super featherweight champion Marco Antonio Barrera (63-4, 42 KO’s) opened up his training camp at Big Bear, California this week to the media as he prepares for his March 17 showdown in Las Vegas against Juan Manuel Marquez.

Barrera appeared in good spirits, joking with the media. Any question in regard to his preparation for the fight was put to rest when he stepped into the ring and hit the pads.

“This is one of the best training camps we ever had,” commented Barrera trainer Rudy Perez.

“We’ve been getting great sparring and the right sparring. There is no down time in this camp—he makes all of his trainers work hard.”

fightnews.comBarrera also was also confident in the quality of his training camp.

“Right now, off the scale, I’ve been ready to fight.”

Barrera, who was weighing between 131 and 133 pounds, also promised his fans that, although prepared for anything, that he would be looking to make a brawl of his fight with Marquez.

“He’s a tough, tactical fighter,” said Barrera. “But I am going to invite him to the middle of the ring to fight. I look to give the fans their money’s worth. But I’ll be ready for a tactical fight as well. I’ve been watching a lot of his tapes and I’m going to have an answer for him, whatever he does.”

It would almost seem like a strange assessment from anyone who was only familiar with the old Marco Antonio Barrera, the fighter known primarily as a brawler. But Barrera, who impressed fans with his boxing skills against Rocky Juarez in his last fight, admitted that a lot has changed since his fight with Junior Jones, the first fight he lost back in 1996.

“I learned a lot in that fight. I learned I wasn’t invincible, and I had to make some adjustments. I’m much more mature since that fight. I’m a more complete fighter.”

It has also been a strange experience for Barrera, fighting a fellow Mexican with legitimate fan appeals among Mexican fans. Rather than have the unified support of Mexican fans, Barrera finds himself in the unusual position of having some Mexican fans actually rooting for his opponent. Commenting on the upcoming “Civil War” with his countryman, Barrera said with a smile:

“It’s basically 50-50 (in who fans are rooting for.) He and I are like neighbors. We virtually live down the block from each other.”

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