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Ibragimov vs Holyfield and Pacquiao vs Barrera II post fight reaction!

Lets start with the heavyweight title fight that took place between defending WBO Heavyweight Champion Sultan Ibragimov and the legendary Four title Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield. Legendary, but probably at the end of the road at this point.

Sultan Ibragimov UD 12 Evander Holyfield
WBO Heavyweight Championship
October 13, 2007 - Khodynka Ice Palace; Moscow, Russia

Allow me to admit that I was dead wrong about this fight when I made the prediction. I picked Holyfield by Majority Decision, and as Fight Doc, one of the commenters, pointed out to me, he admitted that he felt he made a bad pick when he picked Barrera to exact revenge on the Pacquiao and the Philipino sensation ended up winning their rematch decisively. I did the same with this fight between Ibragimov and Holyfield. I admit it! Official scores were 118-110, 117-111 (twice) all in favor of the defending champion.

Anyway, I did not pay the money to watch this fight on PPV. No way. I will wait for ESPN classic and watch it on there instead. From what I read, Holyfield could not pull the trigger against Ibragimov. Ibragimov beat him to the punch all night and won a decisive unanimous decision. I will have more to say about this fight when I watch it on ESPN Classic. Holyfield claimed after the fight that he would not retire. He believes he must get back in line now. That fifth world title means everything in the world to him, as he feels that he must go out as a champion. To me, health and happiness and being able to raise your kids and be with your family should be more important than winning a fifth piece of plastic.

Please give up Evander! Spend the rest of your life with your family and count all of the money you have made.

Manny Pacquiao UD 12 Marco Antonio Barrera
12 round Super Featherweight fight
October 6, 2007 - Mandalay Bay; Las Vegas, NV

Someone who isn't afraid or too proud to retire is one Marco Antonio Barrera, who announced his retirement following his one sided loss to Manny Pacquiao. This fight was a rematch of a fight these two had four years ago on November 15, 2003 in San Antonio Texas, when Pacquiao straped Barrera, beaten him down really badly, and stopped him in the 11th round of their featherweight championship fight. The rematch, however, was not as brutal. Barrera fought a more defensive minded fight by refusing to engage in exchanges. In the end, Pacquiao won a unanimous decision by scores of 118-109 (twice), and 115-112. Boxing Chronicles scored the contest 119-108 for Pacquiao, giving Barrera the fifth round.

Pacquiao probably boxed a little better in this fight than he did in San Antonio four years ago, when he was limited to that of a seek and destroy monster with just a left hand. Over the years, Pacquiao has developed his right hand and he's now a two handed monster who can knock guys out with either hand. Pacquiao showed patience, stamina, and boxing savvy in the rematch with Barrera. Tactically, it was probably one of Pacquiao's better displays. Barrera, on the other hand, looked like a fighter, once a warrior with killer instinct, whose flame had finally burnt out. It happens to all great champions.

Whether or not they live a life of contentment and happiness depends on their decision to retire or not retire when this flame eventually burns out. Barrera knows it's over for him as a prize fighter. Hopefully he maintains that awareness and fails to return to the ring because he's had one hell of a career. He's been a great champion and my hats off to him. Perhaps he should have a talk with Evander Holyfield.

Next up for Pacquiao could be a fight with Edwin Valero, who boasts a perfect professional record of 22-0, with 22 knockouts. That is a flawless record, but he has yet to face someone the quality of Pacquiao. Still, that fight could potentially produce some major fireworks. Obviously, these are two dynamite punchers. Let's see it happen. Pacquiao had mentioned to the press that he could be moving up to 135lbs, but that doesn't seem like it will happen at this time.

Bring us a fight with Valero. Bring us a fight with the winner of the championship fight between WBO Super Featherweight Champion Joan Guzman and Humberto Soto. And ultimately, lets see the rematch between Pacquiao and World Super Featherweight Champion and WBC titlist, Juan Manuel Marquez, who rose from three first round knockdowns to fight to a controversial draw with Pacquiao over three years ago. Lets be honest boxing fans, that is the rematch that should have happened on October 6, not the rematch that we got.

As you can see, there's plenty of business for Pacquiao to tend to at 130lbs. No move to 135lbs is necessary.

Sam Peter UD12 Jameel McCline
WBC Interim Heavyweight Championship
October 6, 2007 - Madison Square Garden; New York, NY

Wow! What I originally perceived to the be a stay-busy fight for Sam Peter turned out to be a life and death struggle for him in the early rounds, when he was decked three times by McCline.

You might recall that I admitted how difficult it was for me to fatham McCline getting out of the early rounds with Peter. On the contrary, it was Peter who had to get up off his ass, dig deep, and find the resolve to go on and make the necessary adjustments to win the fight. Before the fight, I also said that McCline is notorious for decking fighters more skilled than he is and not sealing the deal (Byrd and Brock). He did it once again in this instance with Peter. Give credit where credit is due; Peter got up and outhussled a timid and lazy McCline down the stretch to earn the unanimous decision.

It now appears that Peter is scheduled to face the full time WBC Heavyweight Champion Oleg Maskaev on February 2, 2008! Maskaev is a puncher, atleast with the right hand, and we saw what McCline did to Peter in the early rounds. I think I still pick Peter to beat Maskaev, but I'm not nearly as sure as I was before the McCline fight. Peter has shown that he can be dropped (against McCline) AND stunned (12th round against Wladimir Klitschko.

One must also take into account that Peter was training for Maskaev and got McCline instead at last minute's notice. However, Peter still showed some vulnerabilities that precise puncher like Maskaev could potentially take advantage of. First, lets see the damn thing happen before I make any concrete predictions.