Saturday, October 06, 2007

:boxing: Back to the Beating?:: Pacquiao vs. Barrera

Super featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera both weighed in at 130 lbs in Las Vegas, the site of their highly anticipated rematch of their 2003 bout. However, just like that fateful Nov. 15 night, that may be as even as the two fighters will be come ringtime.

Pacquiao has been riding high since his signature win over the future Hall-of-Famer, including two KOs over the latter's archnemesis, Erik Morales. Meanwhile, Barrera has bounced back with a win over Morales and two wins over Rocky Juarez before a step-back in a loss to near-Pacquiao-victim-turned-near-Pacquiao-victor Juan Manuel Marquez (the fight was a draw). Pacman's attention have been divided by "extracurricular activities," while Barrera has been slowly steaming over that surprise beatdown a few years ago. Will a battle-worn body hinder The Baby-Faced Assassin, or will his willpower carry him to vengeance over the champion, who isn't exactly the uncouthly wild child he was back then?

Prediction: Pacquiao may be a far better, more complete fighter than he was in 2003, but coming in cold or too confident against a mad Barrera is a fool's game no matter the conditions. The pace will be violent and fast from the start, which may favor the faster, stronger former. This is virtually Pacquiao's to lose, as he should have more than all the tools necessary now to dispatch him in under five. However, if he takes Barrera lightly, as his recent attitude suggests, don't be surprised if the roles change from that night nearly four years ago. Pacquiao, KO6 or KO8 (if off-game, Barrera, MD or early/late round KO)

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