- Marco Antonio Barrera (63W-5L, 42KO’s) -Vs- Juan Manuel Marquez (47W-3L-1Dr, 35KO’s)
This highly anticipated fight card brought to the world by Golden Boy Promotions was nothing short of another epic fight as two Mexican warriors gave the crowd at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay their dollar’s worth and then some. From round one to round twelve the action never stopped and the shots never failed to connect as the boxer’s both put on a helluva show. In the beginning it was all Marco Antonio Barrera as he landed his shots at will and took the few connections that Juan Marquez did connect on without much of a problem. Barrera’s experience in these type of war’s seemed to help him early on as he appeared very relaxed, as opposed to Marquez who seemed more up tight and a bit more methodical. Midway through the fight the tides would turn as the seventh round gave fight fans their first knockdown of the fight…Or at least what appeared to be. In a controversial moment, Marquez seemed to be landing bombs consecutively and had Barrera shaken up and nearly out on his feet when out of know where Barrera got an apparent adrenaline burst and landed a couple flush shots of his own which culminated in Marquez’ glove touching the canvas. Referee Jay Nady, (despite his perfect positioning between the fighters), failed to rule the clean shot a knockdown, but did take a point away from Barrera who delivered another blow to Marquez as he remained nearly down with his gloves still on the canvas. Most thought that the bad call would cause Barrera to lose by a point at most due to the fact that the fight appeared very close, but in the end we learned once again that anything goes in Vegas. Despite the near identical compubox numbers shown on the HBO telecast, and all other conditions factored in, the final scores from the judges were as follows: 118-109, 116-111, 116-111. No doubt Marquez seemed to be a little quicker to the punches at times, but there was never a moment in the fight where it seemed as if either fighter had complete control and a decision of more than 2 points on anyone’s score card truly gives most a reason to scratch their heads. Never-the-less, a rematch was discussed after the match and it appears that if Barrera decides to fight on, (he stated this could be his last fight), the question will quickly go from whether, to when? Key Notes: In attendance were many great fighters of the Boxing world today…Including two who will wage war real soon…Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright….Not in attendance was the Golden Boy Promotions main man, Oscar De La Hoya who was training and won’t be visiting Las Vegas again until he walks the aisle for the final time before waging war with the gifted Floyd Mayweather Jr…Also in attendance was Mexican welterweight Antonio Margarito, and actor Cuba Gooding Jr.
- Evander Holyfield (41W-8L-2Dr, 27KO’s)-Vs-Vinnie Maddalone (27W-4L, 19KO’s)
Most fight fans have felt for quite some time that Evander Holyfield has an extra weapon aside from his two fist in the ring for a long time. For those never saw it before, tonight it appeared to resurface as an early headbutt made this an ugly fight very early. Albeit unintentional, the headbutt seemed to be more than Maddalone deal with as Holyfield poured on an assault to the already busted area to the point where Maddalone’s trainer Al Certo was forced to ask for a stoppage. What this does to solidify Holyfield as a contender again in the heavyweight picture is still a major question. He’s managed to do well against his last 3 fighter’s but all were grade C fighters at best. The only way we’ll find out is if he ‘ups the ante’ and puts his autograph on paper to fight someone we actually know…Until then, Holyfield’s supposed comeback mission for title unification is nothing more than talk…Talk that unfortunately not many people are listening to…But who knows? Maybe his claims of injuries forcing him to look bad a couple years ago were true. Headbutt aside, his abilities tonight showed that he can still be a ‘player’ in the midst of a weak division. He still has a solid chin and his skills are far from diminished like that State of New York cited when taking his license to box in the state. Hopefully we’ll all get a chance to find out soon if he is indeed the “Real Deal” like he calls himself….Only time will tell. Key Notes: On the undercard heavyweight contender Calvin Brock (30W-1L, 23KO’s) got back on the winner’s list with a first round stoppage over Ralph West (17W-11L-1, 14KO’s). All it took was a flush right hand with 2:49 into the fight to pull the curtains on the journeyman. In Levallois, France Jean-Mark Mormeck outpointed O’Neil Bell 115-113, 115-113, 116-112, to become the world cruiserweight champion.