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22 AUGUST 2017

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Barrera retires after losing to Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao:
Manny Pacquiao:

Fight Report by Ben Cohen: Given his age, Marco Antonio Barrera fought a good fight against Manny Pacquiao at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas last night. Unfortunately, the Filipino super star fought a better one, utilising his speed and punching power to out box the Mexican veteran over the distance. Barrera consequently announced his retirement from the sport.

“We boxed well”, said Barrera of his performance. “I feel like I dominated the fight with my left hand, and then I got a head-butt, and that’s what threw me off the game plan”.

“I lost my head in a few rounds”, he continued. “I shouldn’t have lost my head and fought the way I did a few times, I should have boxed more.”

Of his retirement, Barrera was upbeat.

"It is not a sad night, because I have done all I can do in boxing. When you have done all you can, there is no reason to be sad."

And Barrera did all he could against Pacquiao, but it was simply not enough.

The multiple weight champion sought to fight in concentrated bursts against his relentlessly energetic foe, staying behind a disciplined jab, and circling continuously to his left to avoid Pacquiao’s murderous left hand. But the 33 year old could not control the pace for enough of the rounds to win the decision he was looking for.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, had come to fight hard and exploited Barrera’s age as the rounds went on. It was not a spectacular performance from the usually electric Filipino, but he did what was necessary to out fight his wily opponent.

Pacquiao seemed confused for the first three rounds as Barrera pumped his jab and stepped neatly to the left, throwing the occasional right hand to keep the jumpy Pacquiao out of range. But after that, it was the Filipino’s fight as he stepped up the pace and hammered Barrera from range.

“It was different from the first fight," said Pacquiao afterwards. "He’s a good, smart boxer. I’m satisfied with the result. I knew he would have to box me this time around."

When Pacquiao started to use his right jab in the fourth, Barrera was forced onto the back foot, allowing Pacquiao to mount his considerable offence.

“He can’t do nothing when you throw that right hand”, trainer Freddy Roach told Pacquiao after the round.

The fifth saw the two trade violently in the middle of the ring, with Barrera initially landing the cleaner shots. But as the Mexican looked to get his breath back, Pacquiao stormed in to land a series of power punches to take the round.

The sixth saw some crafty work from Barrera as he fought his way out of the corner from the marauding Pacquiao, countering with some crunching right hands. But it was short lived as Pacqauiao fought back furiously to regain control of the round with some quick combinations from the outside.

Barrera began to fade quickly afterwards, looking slightly confused and out of sorts as Pacquaio bombed away with his high octane attacks. Pacquiao fought behind a high guard using some very good head movement that negated Barrera’s jab while shooting powerful lefts straight down the pipe.

Although it would probably not have mattered what game plan Barrera enacted on the night, his corner seem to run out of ideas as the ‘Pac Man’ surged ahead in the second half of the fight. Without long time trainer Rudy Perez, Barrera’s older brother Jorge simply told Barrera to “be stronger” as Pacquiao asserted himself. There was little technical advice, and virtually no suggestions after Barrera’s initial game plan ceased to work.

Relying on his own considerable guile, Barrera did manage to make the fight interesting in the 8th, landing a quick combination that got Pacquiao’s attention, but he could not sustain it as Pacquiao bounced back to land some combinations and a fierce left hand that snapped Barrera’s head back violently.

After more rounds of Pacquiao attacking, Barrera almost came unstuck in the 11th. Pacquiao landed a series of thunderous 1-2s down the middle, stunning Barrera and driving him backwards into the ropes. Although Barrera fired back, he did not have the hand speed to match, and lost badly in the exchanges.

Barrera opted to hold when it became clear he could not catch his opponent cleanly, and as referee Tony Weeks pulled them apart, a flustered Barrera smashed an over hand right into Pacquiao’s head prompting a 1-point deduction that widened the scorecards even further.

The 12th was relatively uneventful, with Barrera doing his best to survive the round without sustaining too much damage. Pacquiao was bouncing around like it was the first, waving Barrera in to engage with him. Barrera declined, and looked distinctly relieved when the bell sounded.

The judges scored the bout118-109 twice and 115-12 all for Manny Pacquiao who retained the WBC 130lb belt.

Pacquiao has now gone 4-1 over two of the greatest featherweights of all time in Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, and it is quite possible that he can now be considered one of the best in history.

October 7th 2007.

Ben Cohen can be reached at

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