Matt Christie unearths 10 facts about Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales Part III:
1. ERIK MORALES hated Marco Antonio Barrera. The feeling was mutual. After two contentious contests the score was 1-1. Arguments could be made that the wrong man won each of the first two bouts but what did seem fair was they had a victory each. They fought for the final time, on November 27, 2004 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in front of 11,162 fans.
2. THIS was another close and bitterly contested affair. After 12 rounds of fury, Barrera’s arms were raised via majority decision (115-113, 115-114, 114-114). Again the decision was controversial and Morales’ supporters claimed the judges had been sympathetic to Barrera due to the questions raised by the decision in fight one.
3. ONE interested spectator was then-WBO featherweight champion, Scott Harrison. The Scottish terror was out in Sin City with manager Frank Maloney hoping to snare a shot at Morales. Afterwards, when Barrera won, Maloney said: “I’m pleased Barrera won because his style suits Scott much better than Morales’. There’s no question about Scott’s heart and about Barrera’s heart.” At the post-fight press conference Harrison was spotted by Boxing News, ‘unwinding with a bottle of beer…’
4. MIDWAY through the ninth round, Barrera threw a late shot in a clinch. Morales, not impressed, ignored the hand his rival offered by way of apology.
5. BARRERA won the WBC super-featherweight title and kept it for three years. After his previous victory over Morales – for the WBC featherweight strap – Barrera relinquished almost immediately but this time ruled until he lost to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2007.
6. AFTER the bout Barrera claimed that Morales had acted unsportingly: “Morales threw water in my father’s face after the fight. He’s lacking a bit of education.”
7. MORALES refused to give Barrera any credit for his victory but at least admitted he had lost. “When you lose, you lose. My body didn’t respond the way it is supposed to.
8. RELATIONS between Oscar De La Hoya and Bob Arum were almost as hostile as Barrera and Morales. The fighter’s own Golden Boy Promotions was emerging as a threat to Top Rank, who represented Oscar for much of his career. Barrera was one of GBP’s stars, and after the bout, De La Hoya acted as a translator for Barrera. A journalist asked the Mexican what his win meant to him. The boxer’s response – according to De La Hoya – was, “I wanted to demonstrate that Golden Boy is on top of Top Rank.” Arum, not remotely amused, said: “That’s real class, Oscar, real class.” De La Hoya looked straight ahead at the press and said: “I’m just translating, Bob.”
9. DANNY WILLIAMS, Jeff Fenech, Angel Manfredy, Jesus Chavez, Diego Corrales, Floyd Mayweather Snr, Shane Mosley, and Winkly Wright were all in attendance and announced by Michael Buffer.
10. BARRERA refused to be drawn on his future after his victory. “First I’ll go out and get a good dinner,” said the 30-year-old. “Then we’ll sit down and talk and see where we go from here… I’ll do whatever Oscar De La Hoya wants me to do because he’s my boss.”