Sullivan Barrera: I'll Prove I'm Ready For Anyone at 175

By Francisco Salazar

A lot has been said about the 'Cuban School of Boxing' in recent months.

It is an art of sorts, one where fighters do their best to avoid getting hit, but counter their opponents.

Fighters like Guillermo Rigondeaux and Erislandy Lara seem to have this down pat, even though their style leaves something to be desired. That something is excitement, where both of their styles seem to bring a lot of criticism from boxing fans .

One fighter is hoping to break that mold. Sullivan Barrera is well-aware of the 'Cuban School of Boxing.' Growing up in Cuba, Barrera was exposed to the incredible talent that has made the island nation synonymous with success in the amateur, and also in the professional ranks.

With his strength and athleticism, Barrera takes a more aggressive approach and it has worked thus far.

He will face his stiffest test to date when he takes on Kuro Murat tonight at the Civic Auditorium in Glendale, Calif. The 12 round bout will top a three-bout HBO Latino telecast, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/ PT.

Barrera and Murat will be fighting in an IBF light heavyweight title eliminator.

Barrera (16-0, 11 KOs) was victorious in his last bout on Jul. 25, stopping Hakim Zoulikha in the eighth round in Las Vegas, Nev. He has stopped his last five opponents in a row.

His accomplishments against modest opposition have given him a top 10 ranking in three of boxing's major governing bodies. He steps in the ring tonight against Murat, who has won his last two fights since his one-sided loss to Bernard Hopkins in October of 2013.

"He covers and tries to counter," Barrera told in a recent interview over the phone. "I think that would favor me if he attempts to do that. I have the strength to punish him."

Barrera is trained by Abel Sanchez, who is very well-known for being the trainer for middleweight king Gennady Golovkin.

The 33-year-old Barrera has gained a great deal of experience sparring with other fighters who train at Sanchez's gym in Big Bear Lake, Calif. Not to mention Barrera also has received a solid education about the fight game from Sanchez as well.

But Barrera has also learned a lot from Golovkin. Whether it is the advice Golovkin gives or just watching the Kazakh fighter during a rigorous training session, the popular middleweight has left an impression on Barrera.

"Abel is a very good trainer," said Barrera, who is promoted by Main Events. "I've learned a lot from him and I'm still learning. This training camp has been the best one so far. Abel and I have a great relationship and I know that I will come out on top."

"A lot of boxers pass through here (Big Bear Lake) and we all learn from everyone. When it comes to Golovkin, he's a great friend. He dedicates everything to the sport and he is a great example to many in the gym. I see the way he trains and I try to follow that example. I push myself to do more and I've learned a lot from him."

Barrera has a lot of upside and despite his amateur pedigree and education in Cuba, he keeps getting better with each fight under Abel Sanchez.

"Even when I was in Cuba, I've known how to fight like the Cuban fighters, but fighting aggressively has suited me best."

Barrera can both brawl and box effectively. Barrera has gained more confidence utilizing this boxer-puncher style, although many in boxing feel he's more explosive than applying his boxing skill-set.

Whatever the case may be, Barrera is eager to win a world title belt. A win tonight over Murat will make him the IBF mandatory challenger to Sergey Kovalev.

While a fight between two fighters that are promoted by Main Events remains to be seen, especially when Kovalev is facing Jean Pascal on January 30 and Andre Ward later in 2016, Barrera wants to send a message to all fighters at 175 pounds.

"I'm ready to demonstrate that Sullivan Barrera is ready for all fighters at 175 pounds. Whether it is by decision or knockout (tonight), I'm ready to fight anyone in the division."

Francisco A. Salazar has written for since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing 

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by BendOver on 12-13-2015

[QUOTE=FelipeB;16319374]Didn't this guy refuse to fight artur beterbiev[/QUOTE] No he did want to fight him, he wasnt clear to travel to Canada.

Comment by kiaba360 on 12-12-2015

[QUOTE=Cuban Linx;16319635]Don't be fooled because he's "undefeated and Cuban". He's one of the lesser skilled Cuban fighters out there. It was a complete miracle that the fight with Beterbiev never materialized otherwise he may have ended up in ER. He's…

Comment by Superbee on 12-12-2015

TBH that Eliminator Fight is a joke ...

Comment by Cuban Linx on 12-12-2015

Don't be fooled because he's "undefeated and Cuban". He's one of the lesser skilled Cuban fighters out there. It was a complete miracle that the fight with Beterbiev never materialized otherwise he may have ended up in ER. He's not…

Comment by Superbee on 12-12-2015

[QUOTE=FelipeB;16319374]Didn't this guy refuse to fight artur beterbiev[/QUOTE] Up to Main Events to step up their game and work on a visa for Barrera... ;)

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (8)
Top Headlines Crawford-Khan: Madison Square Garden Chosen as Site Francisco Vargas Vows Revenge: I'm Not Impressed By Berchelt Josesito Lopez Values Improvements To His Game Under Garcia Arum: Joshua Damaged His Credibility, Fury Viewed as #1 in U.S. Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez - Added Undercard Fights Badou Jack: I'm a Fighter, So I Ain't Gonna Quit Pacquiao vs. Broner Replay: January 26th on Showtime Harrison-Charlo Rematch Ordered, New Final Eliminator Too Demetrius Andrade vs. Billy Joe Saunders Ordered By WBO Pacquiao: If Mayweather Can't Fight at My Level - Stay Retired News: Luis Lebron, Benson, Hamza, O'Donnell, Srour, Barlow Hearn Cautions 'Now or Never' For Whyte To Accept Joshua Offer Scardina-Kekalainen Tops Matchroom Italy Card on March 8 DiBella: After Commey Beats Chaniev, We Want Lomachenko Fury: Wilder's The One Who Has To Redeem Himself, Not Me! Khan: The Offers for Crawford and Brook Were Literally The Same Frank Warren To Wait Out Warrington vs. Galahad Purse Bid Charr Wins Appeal, Reinstated As WBA Titlist; Box-Off To Follow Miles Shinkwin Back In March, Defends English Title Frank Warren: Joshua Made Massive Mistake in Snubbing Wilder Canelo-Jacobs: NSAC To Review Venue Request at 1/29 Hearing Eubank Jr. Very Pleased With Camp Ahead of Degale Clash Caleb Plant: I'm The Big Dog at 168, They've Got To Come See Me Hearn: Wilder, His Handlers Don't Have Decency To Answer Back Chris Algieri Confident He Can Raise His Level Against Hooker Kovalev Asks Fans 'Not To Make Hasty Conclusions On Situation' Cano in Line For a Big Fight, Linares Heading Back To 135 Curtis Stevens Heading To 154: Eyes Hurd, Lara, Harrison, Munguia Pulev vs. Helenius Clash Still Be Worked Out For Crawford-Khan Broner: I'll Be Back; All You Motherf***ers Will Still Tune In! Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner: CompuBox By The Numbers Gvozdyk To Take Voluntary Before Mandatory Versus Browne Pacquiao To Have Scratched Cornea Re-Examined Monday In L.A. Andrade: I Want Golovkin Next, To Prove I'm #1 at Middleweight Hearn: Don't Be Surprised if Joshua is on DAZN in the US in June Broner: Ain’t Got Mark On Me; They Thought They’d F*** Me Up Pacquiao: I Was Surprised Broner Didn't Throw Lot Of Punches Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner: Afterthoughts Broner Falls Very Short on Promised 'New Beginning' For Career Luis Coria Win Big in First Garcia Brothers Promoted Card

Latest Active Forum Threads