Now 39, the Mexican legend wants to get back into the mix and there are even rumblings about a possible third fight with Manny Pacquiao.
Barrera told Sports.inquirer.net "My wife has given her permission for two more fights, provided they're against top notch opponents."
Perhaps the recent success of fellow Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, also 39, has invigorated Barrera?
Is Barrera angling to win the next Manny Pacquiao Sweepstakes?
Some say he is and its been reported Barrera recently flew to the Philippines and may still be there as of this publish.
And as ridiculous as it may seem, Manny Pacquiao vs Marco Antonio Barrera 3 actually makes sense.
If Manny Pacquiao, as some expect, takes a tune-up fight prior to meeting Marquez again, Team Pacquiao will be looking for an opponent who meets the following criteria.
Barrera, a future Hall of Famer, meets all of those qualifications... And like Marquez, he's a tough, rugged Mexican. This bout would generate tremendous interest among Mexican fans if only for sentimental reasons.
1. Accomplished professional
2. Name recognition
3. Has a fan base
4. Capable of giving Manny a hard workout without being a threat
The biggest question is: Would Barrera be "too safe" for Pacquiao and would the public accept Pacquiao vs Barrera 3 despite knowing it would be a tune-up/stay-busy fight for PacMan.
If you're Marco Antonio Barrera, you proably wouldn't mind playing the 'opponent' role because you have nothing to lose (sans the typical risks one takes when he enters the ring). No one will expect much from Barrera. Moreover, he'll get a nice paycheck and one last chance to thrust himself back into boxing's elite if he can perform well on the big stage.
Even in defeat, if Barrera can simply give Pacquiao a good, competitive bout, the Mexican's stock will rise.
Regardless of his intentions, rest-assured Barrera isn't coming back to fight 'nobodies.'
Fight poster for Manny Pacquiao vs Marco Antonio Barrera 2 in 2007
A fighter of Marco Antonio Barrera's stature will undoubtedly want to face top-level opponents but what can a rusty 39 year old do that a fresh 34 year old couldn't?
Maybe he needed a break?
A former three division world champion, Barrera hasn't had a high-profile bout since being stopped in the 5th Round by a young, surging Amir Khan in 2009. As a matter of fact, Marco Antonio Barrera hasn't defeated a top-level fighter in seven years. (UD 12 Rocky Juarez, then 25-2).
After defeating Juarez, Barrera dropped consecutive decisions to Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao in 2007.
Pacquiao, who has beaten Barrera twice, soundly defeated the Mexican when they last met in 2007, winning a unanimous decision. Two judges scored the bout 118-109 in what was a very tactical fight.
In their first meeting in 2003, Manny Pacquiao, fighting at featherweight for the first time, scored an 11th Round TKO over Barrera in what is still Marco's only KO loss in his 75 fight career.
And yes, Pacquiao had a comfortable lead at the time of the stoppage.
Once dubbed the 'Baby-Faced Assasin,' Marco Antonio Barrera is considered to be one of the best fighters of this era, and one of the best Mexican boxers in history. He is a three-division champion and has defeated the likes of Kennedy McKinney, Prince Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales (twice), Johnny Tapia, Kevin Kelley and Paulie Ayala.
Is Pacquiao vs Barrera III next?