Marco Antonio Barrera

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Marco Antonio Barrera Boxer
The Baby Faced Assassin - Marco Antonio Barrera.jpg
Marco Antonio Barrera 2012
Birth name Marco Antonio Barrera Tapia
Birthday 17. January 1974
Birthplace Mexico City
Nationality Mexican
Fight name(s) Baby Faced Assassin
Weight class Lightweight
Style Left delivery
Size 1,68 m
Fight statistics as a professional boxer
Fights 75
Victories 67
Knockout victories 44
Defeats 7
No rating 1

Marco Antonio Barrera (born January 17, 1974 in Mexico City) is a Mexican boxer, former three-time WBO world super bantamweight champion, IBO and WBC world featherweight champion, and WBC and IBF world super featherweight champion. In 2017, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Marco Barrera won his professional debut on November 22, 1989 at the age of 15. He won 34 fights in a row, becoming the Mexican champion and NABF super flyweight titleholder, as well as the WBA Continental super bantamweight champion. In the process, he also managed a win over Eddie Cook (19-2). In April 1994, he had won a WBC world championship eliminator fight at super flyweight against Carlos Salazar (fight record: 35-4), but had exceeded the weight limit, giving Salazar a shot at the title fight.

He won his first world title fight on March 31, 1995, by unanimous decision on points against Daniel Jiménez (19-3), becoming the first WBO world super bantamweight champion. However, the WBO was not yet one of the major federations at that time.[1] He successfully defended the title against Frankie Toledo (24-2), Maui Diaz (27-1), Agapito Sánchez (17-4), Eddie Croft (22-2), Kennedy McKinney (28-1), Jesse Benavides (40-4), Orlando Fernandez (22-6) and Jesse Magana (18-3) until September 1996. Seven of his eight title defenses ended early, with only Sánchez going the distance and winning by unanimous decision on points.

Undefeated in 43 fights to date, he boxed in his ninth title defense on November 22, 1996 against Junior Jones (42-2), suffering his first loss. After the fight was fairly even on points, a clash of heads occurred in the fifth round, causing Barrera to suffer a severely bleeding cut to his left eye. Shortly after, he was knocked down by a right to the chin and counted out. Barrera did get back up and the fight was cleared once again, but Jones then attacked Barrera with a series of punches on the ring ropes, knocking Barrera down again. Because one of his handlers entered the ring early, the fight was stopped and Jones was declared the winner by disqualification. On April 18, 1997, he also lost the rematch with Jones by unanimous decision on points (111-116, 113-114, 112-114).

Jones lost the title in December 1997 by an early defeat to Kennedy McKinney, who had lost to Barrera in February 1996. However, the latter resigned the title without a fight to move to featherweight. A fight for the vacant title was then arranged between British champion Richie Wenton (22-3) and Barrera, who had won three fights since his loss to Jones. Barrera won the duel early in the third round on October 31, 1998, making him the WBO super bantamweight champion of the world for the second time.

He defended the title in 1999 by first-round TKO against British European champion Paul Lloyd (19-4) and unanimous decision on points against South American champion Pastor Maurin (42-1). On February 19, 2000, he boxed in his third title defense against another undefeated Mexican and WBC world champion Erik Morales (35-0). After a tough duel, which was voted Ring Magazine Fight of the Year, Barrera lost by majority decision of the judges.

Morales then moved up to featherweight as well, which is why Barrera was once again named the WBO super bantamweight champion of the world. In 2000, he won three more title defenses against Luiz Freitas (19-1), Jose Valbuena (18-1) and Jesus Salud (62-9) before moving up to featherweight as well.

On April 7, 2001 he fought his first fight in this weight class against the undefeated number 1 from Great Britain, Naseem Hamed (35-0). Barrera surprised with a technically clean boxing style and won against the favorite unanimously on points, he also became IBO world champion. In September 2001, he beat Enrique Sánchez (28-1) early and fought a rematch against Erik Morales (41-0) on June 22, 2002, this time winning by unanimous decision on points. He was subsequently ranked #1 in the world by Ring Magazine. He defended his position as world number one by unanimous decision against Johnny Tapia (52-2) in November 2002 and by TKO against Kevin Kelley (54-5) in April 2003. On November 15, 2003, he boxed against Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao (37-2). In the course of the fight, both boxers were down, but Barrera was behind on points before losing by TKO in the eleventh round.

Barrera then moved up to super featherweight where he defeated Paulie Ayala (35-2) by TKO in his first fight. On November 27, 2004, he won again in a spectacular fight on points against Erik Morales (47-1) and became WBC World Champion. The duel was again voted Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine and the BWAA. He defended the title in 2005 against Mzonke Fana (22-2) and Robbie Peden (25-2), and twice in 2006 against Rocky Juarez (25-1, 25-2).

On March 17, 2007, he lost on points to Juan Márquez (46-3), who had moved up from featherweight for that fight. He also lost a rematch against Manny Pacquiao (44-3) on points in October 2007. He suffered another defeat on March 14, 2009 at lightweight against Amir Khan (19-1). Barrera won his last professional fight on February 12, 2011 against Jose Arias (17-1).


  • Amateur record: 56 wins – 4 losses (5-time Mexican Amateur Champion)
  • Professional record: 67 wins – 7 losses – 1 no score
  • Rank 3 of the best Mexican boxers of all time (BoxRec)
  • 1. April 1992: Mexican super flyweight champion (5 title defenses)
  • 28. August 1993: North American Champion of the NABF in the super flyweight division
  • 22. October 1994: Penta-Continental Champion of the WBA in Superbantamweight (1 title defense)
  • 31. March 1995: WBO World Champion in Superbantamweight (8 title defenses)
  • 31. October 1998: WBO World Champion in Superbantamweight (2 title defenses)
  • 17. June 2000: WBO World Champion in Superbantamweight (2 title defenses)
  • 7. April 2001: World Champion of the IBO in the featherweight division
  • 22. June 2002: WBC featherweight world champion
  • 27. November 2004: WBC world champion in super featherweight (4 title defenses)
  • 17. September 2005: World Champion of the IBF in the super featherweight division

Web links

Individual references

  1. Joshua’s compatriot held the WBA, IBF and WBC belts, at the time the WBO was not yet among the illustrious circle. It only joined in 2007. Since then, the undisputed champion must own four titles.
Predecessor Office Successor
Daniel Jiménez World super bantamweight boxing champion (WBO)
March 31, 1995 – November 22, 1996
Junior Jones
Kennedy McKinney World super bantamweight boxing champion (WBO)
October 31, 1998 – February 19, 2000
Erik Morales
Erik Morales World super bantamweight boxing champion (WBO)
February 2000 – April 7, 2001
Agapito Sánchez
Erik Morales World featherweight boxing champion (WBC)
June 22, 2002 – June 2002
Erik Morales
Erik Morales World super featherweight boxing champion (WBC)
November 27, 2004 – March 17, 2007
Juan Manuel Márquez
Robbie Peden World super featherweight boxing champion (IBF)
September 17, 2005 – 2006
Cassius Baloyi