Rizwaan Zahid

Barrett never ran from a challenge like Nikolai Valuev, the Russian Giant

Monte Barrett:
The career
of a dedicated fighter
By Rizwaan Zahid
Not all tributes have to do with future Hall of Famers or popular fighters. Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett was a fighter who fought all comers and was truly a boxer who loved fighting. Barrett was never the most-skilled or talented fighter, by any means, but he was impressive in many other ways. He had determination and usually made for an exciting fight.
In Saturday’s bout against David Tua, Barrett did what he had done for most of his career -- he defied the odds and nearly pulled off the upset. He knocked Tua down in the last round and had him hurt … not bad for a guy who has only 20 KOs in 44 fights.
Barrett never really had much of a “prime.” like other fighters, but he did have a couple of fights where he was getting to be known and being shown on the major networks. Against Joe Mesi in 2003, Barrett was knocked down, but returned the favor and lost a razor-thin decision. Mesi was America’s new heavyweight prospect at the time and Barrett nearly played the spoiler.
He did in his very next fight against Dominick Guinn, winning a comfortable decision (surprisingly a split decision). He followed that with a TKO over Owen Beck, another prospect at the time.
Barrett also fought Nicolai Valuev in the big Russian’s last fight in the United States. Although Valuev won in the 11th round because of a corner stoppage, it was Barrett who brought the entertainment to the fight, rushing out at Valuev from the opening bell. When he was knocked down in the later rounds, and referee John O’Brien refused to stop the fight, Barrett rose from the canvas each time and continued forward, trying to land something big. 
 Barrett used pink gloves that night, which were auctioned off to raise money for breast cancer.
Barrett lost to journeyman Cliff Couser, and although he avenged that defeat, it seemed like he'd had his last hurrah.
 But he took on the over-hyped, 6-foot-7 Tye Fields. landed a few shots against the ropes in the opening round, and scored the KO. Against Valuev, Barrett charged. Against Fields, he boxed.
It’s always been hard not to cheer for a guy like Barrett. a hard worker who just loves to fight. Was he a great fighter? No. Was he one of the top fighters in the sport. or even in the division? Definitely not.
But he, and those like him, are what make the sport so interesting. They are the gatekeepers, a step down from the best, a stepping stone for the rising stars.
But Barrett often made sure that other fighters did not pass him on the way to the top. Though he was seen as a stepping stone, he was a solid rock -- a rock who was able to send fighters back to Square One as he continued to slowly climb the heavyweight rankings.


More columns
by Rizwaan Zahid:

The search for boxing's next 'star'

Allan Green was not Super Six material

The mess at junior welterweight

Khan & Ortiz figure to beat savvy vets

Haye and Adamek: A report card after 3 fights

Joan Guzman: Best welterweight in the lightweight division

Devon Alexander/Female Boxing

Impressive U.S. debut for Campillo

Williams ready to punish at 147

Happy birthday, Champ!

Stars to Shine in 2010

The Grinches steal Christmas

Malignaggi-Diaz showed why instant replay is needed

Williams, Martinez show why they're avoided

Lucian Bute impresses America, and the world

James Kirkland: So promising, yet so wasteful

Suspension for foul language? That's bull$#:+!!!

Pacquiao-Cotto: Who wins?

Super Six Will Still Have Controversies

Haye, Angulo proved little

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Rizwaan Zahid

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rizwaan Zahid is in his senior year at Carleton University in Ottawa, pursuing his Mass Communications degree, with the future aspirations of becoming a professional sports journalist.
Although relatively young, Rizwaan has shown his passion of writing the beautiful sport of boxing and has worked with Bragging Rights Corner, Boxing Banter, Diamond Boxing,
Fightfan.com, East Side Boxing as well as The Fight Network for over three years. With Fightfan.com, Rizwaan has been awarded the feature article of the month numerous times.
Over these past few years, Rizwaan has interviewed and conducted conferences with fighters and trainers such as Jeff Mayweather, Jermaine Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr., Jackie Kallen, Wayne McCullough, Manny Pacquaio, Wladimir Klitsckho and Emmanuel Steward.

Although boxing has been his main focus over the years, Rizwaan still has a strong passion for many other sports and has covered various sports in The Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper.
Rizwaan has also worked with PHASE 1 Basketball, a camp based out of Toronto which is a showcase for the best basketball Canada has to offer on various levels, as well as the Out of Left Field blog which attracts numerous readers daily.

Rizwaan Zahid hopes to continue his efforts in journalism in the world of sports.
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