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Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, November 16, 2000


Salud will fight
Barrera for WBO title

By Pat Bigold

Hawaii's Jesus Salud said last night that promoter Bob Arum has arranged for him to meet Marco Antonio Barrera for the WBO junior featherweight title Dec. 1 at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

It will be the 37-year-old Salud's first title shot since August 1996 when he lost a 12-round decision in Pretoria, South Africa, to Vuyani Bungu for the IBF junior featherweight belt.

Salud (62-9, 38 knockouts) is the No. 2 contender in the WBO.

The Barrera bout will come less than a month after he won an eight-round unanimous decision Nov. 5 in Chula Vista, Calif., over Jorge Munoz.

"I'm already in condition," said Salud, who noted he will soon return to his training center at Big Bear Lake, Calif.

Barrera, who is 51-3-1 with 37 knockouts, was supposed to fight Prince Naseem Hamed (62-5, 18 knockouts) at The Venetian. But the bout fell through and Salud got the call.

The last world title Salud held was the WBA junior featherweight crown, which he lost to Antonio Cermeno in November, 1995 in 12 rounds in Maracay.

"I'm confident against Barrera because he has a style that I like," said Salud. "He'll stay in front of me. He'll fight."

Salud complained that Munoz began running away from him after the fourth round.

Salud has won eight straight bouts dating back to September 1997. He has fought twice this year.

Barrera has already fought three times this year, losing the first to Erik Morales in Las Vegas in February. But because Morales immediately moved up to another weight class, the WBO reinstalled Barrera as champion.

Barrera then knocked out Luiz Freitas and won a 12-round decision against Jose Luis Valbuena.

The purse has not been agreed upon yet, according to Salud.

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