By: Sean Crose
Two men met in their quest for a light heavyweight title opportunity on Saturday night in Brooklyn. Only one man advanced. That man? Miami – by way of Cuba – fighter Sullivan Barrera (22-2). Barrera’s opponent, popular local fighter Seanie Monaghan (29-2) of Long Beach, held on until the last bell and fought gamely, but the experienced Barrera proved to be the more skilled on the two men on his road to a smart UD win. Although Monaghan, who was essentially the hometown hero, lost the battle, the fans at the Aviator Sports’ Center got their money’s worth, as both fighters clearly went into the ring intent on winning.
Barrera has been on the radar as a serious contender for quite some time. After stopping Kato Murat within the distance back in 2015, the fighter earned a shot at Andre Ward the following year. Although Barrera came up short against the pound for pound great, he went on to win four straight against the likes of Joe Smith and Felix Valera before ultimately coming up short against Dmitry Bivol last March, getting stopped within 12 at Madison Square Garden. A win Saturday was essential for the 36 year old veteran.
Monaghan, on the other hand, was fighting for the first time in almost a year. After working his way up through the ranks and making himself known within the fight world, the New Yorker was stopped by Marcus Browne in 2017 at the Nassau Coliseum. Monaghan fought once since then, a UD win over Evert Bravo later that same year. Against Barerra, Monaghan had to bring his A-game, which the serious professional certainly did. Barerra, whose habit is to start slow, ultimately proved to be too much for Monaghan, however. The final scores for the ten rounder were 99-91, 99-91, and 98-92, all for Barerra.
“He was a strong guy,” Barerra said afterward. “I told the guys before the fight, he’s a tough light heavyweight.” Although he won soundly, Barerra claimed he had wanted to win by knockout. “I know his face, he was a little bit tired. I tried to knock him out, but he’s a strong guy,” he stated. As for the future, Barerra said he’s ready to take a shot at the top again. “We are ready for everyone,” he said. “I proved tonight I’m a tough light heavyweight.”
The bout was streamed live on Facebook.