By Lee Payton
Nothing went right for Marco Antonio Barrera. In the first round a clash of heads opened a gusher, high on his forehead, that spilled blood into his left eye as long as the fight lasted. The action was called to a halt by the ring doctor at 2:35 of the fifth, and Khan won a wide decision.
Amir Khan showed some important improvement in there. His hands were up nice and high, he switched up the angles with his feet, took advantage of his massive edge in speed and remained respectful of the old warrior. It was his most professional performance to date, if not his most devastating. He wasn't able to nail Marco with his best stuff, but was clearly the winner in every round.
A shot at a belt is probably next for Khan, while Barrera has to get back in line.
If Khan can maintain his composure like he was able to on this occasion, I think he can compete with the top lightweights in the world. As for his chances against the World Champ... not yet.
I'm probably in the minority, but I think Barrera still has a little something left. His difficulties with the horrible gash were compounded by a style match-up that was terrible for him. The speed and size of this opponent was too much, but I wouldn't go as far as to say he's shot. He's just not what he used to be.
Amir Khan needed this win in a bad way. He got it.
Enzo Maccarinelli fell apart against underdog Ola Afolabi. He appeared shaky throughout, but did his best to crowd his opponent against the ropes. In the middle of the 9th, Afolabi decided to come forward and planted a huge overhand right on Enzo's face that flattened him. He somehow beat the count, but the ref did the right thing in stopping it at the 1:50 mark. He was in no shape to continue.
Nicky Cook was doing some good work in defense of his brand new title before he ran into a beautiful left uppercut from Rocky Martinez of Puerto Rico. He rose from the canvas gallantly, but instead of holding on to gather himself, he chose to swing his way out of trouble. It was a costly mistake. A left hook put him down for good moments later. The time was 2:20 of the 4th round.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
By Lee Payton