Marco Antonio Barrera
Name: Marco Antonio Barrera
Alias: Baby Faced Assassin
Birth Name: Marco Antonio Barrera Tapia
Birthplace: Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Hometown: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Height: 5′ 6″ / 168cm
Reach: 70″ / 178cm
Boxing Record: click
Most people consider Marco Barrera to be one of the best fighters of this era. He is a three weight division champion who has earned his respect and beat his share of great opponents. His amateur record was 56-4 and he was a five-time Mexican national champion.
Barrera turned professional at the age of 15, and had his first fight in Mexico City. He quickly moved up the ranks and began boxing in the United States, usually, at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. It is here where Barrera made a name for himself as a ferocious and hungry fighter.
His first major fight was against Daniel Jimenez for the WBO 122-lb. title. Barrera won a 12-round decision. Barrera then made a string of defenses before engaging in a fight with Olympic Gold Medalist Kennedy McKinney. It was HBO's first-ever installment of "Boxing After Dark," and a very thrilling one at that, as both fighters put up a great fight. Barrera knocked down McKinney five times, though he was down once himself, and ended up stopping the game fighter in the 12th round.
Later that same year (1996) Barrera fought Junior Jones. He was a big favorite coming in, and most expected an easy night for Barrera. Barrera was KO'd in the fifth round by Jones, although the official result is a loss by DQ because his cornermen came into the ring. Barrera also lost a rematch to Jones on points.
It wasn't until February 2000 that Barrera would again be in a major fight, this time coming against undefeated Erik Morales. Morales entered the bout with a 35-0 record at the time, and a favorite to win. Many people considered Barrera to be shot. However, Barrera fought a game fight and most people felt he was robbed of a decision to Morales.
Barrera would end up getting his big moment of glory against Naseem Hamed. Hamed was 35-0, with 31 KOs, and at that time was in many people's Top 5 Pound-for-Pound list. Hamed was thoroughly outboxed by Barrera and lost the fight. This victory made Barrera a superstar as he had never recieved such attention in his career before beating Hamed. Barrera went on to fight Enrique Sanchez, who had beat him once in the amatuers, and stopped him in the mid rounds. The stage was all set for Morales-Barrera 2. Fans had been eagerly waiting for the two to fight again after thier thrilling battle in 2000. Barrera won the fight by slim margins, some fans felt as if Morales had won the fight. Barrera went on to beat Johnny Tapia and Kevin Kelley and then fought the dangerous Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao KO'd Barrera in 11 rounds. Barrera then beat Paulie Ayala and then signed to fight Eric Morales in a rubber match.
Nobody in the boxing world had wanted to see Morales-MAB at this point in time. The second Morales-Barrera fight was seen as dull and almost everybody considered Barrera to be shot due to his destruction at the hands of MAB. Morales chose to fight Barrera because he thought it would be an easy fight and a big pay day. Morales had stated in interviews before the fight that the only the first few rounds of the fight would be difficult and after that he would handle Barrera with ease. Barrera shocked the whole boxing world when the two finally met for the third time by pounding out a clear cut victory and beating Morales to the punch and scoring with big combinations that swelled Eric's face badly. The third MAB-Morales fight is the only fight in the trilogy where fans generally agree with the outcome.
Following the Morales victory Barrera defeated WBC number 1 contender Mzonka Fana and then defeated a former sparring partner, Robbie Peden.
As of December 2005, Barrera is schedualed to fight Jesus Chavez in Febuary. If Barrera wins he will become one of the few fighters and the only Mexican to win titles in four different weight classes.
National and Regional Titles
- Mexican Super Flyweight Champion (1992-93)
- NABF Super Flyweight Champion (1993)
- WBO Junior Featherweight Champion (1995-96)
- WBO Junior Featherweight Champion (1998-00)
- WBO Junior Featherweight Champion (2000-01); Re-awarded belt after losing to Erik Morales
- WBC Featherweight Champion (2002); title immediately became vacant because Barrera refused the title
- WBC Super Featherweight Champion (2004-present)
- IBF Super Featherweight Champion (2004-present)