While preparing for his showdown with David Haye on November 15 at The O2, Monte ‘Two Gunz’ Barrett has immersed himself in all the research and information he can muster on England’s hard-hitting heavyweight hope. It’s the 21st century and an old-school veteran like Barrett is enjoying all the perks.
“I’ve been on David’s MySpace, I’ve been on his YouTube channel and I’ve been reading all the articles about him,” admits Barrett, 34-6 (20), as a pro.
“This is like a job to me. It’s a nine-to-five. When you go to the office you’ve got to take your work seriously. Some people hate their jobs. I happen to love mine. I love researching and doing my homework. This is what I do. I’m in the hurt business.”
Haye’s penchant for self-publicising and his willingness to market himself to a new generation of boxing fans is something that pleases Barrett. It makes his job a little easier.
“I didn’t know who this guy was until he started running his mouth,” admits Monte. “Sure, he knocked over a few cruiserweights but, let’s be real – the cruiserweight division hasn’t been worth a damn since about 1984. I don’t care what he did down there.
“Up here with the big boys things are different. We come in all shapes and sizes and we crack hard. David Haye’s tongue has run himself into a whole heap of trouble.
“I’m willing to do David Haye a favour on November 15. I’ll be kind to him and make sure I knock him out real fast so that he can scurry along back down to cruiserweight and forget this heavyweight thing ever happened. That’s my final offer, David.”
Admitting he knew little of Haye before the talking started, Barrett now knows all there is to know about the Bermondsey-born puncher. He’s been watching every move. Checking every update.
“Looking at David’s MySpace page made me want to re-open mine,” laughs Barrett. “I used to have one but had to shut it down. David’s MySpace page is very nice, though, I must say.
“I’m not sure how vital a MySpace page is to the success of a fighter, but, hey, he’s got a lot of very pretty women on his MySpace page, so there’s some perks there. What can I say? He’s a very pretty boy. A lot of people like him. I’ve got looks, too, though. I’m a nice-looking guy. It is what it is.”
Ultimately, Barrett feels the time saved updating his now defunct MySpace site has enabled him to concentrate more on the finer things in life – namely, training. The quotable New Yorker doesn’t feel someone like Haye is prepared to make the same sacrifice.
“He’s a model, he’s a trash-talker and he’s an actor,” says Barrett. “He’s not a boxer, though. He’s not a fighter. I’ve been fighting for free all my life.
“David’s in England and his pounds go further than my dollars. I’m just Monte. All my eggs are in one basket and that makes a difference.”
The 37-year-old Barrett continues: “You won’t see me coming in with a brand new haircut, or with my own brand of cologne on. You’re going to see me coming in looking like a man who has spent months in the wilderness, stinking, dirty and rough. A guy that hasn’t washed up or washed himself for a week. Hasn’t showered. Hasn’t brushed his teeth. I’m just a guy who wants to fight.
“It’s not that he chose it like that. We are what we are. I’m a natural fighter. He’s not. He has a whole gimmick. He has endorsements, advertisements and he has the look. I give it to him. He’s real pretty.”
Barrett will look to change that on November 15 when the pair meet at The O2 in a bout screened live and exclusively on Setanta Sports.
“Someone like David Haye has never had heavy hands laid on him before,” adds ‘Two Gunz’. “I’m going to be the man to do that. I’m going to be his preacher for a minute. His chin’s going to get tested and I guarantee there will be an explosion.”