Maybe Robbie Peden should just stay home.
After all, according to most bookies, his chances of winning this fight are somewhere between hopeless and gone with the wind. The Light Brigade got better odds riding into the Valley of Death
At least that’s what they’re telling us.
But Peden (25-2, 14 KOs) thinks it’s his turn to stand on center stage and take the final bow. He’ll get his chance for glory on Sept. 17 when he faces Marco Antonio Barrera (60-4, 42 KOs) in a super-featherweight title fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I wouldn’t take any fight I didn’t think I could win,” Peden said on a conference call earlier this week. “I want to be recognized as the greatest 130-pounder in the world.”
Peden’s promoter, Dan Goossen, said Peden was a 6-to-1 underdog against Barrera, which doesn’t exactly instill confidence in Peden’s chances. But like a good promoter, Goossen said they still thought they had the horse that was going to win.
It was one of the first things Goossen told us on the conference call that included Peden, Barrera and Barrera’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, who did the right thing by refusing to talk about his own fighting future.
“Expect to see me in the ring on Sept. 17,” De La Hoya joked when asked for the second time about his future in the ring. “We’ll talk about my career some other time.”
Yeah, because this fight has its own storyline, plot and drama. On top of the fact that Peden and Barrera have sparred as many as 200 rounds together, it’s a unification fight for Peden’s IBF title and Barrera’s WBC title.
Barrera comes into the fight as a Mexican legend. De La Hoya went so far as to say Barrera was one of the three greatest Mexican fighters of all time, sharing the honor with Salvador Sanchez and Julio Cesar Chavez.
He added that Barrera was still in his prime and still had some great fights left in him. By the time his career is over, he could be at the top of that short list of Mexico’s greatest.
Peden comes into the fight as an Aussie from Down Under, having a Scottish father and an aborigine mother. He also comes into the fight having survived an attack by a crazy man six years ago who broke into Peden’s home and brutally beat him while he was sleeping. It all happened over a girl Peden met the night before. He ended up with a busted kneecap, a smashed finger and 65 stitches. The guy who attacked him ended up doing four years of hard time.
“It took six months for me to heal,” Peden said. “Mentally, it got to me. I had therapy to help me sleep. But life goes on.”
As for all their rounds of sparring, both fighters called their sessions “intense,“ but both agreed that sparring with 14 or 16 ounce gloves is different than going 12 hard rounds under the lights.
“We went at it pretty hard,” Peden said. “I’m sure we both know each other’s style.”
With De La Hoya translating, someone asked Barrera if there was any truth to the rumor that Peden once cracked one of Barrera’s ribs during a sparring session, forcing the postponement of one of Barrera’s fights.
Barrera said he remembered the sessions just as Peden described them. Very intense.
“And one time he did hurt (me) in the ribs and we had to postpone a fight with (Erik) Morales,” Barrera said. “But this is different because we all know sparring is different then fighting.”
And bookies aren’t always right.