Marco Antonio Barrera will hop on the exhibition train and look to cash in before this nostalgia fad burns itself out, as he’s scheduled to get into the ring with Jesus Soto Karass on June 11 in California.
There had been some talk about Barrera, 47, doing a “fourth fight” with his great rival Erik Morales, but that’s not going to happen. Soto Karass, 38, last fought in 2018, while hasn’t fought since 2011.
It’s hard to blame old fighters for wanting to get in here. The Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr event last November was a serious hit on pay-per-view, there was a lot of money to go around there, and nobody seemed to much mind that they were watching an exhibition, with neither trying to win or do any damage, and the end result being a hilariously scripted draw. (Well, the people who placed real money bets on the outcome might have been mad at that last part, but they were dumb enough to wager on it in the first place so nobody has to really pay attention to them.)
To run down the list right now:
- Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield maybe at some point; Tyson has said May 29, but there are still some doubts. This would be the biggest.
- Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez on June 12.
- Julio Cesar Chavez Sr and Hector Camacho Jr on June 19, a card that is far more notable because it will have a real fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and MMA legend Anderson Silva.
- Oscar De La Hoya’s July 3 return might be an exhibition, might not. He’s said he wants a real fight, but who knows? Tyson and Jones pretended they were going to have a real fight last November even though it was made clear many times it wouldn’t be one, and then it definitely was not.
As much as you can’t blame these guys wanting to make money, the glut of these things is going to be too much soon enough. It’s an idea destined for rapidly diminishing returns in the first place, so basically everyone is trying to get in before there’s no more money to make.
At his peak, Barrera was fighting at 122/126, but did finish up his career fighting at 135/140. Still, he’s an obviously smaller man than Soto Karass, a career welterweight who dabbled at 154. None of this really matters, though, because they’re just putting on a show.