Feature | Highlight 3 | Issue | Premium | Sep 02 2019

The Full Monte

Five years after his last bout, Elliot Worsell tracks down Monte Barrett in Hackensack, New Jersey and finds a heavyweight full of regret, ideas and fight
Monte Barrett
Action Images/Nick Potts

INSIDE a gym in Hackensack, New Jersey, I watch Monte Barrett look out the window and wonder where it is he imagines himself going. It’s sunny outside, perfect weather for an actual stroll, yet the former heavyweight contender, a free man at 48, voluntarily stays inside, doing this, pacing on a treadmill, content to pretend. He remains in the gym, his comfort zone, five years after his last fight, and it’s hard to fathom why.

In the end, as his walk becomes a sprint, I contemplate not where Barrett is going but who or what he is running from. Perhaps it’s temptation. Perhaps that’s the opponent these days.

“I’m fighting every day,” Barrett explains, catching his breath. “I’m fighting to be better than I was yesterday.