Barrera’s Resurgence: A Clear and Likely Danger in Unrealistic Expectation
By Sid Bañez
02 Oct 2007
That was my wife’s succinct question cum postmortem of the Oscar de le Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight. She tolerates and occasionally appreciates my love for boxing.
However, on that morning at the SM cinema I was concerned the curt comment meant I had lost company for big boxing shows. Or worse, I would be gnashing my teeth as I watch my next big boxing show on free TV, she having control over the family budget.
Having learned from me all the pre-fight hoopla that followed dela Hoya and Mayweather, my wife expected no less than the destruction of Pretty Boy Floyd.
After all, to her the real pretty boy is the Golden Boy and that was enough for her to disregard all other pugilistic considerations.
And now comes Pacquiao vs. Barrera in “The Will To Win”, a fight that’s incredibly interesting notwithstanding that the first fight ended in the annihilation of the famed Mexican.
Conventional wisdom tells us this fight will be as one-sided as the first one. Some avid fans even question why this fight is taking place, and not Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez.
However, the sustained marketability of Pacquaio and Barrera has made their return bout a reality. Notwithstanding that no official championship is at stake.
Notwithstanding that promoter Bob Arum once derided Barrera’s PPV appeal. And notwithstanding that Pacquaio knocked out twice the fighter who gave Barrera 36 rounds of torment – Erik Morales. If we go by a syllogism it will end with, “therefore Pacquaio will beat Barrera soundly”.
I am afraid this will be my wife’s philosophy when we watch “The Will To Win” at SM cinema this Sunday. Deep in her heart, she would again be just tolerating my obsession with boxing as she did when we visited Los Angeles and one of my
“must-see” places was the Wild Card Gym. It was a place I equated with an item in her itinerary – The Getty Museum.
It’s hard not to agree with her opinion as to how Pacquiao Barrera II will end: another annihilation. Unlike the first Pacquiao-Morales fight, the fight with Barrera left no doubt about Pacquiao’s superiority. Yes, Pacquiao lost to Morales
but he fought almost blind from the 4th round onwards but even rocked Erik in the twelfth. With Barrera he was never in danger. Thus, it is easier to understand why a rematch with Morales was in order than to fathom why Barrera has bumped off JMM in the waiting list of the upset conscious.
Ah, yes, the potential for an upset is selling tickets and PPV buys. For one, Pacquiao has complimented Barrera as the toughest of all the Mexicans he fought.
That was not evident in the first fight when the Mexican, bloodied by an accidental head butt in the sixth seemed ready to surrender and was crying for the disqualification of Pacquaio. Neither was Barrera’s toughness evident in the
demeanor of his handlers before the seventh. One was begging him “not to permit a stoppage” of the fight and egging him to “keep up the speed” – an exercise in futility. For his part Barrera has heightened the nationalistic fervor of the
upcoming fight with the Republica Enemy Numero Uno, with the pledge that he would be a much better fighter this time. Similarly, Erik Morales’ father, faithful to the publicity plan of the third fight, declared his son would knock Pacquiao out.
That was as remote then as expecting Barrera to be more vastly improved than his Filipino nemesis this time around.
There would be no upset. Barrera will fall by the seventh round, earlier if he musters the courage that Morales had in all of the trilogy with Pacquiao.
That would be a different ending than the disappointing dela Hoya-Mayweather fight which shortchanged my not-so- boxing- enamored wife. But having heard some of the pronouncements of Barrera’s impending resurgence which she doesn’t buy, I again
expect her to ask, “That’s it?”, shrugging her shoulder at the end of the fight.
She won’t be disappointed though, just more cynical with pre-fight hype.
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