Amir Khan Stops Marco Antonio Barrera On Cuts In 5th Round!

Marco Antonio Barreraby James Slater -- Tonight, in Manchester, 22-year-old Amir Khan scored the finest and most important win of his pro career as he stopped Mexican ring legend Marco Antonio Barrera towards the end of the 5th round on cuts. Barrera came off far worse when the two accidentally clashed heads in the opening round, and he was absolutely pouring blood from the wound that was opened on the top of his head. Twice the ringside doctor inspected the wound during a time-out, and eventually - inevitably considering the severity of the damage - the fight was stopped. Officially, in improving to 20-1(15) Khan won by a 5th round Technical Decision. 35-year-old Barrera fell to 65-7(43).

From the outset, Khan looked the superior fighter, it must be said. Noticeably bigger, faster and with a much longer reach, Barrera could not get near him. With an improved defence, the man who was shattered by Breidis Prescott last September showed no nerves at all. Picking Barrera off and unloading big combos on him frequently, the former Olympian looked sheer class.

The Mexican warrior did get through with a couple of dangerous-looking head shots, but Khan took them without being hurt. The cut on Marco's head was spurting blood constantly, and his vision was badly compromised. In fact, half of Barrera's face was covered in blood. It seemed only a matter of time before the fight was stopped.

Of course, the argument now will be about whether or not Khan would have looked so good had the butt and the cut not occurred. Barrera himself, when being interviewed post-fight, said the fight should have been stopped in the 1st round, due to the head-clash - thus making the bout a no-contest. Barrera also said none of Khan's punches ever hurt him. Maybe it should have been ruled a N-C, but Khan's technical brilliance cannot be denied. Would the smaller man have got near him even if he had clear vision? We will never know, but a rematch will never sell, surely.

Though some fans will be unhappy, tonight it was Khan's night. Looking a better fighter all round under the tutelage of Roach, it will be interesting to see where the 22-year-old goes from here. Now the WBO number-one contender at 135-pounds, a world title shot may well be in Khan's future. As long as he can maintain the overall good defence he showed tonight, the hotshot may well have a chance at going further.

Barrera's future, at age 35 and with so much scar tissue picked up, is now in serious doubt.

Article posted on 14.03.2009

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