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He's back: Barrera signs with Don King

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Don_king_medium Box_g_barrera_200_mediumESPN's Dan Rafael is reporting that former three-division titlist Marco Antonio Barrera will end his brief "retirement" and has signed with faded promoter Don King. The deal is for five years. Barrera is currently 34.

Barrera hasn't fought since last October, when he lost an uninspiring decision to Manny Pacquiao, seven months after a loss against Juan Manuel Marquez in an excellent, hotly-contested fight that some felt Barrera won.

It's a mystery, really, how many -- if any -- good years that Marco Antonio has left. He plans to move up to 135 pounds, and King could present him with a fight between the winner of Campbell-Guzman if he sees fit, and he likely will.

Honestly, though, King is so past his prime as a promoter (despite some great ideas like the internet shows) and does so few shows that I'm surprised Marco Antonio went this route. But King is known and probably gave him a good money offer. Rafael suspects that King could also match Barrera with Yusuke Kobori or Paulus Moses, who will scrap this fall.

It's never a bad thing for a living legend like Barrera to be in the sport, really, but I do wonder if he can make the move to 135 at this age. It won't be easy, and with King, there are no guarantees about marketable fights or TV placement in the States or anything like that.