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Barrera Responds To Ward

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Barrera Responds To Ward

Andre Ward showed a feisty side, channeled a little Floyd Mayweather, on Saturday. He took to Twitter to take a shot at the guy who seemingly has or had the inside track on tangling with “Son of God.”

“@sullivanbarrera Only time I'm gonna respond to you buddy. You can call us JC Penny, we ain't got no money for you. Not getting rich off us?”

Uncharacteristic of Ward, for sure…

Fan reaction seemed to trend against the skilled but frequently on the sidelines boxer, with some Tweeters critically remarking about the sharp tone used by the Oakland pugilist.

I was struck by the focus on money, and curious about the implication that a foe would make a mint for this March 26 outing. So I reached out to Barrera (seen in above David Spagnolo photo, listening to his trainer).

The Cali-based boxer, born in Cuba, told me he thinks Ward is focusing on money but actually fears him as a fighter. “I want combat, Ward doesn't, I think,” said Barrera, who has improved a leap and a bound working with Abel Sanchez. He thinks Ward believes he's big and strong and motivated, and that is intimidating.

My take: A $350,000 payday, after taxes and funneling some to team members, that wouldn't be making Barrera a rich man, not in this age, not by any stretch.

Mike, I'm not in this for the money, I'm a fighter, Barrera reiterated.

I believe the guy. And I find the Ward money comment unbecoming. Maybe it's a bargaining play, I can't know. But this Cuban is motivated; he came by boat to Mexico in 2009, taking immense risk to get to a place where he can possibly satisfy his ambitions. As best I can tell, it's climbing the vocational ladder, and not accumulating piles of loot, which gives Barrera his main reason for being. Stay tuned, friends…

Editor/publisher Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the thought to be impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live since 2017. He now does work for PROBOX TV, the first truly global boxing network.