by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Alejandro Barrera (21-4, 14 KO’s), a cousin of Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera says he will knock out Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista (29-2, 22 KO’s)within five rounds in their eagerly awaited rematch at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu on Saturday.
Bautista won by a somewhat controversial 4th round TKO in their first meeting last August when Barrera suffered a bad cut on his right eye.
Both he and his trainer Victor Hugo Correa claimed the cut was caused by a head-butt but television slo-mo replays clearly showed the clash of heads happened on the left side and not on the right where the cut was inflicted with referee Tony Pesons ruling a legitimate punch did the damage.
Bautista and ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer were quick to agree to a rematch which Barrera demanded. Anticipating a war, fight fans from Cebu and nearby provinces have been scampering to purchase tickets for the blockbuster card which will be telecast on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. over ABS-CBN Channel 2.
Barrera, in a meeting with the Cebu boxing media, said he would take advantage of Bautista’s weakness which he claimed was his chin. Barrera said Bautista had “a glass chin” even as he said his game-plan is to work more to the body.
What Barrera didn’t realize is that Bautista himself is a tremendous body puncher and under strength and conditioning coach Pio Solon has developed not only his power but his all-round skills as a fighter.
Boxing patron Tony Aldeguer told the Inquirer that Bautista had trained really hard for the rematch and was in excellent condition. He was confident that the exciting young fighter who always entertains the fans with his aggressive style would eventually prevail and win by a knockout.
Barrera contradicted the claim saying that he had sparred with Daniel Ponce De Leon, the WBO super bantamweight champion who knocked out Bautista in a stunning first round upset and that in their last fight he “had the momentum” when the fight was stopped.
The 31 year old Barrera conceded he felt Bautista’s power early in the fight but was able to take the 24 year old Filipino’s punches.: He said he had trained hard for the rematch adding “ I already know Bautista’s style, I came here to knock him out.”