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What’s Next For Monte Barrett?
On August 13, Barrett (35-9-2, 20 KOs) traveled to New Zealand for a rematch with former heavyweight title contender David Tua. The first fight was ruled a 12-round draw in Atlantic City. The second fight, had Tua defeated Barrett, the hometown native would have secured a December showdown with unified IBF/WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Barrett upset the applecart by winning an unexpected decision against Tua. Barrett survived a knockdown that nearly planted him through the ring canvas in one of the bouts most crucial moments. Barrett clearly was the busier and harder puncher and was awarded a unanimous decision. The judges scored the bout 115-112 (twice) and 114-113.
This is not the first time Barrett needed a victory to salvage a career that was highlighted by two world heavyweight title fights. Barrett has had his share of heartbreaking defeats.
Barrett underwent a four-year stretch in which he lost three consecutive fights twice during 2005-09. In 2005, Barrett emerged from a prospect to heavyweight title contender by twice challenging for a world heavyweight championship.
In August 2005, Barrett would lose to a more experienced Hasim Rahman for the vacant WBC title before challenging 7′ 3,” 325-pound Nikolai Valuev for the WBA crown following a one-year layoff in October 2006. The 6′ 3,” Barrett surrendered more than 12-inches in height and over 100 pounds in weight. In the opening round, Barrett threw a wild right-hook that landed flush upside Valuev’s face. Valuev’s knees buckled and Barrett went for the kill. However, Barrett kept trying to slug with the giant instead of boxing accordingly.
Barrett did land a few more wild shots which eventually became picked-off by the Russian giant. The fight was stopped in the tenth round.
Despite Barrett’s exciting performance and his rise to heavyweight contender, everything quickly went downhill for Barrett in his next fight.
In July 2007, Barrett suffered a shocking second-round stoppage loss to journeyman Cliff Cousier, a fighter with twelve career defeats at the time. Barrett would avenge the Cousier debacle, but was no longer considered a heavyweight title contender.
Barrett, looking into the realm of desperation and despair, fought 6′ 8,” Tye Fields, who had a career mark of 41-1. Barrett was used as “an opponent” to showcase Fields and no one gave the New Yorker much of a chance considering his past failures. To the amazement of everyone watching, Barrett quickly rocked the humungous Fields and knocked him out in impressive fashion in the very first round.
Right when Barrett earned another big win, he underwent a tough stretch of losing three consecutive bouts (2008-09). Barrett, on short notice took short pay to fight former unified cruiserweight champion David Haye for his heavyweight showcase in his native London, England.
Barrett would then lose to Odlanier Solis (KO by 2) before dropping a decision to unbeaten contender Alexander Ustinov (L 12).
Barrett wasn’t always a boxer fighting out of desperation, which can be a positive attribute for a hungry and determined fighter. Barrett, a former New York Golden Gloves champion, holds key victories against Phil Jackson, Jimmy Thunder, and former heavyweight titlist Tim Witherspoon. Barrett also handed Owen Beck and Dominick Guinn, a once highly-touted prospect, their first professional loss.
Barrett also challenged Wladimir Klitschko earlier in his career before working with Emmanuel Steward, and lost a razor-thin majority decision against Joe Mesi in New York’s Madison Square Garden eight years ago.
Barrett’s performances against Tua were no accident. They guy can fight and fights hard whenever he steps inside the ring. Barrett’s success and failures as a fighter has been strongly contingent in his physical readiness and mental preparation. Barrett has proven to be stubborn in the past by fighting solely on heart and soul and not with his head. Now that Barrett appears to be reenergized and refocused following the Tua fights, where does he do from here? What’s next for the 40 year-old, Queens, New Yorker now that he robbed Tua of a potential shot at Wladimir, where does Barrett go from here?
Barrett was mentioned as a possible “opponent” for WBA heavyweight titlist Alexander Povetkin, a former Olympic gold medalist. Barrett was passed over instead, as Povetkin will opt to face Evander Holyfield, who is approaching age 50.
Barrett, to the delight of close family and friends, agreed to fly to Tampa, FL in less than two weeks to attend the WWE’s developmental school. Barrett will be working out with top professional wrestlers in attempt to try out for World Wrestling Entertainment. There is mutual interest from Barrett and WWE Chairman Vince McMahnon. Barrett will work out, practice some moves, and perhaps most importantly, start developing an appealing character for television.
Barrett has the attitude and appears to have developed a serious interest into become a wrestling superstar, but make no mistake folks. Barrett is determined to fight at the highest level to become world heavyweight champion.