Barrera-Morales: A Grudge for the Ages

By Aladdin.B .Freeman
Updated: December 1, 2004

Marco Antonio Barrera

PHILADELPHIA, PA.—If Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales fought 100 rounds, 99 of them probably could be scored for either fighter. In the third fight of their trilogy I scored it a draw, yes a draw. I did think Barrera was much more convincing in the rounds that he won, I but strongly feel that Morales won rounds 2,3, 7, 8 , 11, and 12 and no matter how much he got beat up in the other six rounds he deserved at worse a draw.

In the loss Erik Morales again fought the wrong fight by standing in close and brawling with Barrera who it seems now after 36 rounds of fighting gets the better during close exchanges, however when Morales is on his toes from the outside and setting everything up off the jab he seems to really be able to get his shots off on Barrera. As far as class goes Barrera is a class act, he’s a gentleman in the sport of boxing who gave Morales his props before the fight as well as after, which is hard to do because you can see the dislike for Morales is still evident. Morales has shown Barrera no respect other than giving him his belt back after their first fight. His actions all week and what he did after the fight (throwing water and spitting at a few members of Barrera’s camp) shows this.

As far as the fight goes it was pretty much what everyone expected, Barrera got off with his left hand, all night long while Morales was effective when he’d step back and throw his looping right or when he’d time Barrera. In the early part of the fight from rounds 1 to 6 excluding the 2nd and 3rd where Morales landed a ton of power shots and right hands, Barrera seemed to carry it with the inside exchanges and vicious combinations, Morales all the while was trying to land inside but because he throws looping shots in close quarters he couldn’t.

In rounds 7 and 8 Morales made two big adjustments; first he didn’t pressure Barrera as much, so he started to make it an outside fight and the second thing he did was start to time Barrera off his jab and he landed some thunderous rights in the process. In rounds 9, 10 Barrera got the fight back to where he was having success, which was on the inside and his left hand started to heat up again. In rounds 11, and 12 -both of which were very close- Morales did most of the work, I actually thought Barrera might go down at the end of the 11th and most of the 12th out of sheer exhaustion. In the end it was a great fight with Marco Antonio Barrera getting the Majority Decision over his bitter rival Erik Morales.

For Barrera (59-4 41 KO’s) he’s had a great career, he’s won titles in 4 different weight divisions, he bashed the Prince of Boxing and I know he would like to avenge his loss to Manny Pacquiao, then ride off into the sunset and go down in Mexican boxing folklore along with Julio Cesar Chavez. Erik Morales (47-2 34 KO’s) has lost two very close fights to the same guy, other than that he’s been perfect. He wants to move up in weight again, after Saturday night I’m not sure that’d be a good idea but still, the future is bright for him. I’d love to see him in with Manny Pacquiao, and maybe later vs. Diego Corrales.

On a side note: props to Roy Jones Jr. for breaking down how all Morales was looking for was a KO and on the whole I thought this was Roy’s best fight as an analyst. He discussed how Barrera’s body structure would allow him to be better in close and how Morales was built more for an outside style of fighting. Also, I’ve never heard Jim Lampley be more biased for one fighter than he was for Barrera in this fight, if you go back and watch this fight, Barrera eats a lot of leather but it seems like every time he throws a punch that’s all Lampley talks about.