Monte Barrett: “I’m Desperate and Dangerous”
By Gabriel Montoya Interview at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (July 2, 2008) (Photo © German Villasenor)  
Saturday night’s Top Rank Pay-Per-view undercard featured some exciting action from two heavyweights thought to be headed in opposite directions. Tye Fields, 41-2 (36), that gigantic (6’8” 265 lbs) southpaw prospect took on veteran contender Monte ‘Two Gunz’ Barrett, 34-6 (20) in what was supposed to be a step-up fight on the biggest of stages. It took Barrett 57 seconds to knock Fields out in an explosive upset that got the 8,000 plus fans at the Mandalay Bay on their feet.

There are few things better than a heavyweight KO and this one proved right up there with some of the great highlight reel wins in recent memory. Fields came out in typical fashion, looking to impose his size behind a slow, right jab. Barrett, being the smaller, quicker man at 6’3” 220, combined his speed advantage with a veteran’s savvy to land a short right hand followed by a series of brutally flush lefts and rights that sent Fields timbering to the canvas. It didn’t take long for referee Kenny Bayless to call a halt to the action as Fields tried in vain to shake off the cobwebs. Coming off a two-fight second round knockout win streak that saw him avenge a loss to Cliff Couser and take out Damon Reed, it was an outcome that the underdog Barrett envisioned all along.

“Of course,” Barrett would tell me from ringside. “[Although] I thought it would go to the second. I wanted to extend my second round knockout streak. But I knew it was going to be by knockout.”

So what was it about Fields that made him feel so confident coming?

“I knew he was clumsy,” explained Barrett. “He’s a strong guy but I knew he was clumsy. I knew he could take a good punch. But I been working hard with a fighter named Nate James, right? He is alternate on the Olympic team. 6’6”. 260. Southpaw. He can punch. He’s fast. He got a pretty boy look but he’s mean in the ring. He’s a sweetheart outside of it. He helped me out so much in training camp. In my first two weeks, he was busting my ass. But I adjusted. I had eight weeks to prepare for this fight. I usually training eight weeks. Basically for the first couple of weeks, I was going home and coming back. Then I bore down and got to work.”

With southpaw heavyweights the size of Fields not exactly growing on trees, Barrett mainly sparred with James. It’s clear from the way he speaks about him that Barrett feels the young amateur can go a long way.

“I [primarily] sparred with Nate. I sparred 74 rounds with him. I sparred the last couple days with Wayne Braithwaite. I sparred with him a couple rounds. I also sparred with a 6’8” guy who is with Main Events. He’s 18-0. Most of my work is with Nate. I felt good because Nate is strong but he can move much better than this guy.”

Over the past year or so, Top Rank has been getting Fields more and more television exposure in the hope of building up the prospect into a contender. For many fans in Vegas this weekend, it was a foregone conclusion that he would win. That kind of under-the-radar treatment is exactly how Barrett likes it.

“That’s the best thing,” he says with a confidence that doesn’t come close to cocky. “I love that. I am able to just be free. I am in a good space in my life. I have no distractions. And I can focus on what I need to focus on. It showed in the ring. It showed the last couple fights. People are saying ‘Oh, you fought Cliff Couser and Damon Reed’; those are the second round knockouts. I say, every fight I fight from this point will be knockouts. It’s just that people don’t know about them. I’m ready to step my game up.”

So now, Barrett looks to step that game up to the next level and has specific views on who he should face and why.

“I want to fight David Haye, Chris Arreola, or Samuel Peter,” he says. “Those are the guys that I am going to target.”

All good matchups that promise non-stop action. While he was at it calling out guys of that ilk, I wondered aloud about Alexander Povetkin as a possibility.

“Povetkin? I like Povetkin. But he is getting ready to fight for a title so I am going to be realistic. David Haye is looking for someone to fight. Arreola is a rising prospect and Samuel Peter is set to fight Klitschko. And I doubt Klitschko will fight.”

At age 37, after all this time in the game, what is the big difference that has added up to success in his last three fights?

“What I’m doing differently is that I took all the drama out of my life. That’s one. So now I can focus. And I‘m desperate. That’s what’s different in my life. So when you’re desperate, desperate people do desperate things. I’m desperate and I’m dangerous. That’s why my name is Monte D. Barrett. The ‘D’ stands for ‘Desperate’ and ‘Dangerous’. You feel me?”

After watching what he did to Fields on Saturday night and seeing how the positive changes in Barrett’s life have added up, it’s kind of hard not to.

Gabriel at: .

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