Wednesday, October 04, 2023  |


The ring education of Daniel Barrera continues with knockout win

Fighters Network

The education of Daniel Barrera continues.

The amateur standout has learned more about himself as a prizefighter, thanks to self-awareness, a solid trainer and working with one of the best fighters in boxing. 

That turned out to be a winning combination Saturday night, as Barrera scored a first round knockout win over Eduardo Alvarez Saturday night at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California. 

The 21-year-old Barrera, who resides in Riverside, California, improved to 3-0-1, 3 knockouts. 

Despite Alvarez’s losing record, Barrera was not overlooking his opponent, boxing from distance and ending matters with a devastating left hook to the body. Alvarez fell to the canvas in pain, where he was counted out at 1:42. Barrera understood Alvarez (now 0-3-1) had nothing to lose and everything to gain going into the fight on Saturday. 

“I was very locked into this fight,” Barrera told The Ring after the fight. “Regardless of the opponent’s record, I treated him as a world champion. I trained 120 percent, so by fight time, I fought like 120 percent. I was very excited. It was my first six-rounder. There’s nothing better than that; moving up in the number of rounds in a fight this early in your career. I was very excited.

“In camp, we worked on establishing the jab and let everything fall (into) place. As the fight gor closer, we watched film, over and over, Coach and I realized that the left hook to the body is there. If I missed with the right, the left hook was there. I didn’t waste any punches. I caught him with a body shot, hurt him, threw another won, and I knocked him out.”

In his previous bout on January 27, Barrera scored a first round knockout win over Victor Hernandez Martin. The win over Hernandez took place almost three months after a majority draw against Isaac Anguiano in a fight Barrera was favored to win.

The draw against Anguiano was a wake-up call for Barrera, which allowed him to self-assess his performance and what he needed to improve on. 

“I would say being (more) patient,” said Barrera, who is promoted by Tom Loeffler. “It was the biggest thing I had to overcome. Just because they hit me with a clean shot, I can’t rush in there and try to hit him back right away. It’s okay if they land a shot. I’ll be patient, wait for the right opportunities to set up my punches. If I’m going to land, I am going to make sure it hurts. 

“Throw combinations and not just look for that one punch knockout. I fell in love with my power that night. I saw that I could hurt him. When I rocked him, I was just looking to land one punch. We went back to camp, looked at our mistakes, and that was the biggest growth that I had. I learned not to look at one punch and throw combinations.”

Growing up in Southern California, Barrera has been fortunate enough to train with, and spar against contenders, prospects, unbeaten fighters, and fellow top prospects. One particular fighter Barrera has been able to spar against is former Ring Magazine and multiple weight-division world titleholder Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.

Barrera has benefited from the amount of sparring and even watching Gonzalez spar or shadow-boxing. Barrera admits his ring IQ has grown being around Gonzalez, in and out of the ring. 

“It was super exciting,” said Barrera. “I’m glad I got to experience that with him. The knowledge that he brings to the ring is like nothing I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen a bunch of styles in the amateurs, fighting at Nationals. Even sparring with pros when I was an amateur. (There’s) nothing like his style, nothing like his ring IQ. He’s very patient. He’s very calm. I think I picked up most of my patience from him. I couldn’t waste my punches with him. He sensed what I was going to do. So I had to think more, like a chess match. Pick my shots and be patient.”

Barrera has been trained by Al Franco, the father and trainer of former pro fighters, Michael and Daniel Franco. Since his days as a pre-teen in the amateurs until now, Barrera has worked with the longtime Southern California-based promoter. 

Barrera has gained valuable knowledge and experience, which he hopes will translate to wins, but to also contend as a flyweight down the line. 

“He’s like another father-figure to me. I’ve been with him since I started. The love we have for each other is great. We do everything together, even since I was a kid. I’m very loyal to Coach. I will never be disloyal to him. That’s one thing about him. He’s like a father-figure to me.”

The six-round bout was part of the 360 Boxing Promotions card, headlined by the junior middleweight bout between Serhii Bohachuk and Patrick Allotey, which stream live on UFC Fight Pass. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]