Interview w/ Marco Antonio Barrera


MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA
TELECONFERENCE CALL TRANSLATION
TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2003
BIG BEAR, CA

Oscar Maldonado: Right now? Well everything is going fine. We are just excellent here in Big Bear. Just started the fourth week, the part where we work on speed and reflexes. I feel that I¹m at 100%.

Besides the experience and power of Kevin Kelley what other things have you been studying about him for this fight?

BARRERA: First of all his vast experience, his powerful punch, his left guard, which is what causes great difficulty in us fighters. These are the fine details I have been focusing much attention too.

When you saw him (Kelley) fight against Erik Morales, what sort of things did you notice that he didn’t do against him, but he could use against you?

BARRERA: The difference I think is in his preparation. I think that is also what he had said about his fight against (Morales). He (Kelley) did look like he lacked conditioning. With this fight against myself, he (Kelley) has had two long months to better prepare himself and to be able to give a great performance. He’s a great, aggressive fighter, with a great heart and will come into the fight prepared to win.

Will this be a match about who can outsmart the other fighter?

BARRERA: I think that we have been fighting intelligently. We are going to use more boxing. I think that this fight will go that route. We’ll be using our heads for this one.

Your transition from a puncher to a boxer has a lot of the purists in boxing very appreciative but, do you think that a lot of the fans / general public may distance themselves from the Barrera of today because they won’t see the Barrera of yesteryear that gave it his all exposing all?

BARRERA: No, I don’t believe so. Always while the fighter is inside the ring the excitement from the fans, returns and comes out (being that I am a boxer / puncher). However, there could also exist that during the heat of the fight the aggressive half of boxing (like always) could or usually takes over. I don’t really know what exactly will happen, because anything can happen. There could also be changes within the fight as always.

The general consensus of the critics / fans tend to think that you picked out Kevin Kelley because you are planning to fight Naseem Hamed soon after you bout with Kelley, him (Kelley) being the easier of the fights would better prepare you for that fight since they are both southpaws? Does that make sense?

BARRERA: Of course not. I have never regarded any fighter an easy rival in boxing or even him (Kelley). Kelley has prepared himself very well to beat Marco Antonio Barrera. I think he has trained himself accordingly and all fighters are a threat at these levels of competition.

By the time you arrive in Las Vegas will you have any difficulties making weight?

BARRERA: No, none whatsoever. We will be okay at 126 lbs. We will arrive in very good shape upon our arrival.

The biggest objective is that Kelley is a southpaw; I’d like to find out what he’s doing to address this issue?

BARRERA: Three factors: His left guard, his strong punching power and his experience. We are working very hard to make this fight. I am sparring with a Japanese and a Mexican fighter. We are interchanging fight styles for the power and experience that Kelley has.

How difficult is it for you to face someone that is close to his 39 or 40 years of age and takes that, as well as, his experience to his favorable advantage?

BARRERA: I believe that experience helps you more then the age factor. Many times over this has happened. In this case I can count on my own experience in my career. I have to respect Kelley and he may be able look or even find Marco Antonio Barrera in his good moment. It is for that same reason that I am not overconfident, or have overlooked his own abilities but, I have concentrated in my own abilities nor have I let my guard down. On the contrary I am working extra hard and putting everything that I have in myself, heart and soul for this bout during my preparation.

Now that we are speaking on your confidence for this bout I know that preparation is very important in any bout. In this case how do you see the fact that you have beaten both Morales and Hamed, both of which have beaten Kelley?

BARRERA: We’ll put that on the side for now. All boxers fight and are different and to face someone such as Kevin Kelley is a great threat, being that he is a southpaw, a powerful puncher and well experienced in many bouts. That is why we are focused in getting in the very best preparation possible for this fight to deliver a great fight to the public. We will not be overconfident in saying that “Well, he was already beat by such and such” and this one will be easy for me, of course not. That has already happened to me beforehand with Junior Jones, thinking that fight would be an easy one for me and look at what happened. We haven’t looked over any details.

Kevin Kelley has stated that he is motivated in this fight with Marco Antonio Barrera and believes a win by him (Kelley) could be his ticket and legacy into the Hall of Fame. I know you don’t want to think about the Hall of Fame. But have you thought that certain victories such as Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales would be cause for you to be included in the Hall of fame?

BARRERA: Well first of all, I¹m happy to hear that people have regarded me as such, a future or potential recipient into the Hall of Fame. Secondly, I believe that this is what makes Kevin Kelley more dangerous for me. He’s (Kelley) looking for the moment. He’s looking for the surprising moment to pull out the victory against me. That’s another reason why he has prepared himself very well for this fight. This is what has motivated me to not overlook anything in my preparation for this fight.

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