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Thread: Chronicles of the master class Mexican hombres pts. 1 & 2

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    Chronicles of the master class Mexican hombres pts. 1 & 2

    Chronicles of the master class Mexican hombres
    By Bradley Yeh from Boxing Scene

    Of all the performing arts, martial artistry is the most dynamic.

    Despite the fact that there's thousands of serious cult fans captivated with boxing’s unique juxtaposition of, glory, fear, and uncertainty; boxing is a sport for which its players can always find a reason to leave.

    Along with diametrically opposed requisites of extraordinary brilliance and tenacity to compete even at top-level amateur shows, boxing will always remain as a challenging activity for the disparity between, attitude, aspirations and real ability, to persist concealed in either a partly or wholly form. For good reason to, as despite the controversies surrounding integrity within boxing, inside the ring there is no hiding your true capabilities.

    As modest as the claim may be, it’s true that there's easier places to fake it than inside a prize fighting ring.

    Those that have tried their gloved hand inside the ropes, whether they be casual spectators, passionate devotees, proletarian participants, or even those from the sectarian church of prize-fight boxing, have all at one point been struck with the profound awareness that, intense training, sparring, perpetual competition, and, the lack of easy, recognition, breaks and financial returns, presents a severely sobering lifestyle constraint.

    Particularly for a sport that appears only enjoyable if you dominate.

    Big fights, the ones where you catch yourself dreaming, pondering if you would come out for the bell fighting yourself, even if you had you stayed in the gym for all these years continuing to acquire all the form of your boxing heroes.

    If any, those are the fights that hold genuine ability to momentarily electrify fans into secluded optimistic reassessments of adolescent sporting aspirations and decisions.

    The conclusion should then arrive with little surprise that the truly captivating fights are the ones that sufficiently install fans with enough enthusiasm to temporarily believe all the reasons boxing had been originally dismissed as a career choice had briefly disappeared like ice in the sun.

    If only for the duration of the main event.

    Charismatic fights like this allow us to escape and believe that we are capable of surmounting obstacles that have proven themselves to be larger than life, and for this very reason they are the fights committed to memory as classics.

    Rightly so, as some things are not easily forgotten, and when one accomplishes that which another could not, even if their exodus from the same activity was fair and justified, many often feel obliged to donate attention and admire. And why not when personal hardship and consistent life compromises guarantee that the respect and grooves of our memory run deep.

    One day a successful middleweight boxer invited me to come over and watch a little Mexican dynamo fight.

    That little Mexican was Marco Antonio Barrera and the fight was Barrera vs. McKinney.

    Prior to that time I had never heard of Marco Antonio Barrera, but the fight I was shown left me in no doubt it wouldn’t be the last, as Barrera vs. McKinney is a contest that is easily as entertaining as the first battle between Corrales and Castillo.

    It can be effortlessly said with confidence that there are not many modern era fights that better define, sheer determination and willpower than the twelve three minute Barrera vs. McKinney sessions. In that superlative contest both men treated everyone to a blistering and brutal showcase as they campaigned for the WBO super bantamweight title.

    McKinney at the time had previously served the sport at an amateur level with honor and was in the process of throwing down a new regime in the punch for pay ranks. Had it not been for Barrera that night, McKinney’s dreams may have become reality.

    Barrera’s unyielding character was noticeably signed and evident on his otherwise child-like appearance as he raised himself from the canvass against McKinney in round eleven to win by TKO in the twelfth round, but not before McKinney was dropped twice in that round.

    Barrera’s unparalleled resolve that night was hard and malicious. He would soon become famous for that trait.

    McKinney himself would later indirectly avenge the defeat Barrera delivered, as in later years he KO’d Junior Jones, who himself wrote a tidy draft proposal on how to defeat Barrera. For all the damage Jones caused, he couldn’t stop the thrust of Barrera’s career as a Mexican hombre, and as Barrera’s career matured, particularly during his performance’s peak pressure loads Barrera’s smooth endearing features carried a trace of menacing resolve.

    In action with this expression Barrera lent new authority to the term “spiteful punching”, and for that we called him the “”Baby Faced Assassin”.

    One look at Barrera’s record and you're unmistakably presented with an expert puncher - a master blaster of the fight game. Barrera has done it all. If there's more to do in boxing than Barrera has achieved it is probably defined in weight divisions out of reach of Marco’s featherweight frame, or by the announcement of rematch with his ominous conqueror “Manny Pacquio”.

    Notwithstanding the Pacquio loss, not many would deny that Barrera has been an all time thriller for years. His career has so far eclipsed all those that have shared the ring with him, win lose or draw, and if boxing were a popularity contest governed by cable network executives his recent rival Juan Manuel Marquez would be a bobbing buoy nurturing a sense of personal inequality between gasps for air in the whitewashed wake of Barrera’s momentum.

    Overshadowed by Barrera and other Mexican luminaries, Marquez these past years has found little value in the search for solace and sympathy within the dark spaces and shadows cast out by Barrera’s reputation and achievements. Armed with an ultra-totalitarian Mexican mindset and the support framework of esteemed trainer Ignacio Beristain, Marquez’s attitude has been to move forward regardless. Marquez has always displayed more than a few glimpses of boxing brilliance, and whilst Barrera revelled in his own supremacy, Marquez carefully drew plans and to began to create and identify himself as a serious danger in the future house of featherweight fighting.

    Whilst Marquez’s ominous featherweight forecast emerged slowly swelling over boxing’s event horizon, most available patriotic attention became further polarized toward Barrera as he violently thrashed about with outclassed victims. As a result Marquez was unable to compete for interest with Barrera. And it would have been foolish to try, as Barrera had already began to peak by then, and the void that Julio Cesar Chavez’s departure had created was fast becoming crowded with Barrera’s ultra-nationalistic Mexican boxing fans.

    It was in this way that Barrera became Mexican fight fans dream come true. He was adored both for his unbridled attacks and for openly expressing a devotion to a fight strategy so muscular and determined that it was described glowingly by supporters as the blueprint for an Aztec warlord’s boxing empire. With Barrera you always knew the fighting core was real.

    Aside from the fact that there's something gloriously refreshing about the way most Mexicans fight, if you had threateningly mentioned the name Marquez with adrenaline in your voice at this time in Barrera’s career, you would have been met with a full range of expert invalidation.

  2. #2
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    Re: Chronicles of the master class Mexican hombres pt. 1

    Here was my take on that fight from 1996!

    http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/396box.htm

    scroll down to PUGIL!

  3. #3
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    Re: Chronicles of the master class Mexican hombres pt. 1

    Part Two:
    By Bradley Yeh from Boxing Scene


    For a while the sheer scale and extent of Marco Antonio Barerra’s achievements escaped imagination and stunned our senses. It was as if he were fighting free from the silent fears and assertions that normally regulated achievement of the highest dreams within athlete’s minds. When Barerra effortlessly manhandled Hamed, the realization that boxing could also be as refreshing to watch, as Barerra appeared to find it liberating, hit home for us all and within the Mexico’s fighting heartland there was a homecoming for the traditional Mexican hombre.

    Indeed, effervescence was an unusual quality for a fighter to behold.

    Although Mexican they both may be, Hamed quickly learned with Barerra that he was no-ones Augie Sanchez.

    Barerra aggressively honed in on Price Naseem Hamed’s legend with such ease when they met, that his performance not only dismantled the UK super hero, it made mockery of Hamed’s alchemic marvel in a similar fashion that Hamed himself had become known to do against high ranked opponents.

    The mockery was in the simplistic, but significant, adjustments adopted by Barerra to thwart Hamed.

    Barerra removed his left jab lead that Hamed’s show appeared critically dependant upon. In doing so there was nothing left for Hamed to time and miss, or gloat over. All that remained was Barerra’s visible baby faced contempt for Hamed. For Hamed it was a role reversal he had not yet contemplated, and one he could not adjust to.

    For all the technical superiority Hamed possessed, with Barerra that night his game appeared only as strong as its weakest link.

    Albeit devoid of any seriously brutal and graphic scenes, the win over Hamed was much more than just another sheep savaged by a wolf at the door with a fondness for cracking skulls.

    Barrera’s elimination of Hamed from the championship boxing landscape was perceived by fans as divine intervention, a symbolic event that carried with it special remedial qualities to refresh and cure all those persistent pesky annoyances otherwise requiring heavy medication.

    Against the self-proclaimed boxing punk, “Prince Naseem Hamed”, Barerra gave both the American and Mexican boxing communities an experience that was, by the smallest margins, a pinch short of religious. It appeared as if Barerra’s boxing sensibility had triumphed over Hamed’s punk fighting arrogance.

    In defeat with Jones, Barerra was a great champion. With Hamed, Barerra became boxing gold overnight.

    In reflection, the full scale of Barerra’s tenacious reincarnation after his Junior Jones losses was clearly evident. The road trodden by Bararra from Junior Jones to the Hamed victory now served as a case in point of one of the most powerfully built and elegantly engineered examples of one Mexican fighter’s single-minded self-belief.

    Or, perhaps that’s just what an authentic Mexican hombre does because there is no other way.

    They say you learn more in defeat than triumph, but for those with focussed on the full comprehension of Barerra’s depth of character and pedigree; it’s useful to remember that Chavez Sr., whilst undeniably prodigious in his boxing achievements and reputation, displayed no such abundance of similar qualities after losses.

    Even after Pacquiao blew Barerra out of the Texas ring in 2003, almost two and a half years after Barerra fought Hamed, still then Barerra showed us how to extract honour from defeat and rebound back. He and team members Perez and Maldonado offered no excuses and Barerra immediately fought on with Paulie Ayala, and then rematched the ever dangerous Erik Morales.

    There was no self-serving pity from the Paquiao loss. Barerra simply got on with his career of winning and entertaining us.

    In fact it was more than that.

    Because losses sometimes distract from the marketability and brand loyalty coveted by all fighters, the Morales rematch contained the hidden significance about the fighter that Barerra is. Not since the Ali, Foreman & Frazier years had there been a time where great fighters, (only several fights after being comprehensively beaten), willingly accepted to further risk their reputation after such a significant loss by fighting another terminally dangerous opponent.

    It takes more than a loss to dent a true hombre’s confidence, and with Paulie Ayala dismissed, the very next cab off the rank after the Pacquiao disaster was a rematch with Erik Morales, a Mexican hombre capable of matching Barerra’s stamina laden fighting rhythm for each and every round. Morales had previously beaten Barerra when they first met, and in controversially doing so he gave such a scorching account of himself that the baby faced assassin found himself combating in a minor tail spin as he searched his soul for the way to win in the virginal territory of being without any distinct fighting advantage.

    With Erik Morales, Barerra found another Mexican hombre that was willing to fight all of the three minutes contained within every round.

    The suggestion of a rematch with the equivalent of Morales at a similar juncture of almost any other fighter’s career, particularly after a loss like that which Pacquiao administered, would have had most managers eyes splashed with bright yellow, “proceed with caution” danger signs.

    However, Barerra’s risk taking personality would have it no other way.

    Is it any wonder that the fans are partial to Barerra?

    Barerra won the rematch with Morales in 2004, and at that stage of his career we all thought, just where was the boundary for Marco?

    Juan Manuel Marquez is a different beast altogether than Barerra.

    Whilst Barerra had rampaged above ground as an apparition of the devil incarnate to those opposing him, Marquez was the Minotaur beneath the earth, a monster only unleashed from its underground labyrinth when unsuspecting sacrifices were to be publicly devoured.

    Whilst possessing tenacity in equal amounts to Barerra, Marquez brought serious horsepower into the ring. As well as this, he had also successfully resisted defeat from Barerra’s master destroyer and nemesis, Manny Paqcuiao, and alone on its own merits his performance against Paqcuiao allowed Marquez to proclaim he was also a Mexican hombre. In a world that seeks to measure the absolute meaning and magnitude of every performance, how amazing it is that even with quantifiable achievements like this, Marquez’s powerful punching prospects with big time broadcasters somehow escaped him and he remained frustratingly trapped underground where he could do no harm.

    More than once Marquez and his trainer Ignacio Beristain must have experienced the frustration and disappointment of moving ever so slowly toward the light of the big stage, but always in the shadow of other great Mexican fighting celebrities.

    Even for those highly motivated, a life in dark spaces and shadows is at best sullenly euphoric in its offerings, boxers locked into these scenarios often feel that they're forever fighting on the edge of reality.

    What's even worse was when Marquez finally rose and raged against the Pac-machine, against all the odds; his efforts were sometimes reportedly diluted down, as if his feats were some kind of mystery achievement. And while Marquez was forced to wait for his next big chance to shine in the shadows Manny Pacquiao skyrocketed up into boxing’s stratosphere.

    Marquez’s persuasive performance with Pacquiao caught several scribes by surprise, and as a result it showed in their publicized misunderstandings. Juan Manuel Marquez boxes both clever and cunning and many reporters simply weren’t bothered to check the inside story underground before their commitment to paper was made. Even before the result was available to print, it seemed that many believed Pacquiao’s win over Marquez was a mere formality.

    But Pacquiao didn’t win.

    And as a result the coercive energy required to accurately rewrite and reverse the pre-fight polarisation and all the bias proved too much. It got in the way of a good story that was already spinning on the press collecting ink.

    The incredible result for Marquez was that he lost his marquee value before it was ever in his possession to behold whilst he performed better than Barerra with the same opponent.

    For the larger part of Marquez’ recent professional fighting career this has been the un-chosen modus operandi.

    By comparison to Marquez, Barerra has enjoyed mostly a charmed career as a seasoned professional. If not for the money associated with prize fighting, in his prime most competitors would have probably avoided him. Indeed, a brief history of Barerra undoubtedly shows that when required, he has regularly delivered big time results when called upon.

    Marquez’s trainer Beristain knew against Barerra any performance similar to Marquez’s 2004, Pacquiao outing would have allowed Marquez to finally demonstrate to the correct audience that he can stand against the class of truly elite boxing warlords - maybe even overthrow the featherweight regime to become a supreme Mexican icon in his own pugilistic right.

    Like all intelligent thinking fighters Marquez and Beristain also knew a dynamic offence came from a good defence. That well known axiom had proven to also be an Achilles heel for Marquez, as unfortunately the synonymous world of prize fighting and cable empires are reticent to warmly welcome safety-first techniques with open arms. It is for these, sometimes, crazy reasons that Marquez’s well rounded possession of fighting intelligence unfairly ensured opportunities escaped him.

    Marquez became a misunderstood and underrated fighter. A fighter worthy of so much more.

    That was until he defeated Barerra.

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