Barrera vs Ponce De Leon – FITE TV – Nov. 20 – 7 pm ET
International Boxing Hall of Famer and former three-division world champion Marco Antonio Barrera will return to the ring for the first time in more than a decade when he squares off against former two-time world titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon on Saturday, Nov 20, 2021, at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico.
Come celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday five days early as these two legendary fighters square off in a six-round welterweight clash and headline an electrifying, eight-fight Tapia Promotions card.
Barrera (67-7, 44 KOs) makes his dramatic comeback four years after being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2017. Ranked by No. 43 among the greatest boxers of all time by ESPN, the “Baby Faced Assassin” has captured world titles across three weight divisions and earned 43 consecutive victories at the onset of his illustrious pro career.
Never one to shy away from an opponent, the pride of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, has battled many of the sweet science’s finest including fellow Hall of Famers Erik Morales (three times), Johnny Tapia, and Juan Manuel Marquez, as well as future IBOFer Manny Pacquiao, Paulie Ayala, Naseem Hamed, and Amir Kahn.
De Leon (45-7, 35 KOs), of Chihuahua, Mexico, will make his dramatic return to the famed squared circle for the first time in more than seven years. Fighting out of Huntington Park, Calif., the 2000 Mexican Olympic team member opened his career with 24 consecutive victories, including 23 by knockout.
A former two-division world champion, De Leon claimed the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight title in October 2005 and made six successful defenses. Nearly seven years after earning his first world title, the southpaw slugger garnered a second with an eight-round technical decision over Jhonny Gonzalez in September 2012 to claim the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight crown.
In the first of two exciting co-features, undefeated super featherweight contender Abel Mendoza (30-0, 23 KOs) hopes to keep his perfect record intact and ascend to the upper echelon of the 130-pound division when he takes on fellow El Paso, Texas, brawler Antonio Escalante (29-11, 20 KOs) in a 10-round clash.
The second co feature pits Josh “Pitbull” Torres (23-7-2, 14 KOs), returning to Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino against once-beaten Steven “Manos de Oro” Villalobos (15-1-1, 11 KOs) in a welterweight showdown.
Rounding out the card will be a found-round, 270-pound battle royale pitting Streetbeefs standouts Cody Beck and Johnathon Rice making their pro debuts, undefeated up-and-comers Clinton Chavez (Albuquerque, N.M.), Javier Fernandez (San Antonio, Texas) and Angel Chavez (Sacramento, Calif.) against opponents to be named, and Luis Angel Jimenez of El Paso in his initial pro bout.
Here is what the fighters had to say at Inn of the Mountain Gods on Friday, Nov. 19:
MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA: International Boxing Hall of Famer
“I have one memory of Johnny Tapia: he was on the walk with me from the dressing room to the ring. It was my legendary fight with Naseem Hamed.”
“I want to show great respect to Daniel Ponce De Leon. He’s a great warrior, a great champion. We just hope to give the public a great show.”
DANIEL PONCE DE LEON: Former Two-time world champion
“Thank you to Teresa Tapia for this great event that is coming tomorrow.”
“I am ready for this fight. I am ready to continue fighting in these events.”
ABEL MENDOZA: Undefeated El Pasoan
“It’s going to be a war tomorrow. I’m going to give you guys a good show.”
“It’s my third time fighting here at Inn of the Mountain Gods. It’s my home. I plan on being a world champion soon and bringing the world title back home.”
NICCO TAPIA: Son of Johnny Tapia/Amateur Boxer
“I just want to thank my mom (Teresa Tapia), my trainer, and everyone who’s by my side.”
TERESA TAPIA: Boxing Promoter
“It is such an honor and a pleasure to be promoting these two stars (Barrera and De Leon). They’re both great fighters.”
“My 16-year-old son is going to make his amateur debut. I’m so proud as a momma, but also scared.”