They Came, They Fought, Barrera Conquered!
By Oleg Bershadsky (November 29, 2004) 
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The expectations were high for Barrera/Morales III and the end of this epic trilogy lived up to all expectations and then some. This duel between the two Mexican warriors was everything every fight should be. It had drama, non-stop action, skillful and precise boxing, evenly matched opponents, a few surprises, and an exciting toe-to-toe battle that went down to the wire.

In the first round Marco Antonio Barrera went to work right away, fighting Eric Morales toe-to-toe while landing quick and precise combinations. From the start of the fight it was clear that Barrera was the quicker fighter as he consistently beat Morales to the punch. In round 2 Morales came out throwing stiff jabs determined to take back the momentum. Barrera responded with a few good body shots and a beautiful left uppercut that apparently broke Morales' nose.

For the next four rounds Barrera dominated the fight by throwing shorter, quicker punches with amazing accuracy. Barrera also seeming to always get off first and was literally tattooing Morales with left hooks that all seemed to find their mark, while Morales was largely ineffective with his long and wide swinging punches, his only effective weapon being his chopping right hands. Barrera continued to be successful throwing left hooks and uppercuts. Round 6 ended with Barrera largely unmarked and Morales bloodied and bruised.

In round 7 Morales, feeling the urgency, came out very aggressively with hard right hands upstairs. Barrera did very little, basically taking the entire round off to get rest for the remainder of the fight. In round 8 the momentum seemed to shift in favor of Morales as he put together a beautiful 5 punch combination and pounded Barrera to the body. While prior to round 7 both fighters fought largely on the inside which favored Barrera, rounds 7 and 8 were fought on the outside where Morales had the edge.

In round 9 Barrera seeming to realize that the momentum was changing came out with the intention of regaining the edge which he managed to do successfully with chopping right hands and left hooks to the head and the body. In round 10 Barrera was pressing the action, moving forward, and getting off first. Round 11 began with Morales literally running out of his corner and trying to knock Barrera out with long, hard punches. However, while Morales was head hunting Barrera went to work on the champion’s body switching up at times with left hooks to the head. Both fighters looked exhausted after the round, and slowly returned to their respective corners.

Round 12 was fought on pure adrenaline and heart as both fighters fought on simply because of their will to win and desire to finish the fight. Both went at each other for the entire three minutes of round 12, toe-to-toe, punch for punch, and throwing leather till the sound of the bell.

In the end of this epic fight and the conclusion of the trilogy it was Barrera who emerged victorious by a majority decision 114-114, 115-114, 115-113, up two fights to one. This just shows that all conventional wisdom and boxing knowledge is still a poor indicator of who will win a fight because all those things do not measure a fighter’s intelligence and heart.

Morales, unofficially 11 pounds heavier than Barrera, was beaten by a fighter who was just quicker, more precise with his punches, and who had a great game plan. Marco Antonio Barrera a spent fighter? I don’t think so. Despite all the trash talking done before the fight and the lack of good sportsmanship on behalf of Eric Morales after the fight when he refused to shake Barrera’s hand, it was still a great fight. We never expected anything less from these two fighters and in return they did not let us down. They gave us a fight to remember, a fight that easily overshadowed all the undercard fights, and a fight that will certainly find room in boxing history.

Thank you, Marco Antonio Barrera and Eric Morales for three unbelievable fights that kept us on the edge of our seats. They came, they fought, they conquered the world of boxing!
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