Boxing history is steeped in Mexican wars that fans love and await with great anticipation when they are announced.
Go back to the 1970s and there were some unforgettable contests like Carlos Zarate v Alfonso Zamora, Lupe Pintor v Zarate and Rafael Herrera v Ruben Olivares.
But in recent times the rivalries have become fiercer and the fights unforgettable epics.
BoxNation delivers another potential Mexican classic on Saturday night when Miguel Berchelt defends his WBC Super-Featherweight crown against Mickey Roman.
Here are five of the greatest all-Mexican clashes of the last 25 years:
5. FRANCISCO VARGAS DRAW ORLANDO SALIDO (June 2016)
The most recent savage encounter swept the board for Fight of the Year accolades. Vargas was expected to win, but Salido, who famously beat Vasyl Lomachenko, never gave Vargas any peace. Nobody went down, but the ferocity had fans watching through their hands and it ended a draw after two judges’ carded 114-114 and the third edged towards Vargas. Francisco clung onto his crown, but in his next defence was knocked out by Miguel Berchelt.
4. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ PTS MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA (Mar 2007)
[Image credit: HBO]
It delivered high quality skills and excitement, a wonderful cocktail mix for true fans. It was considered Marquez’s breakout fight and by adding the WBC Super-Featherweight crown he became a two-weight World Champion. The seventh round was stunning when Barrera recovered from being badly hurt to dropping his challenger. Promoter Richard Schaefer and Bernard Hopkins both called it ‘Fight of the Year’.
3. MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA PTS ERIK MORALES III (Nov 2004)
The fight of 2004 where Barrera won a majority decision to win the WBC Super-Featherweight Title. Barrera made a fantastic start and was clearly ahead at the halfway stage of the 12 rounder, but Morales clawed his way back. The last six minutes were among the greatest ever seen with a toe-to-toe slugfest, but an exhausted Barrera took the verdict. Even when the decision was announced the bitter rivals continued to trade insults.
2. ISRAEL VAZQUEZ PTS RAFAEL MARQUEZ III (Mar 2008)
[Image credit: Saddo Boxing]
They fought four times and each savage encounter was x-rated. The third was not for the squeamish. It looked like the fight was going to end either way often, but went 12 rounds with blood flowing. A controversial knockdown in the 12th round swung the split decision Vazquez’s way. Marquez won their first fight in six rounds because of Vasquez’s broken nose. Vazquez won the second by KO. Vazquez retired from boxing because of sight problems after being knocked out by Marquez inside three rounds in May 2010.
1. ERIK MORALES PTS MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA I (Feb 2000)
[Image credit: The Fight City]
It was stepped in controversy. Morales took the verdict to claim the WBO bantamweight title, but many believed Barrera deserved the nod in one of the greatest fights of all time. Morales was the working-class hero and Barrera considered middle class which added fuel to an already intense fire. Both men took punishment, were pinpoint with every shot and no quarter was given although Morales went down in the 12th.