Re: Was Barrera prime when he first fought Pacquiao?
Barrera was still a great fighter but definitely past-prime.
IMO his physical apex was the second Morales fight whereas mentally he might have reached his prime against Hamed.
This was still a great win for Pac, no doubt, and whether or not the outcome of MAB/PAC would've ever been any different will be debated for years but keep in mind that Pac was supposed to be a "tune-up" while MAB's focus was on the Morales trilogy.
No doubt in my mind Barrera did not focus or trained against PAC the way he had done against others(ie, Hamed, Morales and Jr Jones 2).
This was supposed to be a stay-busy fight against a little known fighter moving up in weight............................and the rest as they say, is history!