Boxing recently produced two trilogies of significance: Arturo "Thunder" Gatti verses "Irish" Micky Ward and Erik "El Terible" Morales verses Marco Antonio Barrera. The Mexican warriors face off for the third time this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ward and Gatti engaged in grueling duels while maintaining an amiable relationship outside of the squared circle. No bad blood existed between the sluggers, Gatti and Ward pounded the hell out of each other for the love of boxing and fat paydays.
Morales and Barrera have a much different inter-personal dynamic, the bad blood runs deep between the pair. Both Mexicans, but from different worlds. Morales rose from Zona Norte, Tijuana, a neighborhood infested with poverty, drugs, and prostitution. Barrera is the product of an upper middle class family in Mexico City, who publicly has stated his interest in studying law.
The jabs and punches between the duo have taken place inside and outside of the ring, both verbal and physical in nature.
Can you ever forget Barrera, usually a gentleman, striking Morales with a punch during a press conference for their second bout?
In his interviews for the current fight, Morales has taken the opportunity to down talk and insult Barrera on numerous occasions.
"Barrera is through, there will be no decision this time. I won't let the fight get to the judges, I will knock him out this time. I already showed that I am the better fighter in our last fight. I take on the best and Barrera takes on has-beens. I'm sick of him this guy already, I'm going to send him into retirement." said Morales at a recent press conference.
Barrera's comment showed a little more tact, while underlining his disdain for Morales.
"I know that a loss in this fight could mean retirement. I beat Morales twice, the first fight was stolen from me, but the public knows I won. I will beat him again to leave no questions. I will finally settle the argument of who is the best Mexican fighter in the world. After I knocked out Ayala some doubters still remain, this fight will show the entire world that I am back."
Fans and analysts have argued Barrera is at the end of his hall of fame career. Manny Pacquiao's dominance over The Baby Faced Assassin last November left many calling for Barrera's retirement.
A knockout victory over an aged and heavy Paulie Ayala earlier this year did not mark Marco Antonio Barrera's return to greatness.
He may be gassed and his greatest days passed yet a fight with Morales, someone Barrera dislikes on a personal level can bring his best as a fighter.
The Thrilla' in Manila. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier beating each other within inches of death in the final battle of their legendary trilogy. Most agree Frazier and Ali were past their physical primes, but when the mortal enemies locked up the grudge fueled them into another historic fight.
The same dynamic comes to play on Saturday night, two guys who do not like each other and want to beat the shit out of the other one. Barrera has seen his best days as boxers passed by. Yet, I am willing to beat The Baby Faced Assassin will conjure up the skill and energy to fight Morales tooth and nail on November 27th.
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