I am a Marco Antonio Barrera fan, but let's call a spade a spade here. The WBO is showing favoritism toward the 34-year old Mexican legend by offering him a tomato can fight for their interim lightweight titleon January 31.
His opponent that night in Guadalajara? Give this one a solid think: Johnny Nolasco, a 17-4-4 fighter with zero noteworthy wins, and absolutely no fights since December 2007. The Dominican-born Nolasco is 33 years old. He would be a journeyman if you wanted to consider him an active fighter.
This is blind favoritism shown toward Barrera, because the resulting spin of this B.S. fight is going to be that Barrera is the first Mexican to win "four world championships in four weight divisions." Those of us that know our asses from a hole in the ground will never buy the hype, but a lot of people will, and frankly, it's annoying.
Furthermore, it's just another case of a very weak "interim title" thrown around like candy canes on Christmas eve. Nate Campbell, the WBO's lightweight titlist, is fighting on February 14 against a legitimate contender. Would it have killed Barrera or the WBO to just let him fight on January 31 against this bum opponent, and then move on to a Campbell or Funeka fight down the road?
Maybe. Say Funeka wins, and there's a real chance he will -- do you think Barrera wants to get in with a guy who's about 6 feet tall? I don't see it. So by carrying around a bogus trinket, Barrera not only gets to tout that four-division crap, but he can probably avoid fighting Funeka if he wants to.
Marco Antonio Barrera always has been a credit to this sport, but I'm not going to kid myself and say this is the Barrera of whom I was such a fan. His return to the ring has been...unwarranted? Unnecessary? He doesn't seem to be fighting for money, which is a good thing (in that he doesn't seem to NEED money at 34), but rather for legacy, which is hard to add up with Sammy Ventura and Nolasco, and attempted wranglings for title fights he doesn't really deserve.