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Khan wins technical decision over Barrera!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have been busy eating crow for what was a completely inaccurate prediction last week. I picked Marco Antonio Barrera to defeat Amir Khan based on experience and class. I could not have been more wrong.

Amir Khan W5 Marco Antonio Barrera... Amir Khan, 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist, defeated Marco Antonio Barrera by technical decision, in what was a WBO lightweight title eliminator, at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, UK last Saturday night. From the opening bell, Khan's hand and foot speed bothered the aged former champion, but perhaps the most telling blow was an accidental headbutt that opened a deep gash on Barrera's hairline. The cut continued to bleed into Barrera's left eye as the rounds progressed, but the doctor and the referee allowed the fight to continue for four rounds before ending the contest in the fifth round. According the rules of the WBO, if a fight is stopped after four rounds due to an accidental clash of heads, the result is determined by the official scores. At the time of the stoppage, the three official judges scored the fight 50-45 (twice) and 50-44, all in favor of Khan.

I had said that Khan would have to fight an almost perfect fight to defeat a boxer the likes of Barrera. Unfortunately for Barrera, he didn't even fight a perfect fight for as long as it lasted and he still won every minute of every round. Surely, the blood pouring down into the left eye did not help Barrera's cause, but he just wasn't letting his hands go and he could not find Khan. After the first round, I could already see the difference between the two combatants. I actually scored the first round 10-8 for Khan, as did one of the three judges. Khan did get a little help from the referee and the doctor for letting it go on until four rounds were completed. That was the difference in a No Contest vs. a technical decision win for the hometown hero.

Having said all of that, I believe that a rematch with Breidis Prescott is a fight that should happen for Khan. As long as Prescott remains undefeated and is on the rise himself in the lightweight division, nobody is going to take Khan seriously if he fails to avenge that loss or even fails to make an attempt. Surely the 55 second knockout loss that Khan suffered at the hands of Prescott back in September remains a demon that Khan is still going to have to exercise if he hopes to compete against the bigger and more technically sound punchers of the 135lb and 140lb weight classes.

Ola Afolabi TKO 9 Enzo Maccarinelli... Enzo Maccarinelli was on the comeback trail from what had been a devastating 2nd round TKO loss to David Haye, in what was a fight for the undisputed cruiserweight championship back in March of 2008. Maccarinelli had every intention of returning to prominence and gaining the interim WBO cruiserweight title, but Ola “Kryptonite” Afolabi had other plans as he shocked the world and derailed the plans of Maccarinelli by stopping him in the 9th round with a big right hand. Throughout the first eight rounds, Maccarinelli was in control of the fight for the most part as he outworked Afolabi but Afolabi was able to stun Maccarinelli on numerous occasions. Time of the stoppage was 1:50 of round 9. Afolabi is now the interim WBO cruiserweight champion of the world.

Roman Martinez TKO4 Nicky Cook... There's a fresh new face in the super featherweight landscape, and he is undefeated Roman "Rocky" Martinez. Martinez dethroned defending WBO champion Nicky Cook by means of a TKO in impressive fashion. After controlling the first three rounds, Martinez dropped Cook with two left uppercuts, but Cook rose to his feet and beat the count. Shortly thereafter, Martinez dropped Cook again with huge left hook. Cook once again rose to his feet, but on shaky legs this time around, at which point the referee stopped the contest.

television: Integrated Sports PPV