CEBU CITY—He was at ringside when Juan Manuel Marquez caught an onrushing Manny Pacquiao with a dynamite right and knocked out the Filipino icon cold in the sixth round last Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
But despite the shocking turnaround, Mexican boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera believes Pacquiao’s skills haven’t diminished. They are still as lethal when Pacquiao stopped him in the 11th round in 2003 and dominated him in their rematch in 2007.
“I don’t believe he (Pacquiao) is going down,” Barrera, a former three-division world champion, told the media in Spanish Friday night at the ballroom of the Cebu Parklane International Hotel. “It just happened that he got caught by a lucky punch. One more round and it could have been the other way around.”
Barrera, who came here to watch the Donnie “Ahas” Nietes-Moises Fuentes showdown for the WBO light flyweight crown set late last night, doesn’t think that the knockout proves that Marquez is superior to Pacquiao.
“Pacquiao won the first three (the first actually ended up in a draw, but should have gone Pacquiao’s way were if not for a judge’s scoring error) and Marquez won the last and that’s it,” said Barrera, who also lost to Marquez by unanimous decision in 2007.
“That’s boxing, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You just see to it that you learn something from losing,” said Barrera, who hinted at a possible comeback.
“My wife has given her permission for two more fights, provided they’re against topnotch opponents,” added Barrera, who also said he is relishing the attention showered him by Cebuanos.
That it’s home to a two-time tormentor, doesn’t bother Barrera, a future Hall of Famer, a bit. He doesn’t mind losing to Pacquiao, whom he considers “the best of the best.”