Barrera brimming with belief

Naseem Hamed's conqueror sure he can get the better of Khan

Last updated: 5th March 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Barrera brimming with belief

Rivals ready to do battle

Khan is tall and has a good jab and hand speed. He is a good young fighter but there's nothing he can do between now and March 14 to surpass my skills and experience.

Marco Antonio Barrera
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Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera believes Amir Khan is just another stepping stone for him on the road to the world lightweight title.

Eyebrows were raised when the 2004 Olympic silver medallist (19-1, 15 KOs) announced he would take on a three-weight world champion in Barrera (65-6, 43 KOs) so soon after his first-round knockout defeat to Breidis Prescott.

Khan bounced back with victory over Oisin Fagan in December, though, and has gone on to win the admiration of stablemate Manny Pacquiao.

But having effectively ended Naseem Hamed's career in 2001, the 35-year-old Barrera now expects the same again against another lightning-handed Briton on March 14.

Confidence

"I will beat Khan because I have more experience than him and I'm still a much better fighter than he is," Barrera said.

"Khan is tall and has a good jab and hand speed. He is a good young fighter but there's nothing he can do between now and March 14 to surpass my skills and experience.

"Jose Luis Valbuena and Kennedy McKinney are two fighters I successfully defended my WBO super bantamweight titles against that I can compare to Khan.

"They were both good fighters with good hand speed that I was able to defeat. McKinney won an Olympic gold medal.

"Don't forget what I did to Prince Naseem Hamed, too, another highly-touted guy with fast hands."

Dream

Barrera, nicknamed the 'Baby Faced Assassin', will take on Khan at Manchester's MEN Arena in a WBO eliminator and he fully expects to go on to realise his goal of becoming a four-weight world champion.

"The reason I took this fight is because a win here puts me in line to realise my top remaining goal to become the first Mexican-born fighter to win world championships in four separate weight divisions," he added.

"I've been world champion in three weight divisions (super bantamweight, featherweight and super featherweight) and my goal is to win a world championship in the lightweight division.

"I don't want to wait. I want to get there as fast as I can. A win over Khan puts me right where I want to be."

The Khan-Barrera fight is being supported by Enzo Maccarinelli's bid for the for the vacant WBO cruiserweight championship against Ola Afolabi and WBO super middleweight champion Nicky Cook's title defence against Roman Martinez.