By Andy Rivera @ Ringside




It took thirty-six rounds to finally settle who was the best fighter in Mexico, but when all was said and done Marco Antonio Barrera was the man standing on top of the world. In a thrilling battle, one that reminded everyone of their first battle, Barrera scored a majority decision over Erik Morales. The fight was close, as were the two previous fights, but most felt Barrera had a slight edge at press row. Judge Jerry Roth scored the bout 15-114, while Paul Smith had it 115-113 for Barrera, judge Larry O’Connell had it even at 114-114. With the win Barrera is now the recognized 130 pound champion and proved he is still one of the best fighters pound for pound.

Barrera came out aggressive early by going with the left hook to the body bringing the crowd to its feet, Morales would throw an occasional right hand lead but it was Barrera who would have the better of the two in this round, backing Morales up midway with a left hook to the body then right hand to the head. Barrera was showing us reminiscences of their first battle.

Both came out firing in the second with both hurting each other on several occasions, Barrera would hurt Morales with a left hook to the head, but back would come Morales with right hands of his own to Barrera, back and forth the tow would go, bringing the crowd to its feet with each flurry for both warriors, we were in for a war.

For many that thought Marco Antonio was through as a top notch fighter, they were mistaken up to this point, as once again in the third, Barrera would go right at Morales and land right hand leads then left hooks. Morales would once again fire back, but was Barrera that looked to have the edge in this round with him being the more aggressive fighter.

Barrera came out in the fourth round landing jabs to the face of Morales, Morales was missing early in the round with his jab-right hand, with Barrera countering each time Morales would miss. Morales would start to find his range in the final minute of the round, by connecting with two hard right hands to Barrera’s head.

Once again having a good round, Barrera was able to back Morales in the corner and unleash combinations to the head of Morales, only to have Morales land a right hand to the head, but it was Barrera that was surprising everyone in the crowd by dictating the fight and winning the rounds.

Barrera had his best round up to this point of the fight in the sixth round; sending Morales stunned with a huge left hook that sent Morales backward, from there Barrera who was gaining more and more confidence as the fight progressed. Morales would start to show signs from Barrera’s attack, as his face began to swell under the right eye.

Just when Barrera looked to be getting comfortable, Morales would come back to win the seventh and eighth rounds, landing several jab-right hands throughout the round as Barrera would stay on the defensive, the crowd began to chant “Terrible, Terrible, Terrible” giving Morales the boost he needed to get going and bring the fight even on several people’s cards on press row.

Round nine was a close one to call, as Morales won the early part of the round and Barrera getting a warning for hitting on the back of the head. Morales would fire a hard right hand after the warning, but back Barrera would come, as he landed two left hooks and the two went toe-to-toe as the bell sounded, with Barrera throwing one last shot as the round ended bringing  the crowd to its feet.

Barrera would come back to win a slower paced tenth round, by landing jabs and the right hand-left hooks, Morales would attempt to try to get Barrera into a war but Barrera would stay calm and win a close tactical round.

The eleventh was one for the archives as both went to war, Barrera landed a hard left hook that sent Morales reeling to the ropes, he the followed that up with a right hand left hook, but Morales would fire back with a right hand to the head of Barrera, but back Barrera would come with another right hand left hook, back and forth they went, but it was Barrera s hard punches that won hi m the round and brought the crowd to a roar as the bell sounded to end the round.

Throw out strategy n the final round, as both went at it toe-to-toe, Morales landed a hard right hand to the head of Barrera, with the tow fighters feet tangled Barrera stumbled in the center of the ring, Morales would go on the attack, but Barrera would fire back with right hands, the two left nothing in the tank as they went back and forth until the final bell sounded and referee Kenny Bayless separating the two.

Barrera is now 59-4, while Morales fell to 47-2, with both losses to Barrera.

Raphael Marquez TKO 8 Mauricio Pastrana

IBF bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez his title with a dismantling of Mauricio Pastrana, when Pastrana’s called it a night for their fighter after the eighth round. It was the second time Marquez defeated Pastrana, the first time with a twelve round decision, but this time there would be no judges needed, as Marquez raised his record to 33-2 with 30 ko’s, by dissecting Pastrana with left hooks to the head and body and showed the world he is one of boxing pound for pound fighters.

The chats of “MeHeCo, MeHeCo” came out early, as Marquez got the pro Mexican crowd going by backing Pastrana to the ropes and unleashing his trade mark left hook to the body followed by shots to the head, Pastrana would try to land a right hand to keep Marquez off him but Pastrana’s punches didn’t have anything to keep Marquez from coming forward and winning the round.

Marquez picked up where he left off in the first, by staying with the same game plan of going to the body the up to the head. Marquez main weapon was his left hook to the body.
Round three had Marquez hurt Pastrana to the body bringing a roar from the crowd, as Marquez continued his dominance of Pastrana. Marquez peppered Pastrana with jabs in order to get closer to Pastrana to mount his attack. The two clashed heads at the end of the round, causing a cut over the left eye of Pastrana and a visit by the ring doctor.

Both fighters had their moments in the fourth and fifth rounds, as Pastrana landed good right hands to the head of Marquez, only to have Marquez return fire with left hooks to the head of Pastrana. The pace was slower then the opening part of the fight, as the crowd started to get a little antsy for the two not throwing as much and not taking any chances. Marquez seemed to forget about his body attack that was serving himself well early on.

Marquez picked up the pace in the sixth, as he was able to once again go to Pastrana’s body then go back to the head. Pastrana would throw an occasional right hand, but it was Marquez that countered beautifully. Pastrana’s face started to show the effects of Marquez’ attack, as his right eye began to shut and his cut on his right began to bleed more as the rounds progressed.

The ring doctor made a visit after the seventh round to take a good look at Pastrana condition, he was allowed to continue, but it he continued to get caught by Marquez patient but effective attack.

Round eight had pleanty of fireworks in the last minute of the round, as Marquez landed a good left hook that sent Pastrana to the ropes, from there Marquez was able to land a hard four punch combination to rock Pastrana. Referee Robert Byrd took a good look at Pastrana, but Pastrana made it to the end of the round, but not the fight, as his corner called off the fight with Pastrana on his stool and the beating Marquez was giving Pastrana.  Pastrana’s corner made the right decision and protected their fighter from anymore punishment, and surrendering to Marquez.

At the time of the stoppage Marquez was leading on all three cards, Judges Dave Moretti and Patricia Rose Jarman had it 78-74, while Malvina Latham scored it 79-74 all for champion.

Oscar Larios W12 Nedal Hussein

WBC Super Bantamweight champion Oscar Larios captured a workman-like twelve round unanimous decision over Nedal Hussein. Larios out punched Hussein, who is trained by former three-time world champion Jeff Fenech., most of the fight landing to the head with quick jabs and right hands, most were not punishing shots but scored points. Larios who is now 54-3-1 was the more active puncher as most rounds were pretty much the same with Larios dominating each round with his punch output, Hussein could not muster much of an attack the whole fight.
Larios won by lopsided score of 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110. Hussien dropped for second time in his career at 36-2, his only prior defeat was to then super-bantamweight and current featherweight champion Manny Pacquaio.

Ivan Calderon W12 Carlos Fajardo

Ivan Calderon retained his WBO Mini-Straw-weight title with a twelve round unanimous decision over tough but out gunned Carlos Fajrdo. Calderon dominated the bout but didn’t win the crowds approval with his safety first attack. In defending his title Calderon remained unbeaten at 21-0, while Fajardo dropped to 12-5-1. All three judges scored it for Calderon as Judge Adaline Byrd had it 120-107, Bill Graham 118-109, and John Stewart scored 119-108 all for the champion.

The left-handed Calderon had a good opening stanza as he was able to confuse Fajardo with his darting in throwing combinations then getting out of harms way and not giving Farjado mount any kind of attack.

Calderon landed solid left hands to the head of Fajardo in the second round, as he controlled the action in the round. Fajardo looked befuddled by not being able to hit the slick Calderon, as Calderon set the pace as he was content of scoring points and wining rounds, as most of his fight have dictated with him having four knockouts in his twenty victories.

Much of the same in rounds three thru seven, as the 5ft tall Calderon kept scoring points and pulling ahead of Fajardo, by scoring with left hand leads to the head and uppercuts to the chest of Fajardo, the crowd was starting to get a little frustrated for the lack of action as it was turning into more of a defensive fight as Calderon was using his quickness and countering Fajardo that was winning the fight, but the crowds respect.

Fajardo received a roar from the crowd when he stood in the center and put his hands down to his sides, in a jester for Calderon to quit running and fight, but Calderon would have none of it as picked up where he left off darting in and out, catching Fajardo with a hard right hook but nothing else as the crowd once again showed its disapproval with the lack of action. Even the Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya may have not been pleased with the fight, as he entered the Arena in the seventh and left before the beginning of the ninth.

Fajardo had a point taken away from him in the eleventh round for using his shoulders, from there Calderon landed two straight right hooks to the head of Fajardo. Fajardo would try to land some to of offensive attack, but he was unable to catch Calderon.

The crowd got some amusement from as one of the fans yelled out “Ring the bell”, five seconds into the final round, as if to say we have seen enough of the round. Caldron did manage to rock Fajardo on two occasions but it still didn’t win the hearts of the fans as the bell sounded to end the fight.

Kelly Pavlik  W8 Ross Thompson

Kelly Pavlik  captured an eight round unanimous decision over Ross Thompson to remain unbeaten and pass his toughest test thus far in his career. In winning Pavlik  upped his record to 23-0, while Thompson fell to 26-10-2.

Pavlik  came out establishing his jab early, looking to set up his power punches, he managed to land a few good left hooks to the body of Thompson, Thompson laughed at Pavlik  as if to say the punches didn’t hurt, but the did scores points.

Round two and three had Pavlik  again the aggressor backing Thompson to the ropes and landing several body shots on Thompson. Thompson would switch to the left-handed stance for most of the round trying to confuse the younger Pavlik , but it had no effect on Pavlik  as he controlled the rounds and the fight up to this point.

The action slowed in the fourth & fifth rounds, with Pavlik  still doing enough to win the rounds, but Thompson didn’t help himself by not throwing any punches.

Thompson showed some life in the six and seventh rounds, as he was able to mount an attack, as Pavlik ’s punches didn’t have the same pop they had earlier in the bout, but he was unable to keep Pavlik  from staying on top of him, once Thompson would throw a flurry, Pavlik  would come back to back Thompson to the ropes, scoring points and putting rounds in the bag. 

The crowd started to become a little restless, as both fighters seemed to coast in the eighth and final round, but Pavlik  once again won the round by being the more aggressive fighter of the two. In the end it was Pavlik  winning on all three cards 80-72 twice and 79-73 on the third.

Kid Diamond KO 5 Lamar Murphy

Kid Diamond looked impressive in halting Lamar Murphy with a vicious right hand in the fifth round to remain unbeaten. Diamond dropped Murphy with a right hand in the third round, but Murphy wasn’t that stunned and continued to do well in the fight.
In the fifth round Murphy landed a good combination on Diamond that had Diamond on the ropes, but Diamond released a hard right hand that sent Murphy backwards, and then landed the shot that ended the fight. The time of the stoppage was 2:02 of the fifth.

Diamond is now 19-0 16 ko’s, while Murphy fell to 29-10-1.


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