One of, if not thee, most impressive traits any great fighter possesses is the ability to dig deep. To find something within themselves, when it seems as though all other options have been expended, to keep on going.
In the face of the brutality which the sweet science is fraught with, this ability, a skill which cannot be taught, is what separates the greats from the also rans.
There are those, us mere mortals, who take as much as can be expected and cannot proceed. Perhaps we don’t verbalize the words but we do indeed make a decision to stop, the realization that our body and mind cannot and will not allow us to go any further.
Then there are those, the champions, who are wired a little differently. Who possess the ability to override the sensible portion of the brain, the one that tells you that you’ve had enough and need to stop, and continue to fight on. Dig deep and refuse to admit defeat.
You’ll see that in this fight between Marco Antonio Barrera, one of the most well known fighters in recent years due to wars with the likes of Manny Pacquaio and eternal rival Erik ‘El Terrible’ Morales. This fight comes relatively early in a career which would go on for another 34 fights.
Kennedy McKinney on the other hand was facing the downside of an otherwise impressive career. Although never quite the star Barrera would go on to become, he was a well respected fighter renowned for the power he possessed in his right hand.
Originally McKinney was vowing this fight was a crossroads for him. Win and he’d continue on fighting. Lose and he’d call it a day. Anyone who knows the fight game knows the regardless of what a boxer says, all too often it is not they who make the decision to quite. The ring makes it for them.
One note, this was the Main Event of the inaugural broadcast of HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” series. A stepping stone for budding stars, the series has featured no shortage of wars throughout the years. This one set the pace.