CEBU CITY – In the eyes of former five-time world champion Marco Antonio Barrera, it’s no longer feasible for longtime rivals Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez to fight for a fifth time.
Barrera stressed there’s no longer anything to prove between the two boxing superstars following the fourth meeting they had last December that saw Marquez knock out Pacquiao cold in the sixth round of an all-action bout in Las Vegas.
“Personally, I wouldn’t like it,” said Barrera through interpreter Mon Escano Friday during a dinner tendered for him by ALA boxing promotions president Michael Aldeguer at the ballroom of the Cebu City International Parklane Hotel. “They’ve already met three times and the knockout has already happened. So it’s a done deal.”
Barrera is in town to do the coverage of the Donnie Nietes-Moises Fuentes World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior flyweight title bout for Mexican-based TV Azteca. His older brother Jorge is the handler of Fuentes, who is the first boxer from the gym of the Barreras to emerge as world champion.
And for the man whose 11th round knockout loss to Pacquiao became the stepping stone of the Filipino southpaw to superstardom, naturally was asked about his two-time tormentor especially in light of his stunning loss to Marquez during their fourth fight three months ago.
A fifth Pacquiao-Marquez clash is being arranged by Top Rank Promotions’ Bob Arum for a possible September playdate in what hopefully would be the final saga to one of boxing’s most compelling rivalries.
Barrera however, is not convinced that Pacquiao’s worst career loss doesn’t mean Marquez is the greater fighter between the two.
“Marquez is not superior than Pacquiao. Pacquiao won the first three and Marquez won the last, and that’s it,” said the 39-year-old native of Mexico City.
The setback also doesn’t mean the eight-time world champion from General Santos City is now on the decline.
“I don't believe Manny Pacquiao is going down. I just think Manny Pacquiao was caught with a lucky punch from Marquez,” added Barrera, who won four world championships in a 22-year career while compiling a record of 67-7, with 44 KOs.
Clad in a blue shirt and jeans, the `Baby Face Assassin’ whose Hall of Fame career is defined by his three great wars with fellow Mexican Eric Morales, says he weighs 148 lbs at the moment, and keeps himself in shape by running and doing workouts in the gym.
Asked if he has plans to fight for one final time, Barrera is open to the idea, but stressed that he would do it not for the money.
“If it happens, then it’s good,” said Barrera. “But if not, I'm more than happy with what I've already accomplished in boxing.”