Marco Antonio Barrera Tapia
(born June 17, 1974 in Mexico City) is a Mexican
is a seven time world champion in three different weight classes;
he is a former world champion at WBO Super Bantamweight
(122 lb), IBO / WBC
(126 lb), WBC Super Featherweight
(130 lb) and IBF
divisions. He ranks # 43 on ESPN
Greatest Boxers Of All Time
As an amateur, Barrera had a record of 104-4 and was a five-time
Mexican national champion.His Winning streak was 56-0 before losing
his first amateur contest.
Barrera was 15 years old when he defeated David Felix
by a knockout in round two on
November 22, 1989. The victory marked the beginning of a 43 fight
In 1990, Barrera had seven fights, including his first rise in
quality opposition, when he defeated veteran Iván Salazar
, by a decision in eight
rounds. In 1991, he had seven more fights, defeating boxers
, Javier Díaz
Barrera began 1992 by winning his first professional title,
defeating Justino Suárez
decision in twelve rounds to win the Mexican national Super Flyweight
championship. He retained
the title three times before the end of the year which helped
improved his ranking in the Super Flyweight division. He defeated
by a decision in ten
rounds, and Angel Rosario
knockout in six rounds.
In 1993, Barrera had six bouts, winning each. He defeated Salazar
in a rematch and retained his title against Noe Santillana
and among others.
By 1994, Barrera was attending University to become a lawyer and
also continued his boxing career. On April 13, he defeated future
champion Carlos Salazar
ten round decision in Argentina. He also defeated former world
champion Eddie Cook
before the end of the
Super Bantamweight title
Barrera began 1995 by fighting for a world title. In March 31, he
became the WBO Super Bantamweight world champion by defeating
Puerto Rican boxer Daniel Cobrita
by a decision in twelve rounds at Anaheim, California.
By this time, many boxing journalist were calling Barrera "Mexico's
next Julio César
He made four defenses before the year was over. On June 2, 1995, he
defeated future champion Frank Toledo
via second round knock out. Barrera knocked Toledo down twice
before the fight was stopped.
On July 15, 1995, Barrera scored a first round knockout win over
(27-1). In his next bout,
he won a twelve round unanimous decision over future champion
On February 6, 1996, he fought on the first installment of HBO Boxing
's spin-off series "HBO Boxing After
Dark". He was knocked down by former champion Kennedy McKinney
, but he recovered off the
floor to knockdown McKinney five times and retain the title by a
knockout in round twelve.
After the McKinney fight, he defeated former champion Jesse Benavides
by third round knockout. On
July 14, 1996, he feated another former champion, Orlando Fernandez
, by seventh round
On November 22, 1996, he suffered his first career loss and lost
his title to American boxer Junior
, by a disqualification in round five. Barrera was
knockdown in round five by what appeared to be a punch by Jones, he
was declared the loser by disqualification and not by knockout
because his managers climbed onto the ring to stop the fight.
In April 18, 1997, he was given a chance to retain his title,
facing Jones in a rematch in Las Vegas. Barrera was defeated by a
unanimous decision and retired from boxing.
Barrera announced a comeback in 1998, and he started off by
defeating Angel Rosario
knockout in round five. After two more wins, he was given another
opportunity to fight for a world title by the WBO. On October 31,
he became two time world Super Bantamweight champion by defeating
by a knockout in three
rounds, winning the WBO's vacant title.
In 1999, he had two title defenses and then he ran in to
controversy. On December 18, he defeated César Najera
in four rounds at California.
But upon finding out that Najera had a losing record and was part
of Barrera's team, the California State Athletic Commission decided
to rule the fight a no contest
Barrera vs. Morales
In February 2000, Barrera was defeated in twelve rounds by WBC
's world Super Bantamweight champion
, to a split decision. It
was an intense battle in which both fighters were cut and battered.
named it the fight of the year
The WBA allowed Barrera to retain his Super Bantamweight title and
he defended it three additional times. On June 17, 2000, he
defeated Luiz Freitas
(19-1-0) by first
round knockout. In his next bout, he defeated José Luis Valbuena
twelve round unanimous decision. On December 1, 2000, he scored a
sixth round knockout over former world champion Jesús Salud
In 2001, Barrera moved up in weight division. In April 7, he handed
British boxer Naseem Hamed
and only loss for the IBO
Featherweight title by
a twelve-round decision. Before the fight, Hamed was a 3 to 1
betting favorite in Las Vegas. Hamed could not hit Barrera with his
trademark lefts as Barrera circled to his left and worked both head
and body. Barrera was not a fan of Hamed's antics and responded to
Hamed's punches during clinches. On one occasion early in the
fight, Hamed grabbed Barrera and they both fell to the ground where
Barrera threw a right jab, leading to a warning from referee Joe
Cortez. In the 12th and final round Barrera trapped Hamed in a
hold, and forced his head into the turnbuckle, resulting in a point
deducted by referee Joe Cortez. Ultimately, Barrera threw more
punches, harder punches, and more impressive combinations. Barrera
was awarded the victory via a unanimous decision, with the
scorecards reading 115-112, 115 -112, 116-111, and won the IBO
Featherweight title. On September 8
, he defeated former champion Enrique Sanchez
by sixth round TKO.
On 22 June 2002, Barrera defeated Morales in a rematch, for the WBC
Featherweight title, winning by unanimous decision. Barrera chose
to defend the Ring Magazine
Featherweight title instead of accepting the WBC title. On 7
November, he defeated former five-time world champion Johnny Tapia
by a 12-round unanimous
Barrera got his 60th career fight on 12 April 2003, defeating
former world champion Kevin Kelley
knockout in round four to retain the Ring
's world Featherweight title.
Barrera vs. Pacquiao I
In November 16, 2003, Barrera was defeated by Filipino boxer
in the eleventh round
when Barerra's corner threw in the towel earning Pacquiao his third
world championship in three weight divisions (Barrera's Ring
Magazine Featherweight title was on the line when he fought
Pacquiao). Prior to the bout, it was revealed that Barrera had
undergone surgery to repair a cluster of malformed blood vessels in
his head. Barrera's training was also interrupted when
the "Old Fire" wildfire of 2003 forced his team to evacuate their
training facilities located in Big Bear Lake, California.
Super Featherweight title
In June 19, 2004, Barrera defeated former two time world
Bantamweight champion Paulie Ayala
Los Angeles. Barrera won the fight by a ten round knockout against
Ayala.On November 27, 2004, he fought Morales for the third time.
Barrera became a three time division world champion by defeating
Morales in a majority decision and capturing the WBC Super
On April 9, 2005, Barrera retained the title with a second round
knockout against future champion Mzonke
in El Paso, Texas, this win also marked Barrera's 60th
On September 17 of the same year, he unified his WBC Super
Featherweight title with the IBF
World Junior Lightweight
title version by defeating the IBF world champion Robbie Peden
by a twelve round unanimous
decision in Las Vegas.
Barrera vs. Juárez
In May 20, 2006, Barrera defended his title against American boxer
with what was announced
immediately after the fight as a twelve-round draw, which the
judges scored 115-113, 113-115, and 114-114. However, tabulation
errors were found in the judges' scorecards, leading to a final
score of 115-114, 114-115, and 115-114, a split decision in favor
of Barerra. He fought Juárez in a rematch bout in September 16,
this time Barrera won by a unanimous decision with scores of
(117-111, 115-113, 115-113).
Barrera vs. Márquez
On March 17, 2007 Barrera lost his WBC Super Featherweight
title to fellow
Mexican boxer Juan Manuel
by unanimous decision. Though Barrera claimed that the
judges and referee were wrong, because he knocked down Márquez in
the seventh round and the referee ruled it a slip.
Barrera vs. Pacquiao II
Barrera fought Pacquiao in a rematch bout for the WBC International
Super Featherweight title on October 6, 2007 in Las Vegas. Barrera
was defeated by a unanimous decision with scores of 118-109,
118-109, 115-112. After the match, Barrera expressed his desire to
retire from boxing, however no official confirmation has been made.
On February 13, 2008, Barrera announced to the media that he would
fight the winner of the Márquez vs. Pacquiao bout on March 15. The
winner of this turned out to be Pacquiao, in a highly disputed
split decision. However, Pacquiao's move to the lightweight
division and subsequent capture of the WBC lightweight title makes
a rematch unlikely unless one of the potential combatants is
willing to make a move in weight class.
Marco Antonio Barrera, now 35, ended his brief retirement, and
signed a five year contract on August 26
with promoter Don King.
He will move up to the
lightweight division, his goal is to become the first Mexican ever,
to win a title in 4 different weight divisions.
November 7, 2008, Barrera marked his return to the ring, in
China, by knocking out Sammy Ventura in his first bout in
the lightweight division.
Barrera vs. Khan
It was announced on 15 January 2009 that Barrera would return to
the ring against British boxer Amir
. Even with Barrera getting on in years, this was seen to
be the biggest test of the young Briton's career thus far.
Frank Warren promoted the fight, which took
place on 14 March 2009 at the MEN
Barrera lost the bout by a fifth-round technical decision. In the
first round, the two fighters clashed heads, resulting in a deep
gash above Barrera's forehead, which bled throughout the bout.
Ringside doctors stopped the fight at the beginning of the fifth
round due to the severity of the cut. The judges scored the fight
50-45, 50-45, and 50-44 for Khan at the point of stoppage and he
was declared the winner by technical decision.
On March 26, 2009, Barrera's promoter, Don
, filed a protest with the British Boxing Board of Control,
WBA and WBO on behalf of Barrera, claiming the accidental clash of
heads should have resulted in the fight being ruled a no-contest.
Under the rules governing the bout, had the fight been stopped
prior to the end of the fourth round due to the accidental
headbutt, the official ruling would have been no contest requiring
an immediate rematch. Referee Dave Parris, however, waited until
midway through the fourth round before asking the ringside
physician to inspect the wound.
this fight, Barrera had fought Freudis Rojas on January 31, 2009 in
Rojas was disqualified for a headbutt which
left Barrera with a bad cut over his left eye. The cut could have
jeopardized Barrera’s scheduled bout against Khan. Despite this
injury, the fight went ahead regardless.
Outside the ring
Barrera's fights were promoted by Oscar
de la Hoya
under the organization of Golden Boy Promotions. He
trained at De La Hoya's training facility in Big Bear,
He is currently promoted by King Kong .
Since January 2009, Barrera has been a commentator for ESPN
Deportes’ weekly boxing show “Golpe a Golpe” (Blow by Blow) which
airs live on Friday nights on the network. Barrera’s co-host is
SportsCenter anchor Jorge Eduardo Sanchez. Golpe a Golpe is the
lead-in show to ESPN Deportes’ popular “Viernes de Combates”
(Friday Night Fights) boxing series and is the first ESPN Deportes
show dedicated solely to boxing.
- sports.yahoo.com, Pacquiao rolls past Barrera in
- Barrera signs five-year promotional deal with
King from ESPN August 31 2008
- Barrera wins, suffers cut!. Retrieved on