By Al Bernstein January 29th, 2010 All Boxing Articles
For Kevin Barry on Friday night in Las Vegas he may finally know what it feels like to walk out of a ring with a champion by his side. The likable and skilled New Zealand born trainer has been seeking this holy grail since 1990 and he has come very close on several occasions.
If his light heavyweight charge Beibut Shumenov can beat Gabriel Campillo, then Barry will finally be the trainer of a champion. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t important to me,” he said.
Barry’s boxing odyssey has had it’s share of peaks and valleys, but all along the way it has also provided him with some delightful surprises. In 1984 he boxed for New Zealand in the Olympic Games. In the semi-finals he was being thoroughly beaten by Evander Holyfield, Evander was disqualified for throwing a punch after the referee yelled break.
It was a controversial decision, and Barry won the Silver Medal, while Holyfield settle for the Bronze. It was something of a tainted silver medal, but those Olympics provided him with a much bigger prize.
On the plane going to the Olympics he met Tony Moss, a gymnast for New Zealand. Now, 26 years later, she remains Mrs. Tonya Barry. The couple has three children together and Tonya has been a voice of encouragement for Barry during the difficult times in his career as a boxing trainer.
Kevin is best known as the trainer of David Tua, who had a successful run as a heavyweight contender under Barry’s tutelage, but he fell short of winning a world title. About six years ago the two men had a bitter falling out that led to court battles and plenty of acrimony. Just recently have the legal battles ended. More...