Return of The King – Barrera Defeats Morales in Climax of Their Historic Trilogy; Larios Retains Crown with Win Over Hussein
It was a night to remember last Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales concluded their historic trilogy before a packed house that cheered wildly with every punch thrown by these two Mexican greats.
When the smoke had cleared, it was Mexico City’s Barrera who emerged victorious with a well-deserved 12 round decision, earning “The Baby Faced Assassin” a world title in his third weight class, this time at 130 pounds.
"Before this fight, everyone said Marco Antonio Barrera is bad, Marco Antonio Barrera is lost," said Barrera after the fight. "Talk, talk, talk. I don't like talk. I show that I am OK in the ring with my fists."
Indeed, Barrera showed that his 2003 loss to featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao was merely an off night as he took the fight to Morales from the opening bell, immediately making it known that he was ready for battle.
After the torrid pace of the early rounds, Barrera showed yet another dimension of his amazing ring craft as he boxed tactically with Morales in the middle rounds.
But soon Morales fought his way back into the fight and the tide continued to shift between these two future hall of famers, who had split their previous two bouts at 122 and 126 pounds.
By the championship rounds, the fans needed to take a breather, but the fighters refused to, putting on one of the most dramatic finishes in boxing history as they fought furiously, leaving whatever strength they had in the ring.
And when the scores were announced, it was no surprise that the 30-year-old Barrera had re-established himself as one of boxing’s best, pound for pound, taking the majority decision by scores of 115-113, 115-114, and 114-114.
With the win, Barrera improves to 59-4 with 41 KOs. Morales drops to 47-2 with 34 KOs. But no matter what the final result reads, boxing fans will never forget the trilogy fought by these two Mexican warriors.
In the co-feature, WBC super bantamweight king Oscar Larios continued to show his dominance over the 122-pound weight class with a dominating 12 round unanimous decision over Nedal “Skinny” Hussein of Australia.
Scores were 120-108, 119-109, and 118-110 for Larios, who lifts his record to 54-3-1 with 35 KOs in the seventh defense of his crown. Hussein, whose only previous loss was via cuts to Manny Pacquiao, falls to 36-2 with 22 KOs.
Larios, who was fighting for the fourth time in 2004, was expected to get his sternest challenge as champion from the game Hussein, but instead “Chololo” put on a clinic for the fans at the MGM Grand as he thwarted the Australian’s attacks while mounting a fearsome offensive of his own. In the end, Hussein had no answers for Larios, who looks forward to an even more successful championship run in 2005.
Golden Boy Promotions congratulates both Barrera and Larios, the Mexican warriors who did our company and the sport proud on Saturday night. Be sure to watch the exclusive delay broadcast. HBO Sports will replay Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Erik Morales III on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT & 9:45 p.m. CT.