By Rick Reeno
Is the enemy of my enemy, my friend or my enemy? Marco Antonio Barrera must have had those words rolling in his brain for the last couple of months. Even though Morales is his sworn enemy, Barrera is backing him in what is being called the toughest fight of Erik Morales' career. When Erik Morales and Manny Pacquaio step in the ring this Saturday night, Marco Antonio Barrera will be cheering on his countryman and enemy to win, a move that has even surprised Erik Morales.
Barrera's allegiance to Mexico is shining bright in a very bold move by backing the man he hates. Should Pacquiao win this fight, Barrera would be in line for a huge multi-million dollar pay per view rematch with man who has been dubbed with the moniker of "The Mexican Assassin". Should Morales win the fight, a fourth bout with Barrera would mean big bucks, but is a less lucrative bout then a Barrera-Pacquiao rematch.
"I know that people are suprised, but despite our differences, we are both from Mexico and I must support him. I will be rooting for Erik Morales to win this fight." said Barrera
Barrera's promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, has a difference of opinion in this bout as he picks Manny Pacquiao to beat Morales. The general feeling was since De La Hoya prides himself on being Mexican, he would surely back the Mexican fighter. While that may have been true when Oscar was a fighter, being a promoter changes your outlook on a situation. De La Hoya and his promotional company would benefit heavy in the financial department from a rematch between Barrera and Pacquiao. A fourth bout with Morales would mean that De La Hoya would have to deal with his former promoter and current rival, Bob Arum of Top Rank.
"It should be a good fight, I will be watching with interest. It's obvious that I will cross paths with the winner down the road." said Barrera
The obvious thing in this fight is the battle between Morales and Pacquiao is not about money, it's about pride. The battle started with two fighters and has now turned into a war of bragging rights between two countries. Filipino and Mexican boxing fans have been clashing on every boxing related message forum known to man over the winners, newspapers have been going crazy with press coverage on the event and the streets are talking.
My Filipino neighbors do not watch boxing, but they told me last week that they are watching this Saturday's pay per view. A Mexican family that owns a private garage near my home does not watch boxing either, but you would be correct if you guessed that even they are watching this Saturday's pay per view.
Marco Antonio Barrera is one of the millions of Mexican supporters that will be cheering on Erik Morales to bring this victory home. Pacquiao spanked Barrera, came close to knocking out Juan Manuel Marquez in a single round and Morales is now Mexico's final solution against Pacquiao. In order for Mexcican boxing fans to save face, Morales must win this fight.
Sunday morning, an entire country will be feeling the sting of defeat. In a fight so close, the question on who will feel that sting is uncertain. This Saturday night, all the questions gets answered.