Barrera Decisively Won Despite Displeased Crowd

17.09.06 - By Jeffrey Cabauatan: - Four great fights in one night. A fight fan could not ask for anything better. When the last time you purchase a boxing ppv that was was worth every penny from a fourth rounder preliminary bout up to the main event? The night kicked off with Jorge Paez Jr. winning a majority decision over Derrick Campos. Jorge Paez Jr. seemed to be in complete control of the bout in the first two rounds as he raised his hands after he threw combination and even putting Campos down in round 2.. But a determined Campos would rise up from the dead and dug deep to knockdown Paez in the final second of the bout. This was highly competitive bout where a draw would have been the right call but Paez got the nod.

Next stop is Jorge Barrios vs. Joan Guzman. Barrios inability to make weight made him ineligible to walk out with the WBO Super Featherweight title. Both men made no hesitation pulling out their best punches in the first four rounds. In the 5th round, Joan Guzman was able to solve Barrios relentless attack with crisp counter punching. By round 6, it seemed as if Barrios’ punches no longer had the same effect it had in the earlier rounds. Maybe draining himself out had something to do with it but he did not quit. He pursued Guzman up to bitter end where he rocked Guzman backed against the rope in the final 30 seconds of the bout but no longer have the punching power to finish him off. Guzman was so patient with his attack and so efficient with his punches that it intrigues me how he will match up with other elites of the 130 pounder. Guzman escaped with a hard fought 12 round split decision.

I thought I just saw a possible candidate for fight of the year until I saw this one. If not, then this must be considered for come back of the year. For the first 6 rounds, Gonzales tactically controlled Vasquez with his jab and his left hook which he knocked down Vasquez with in round 4 and 6. Although Vasquez was losing all of the first 6 rounds, he kept clawing and clawing himself inside. Finally in round 7, Gonzales wild swing enabled Vasquez to counter with a right to the jaw that knocked Gonzales down. His legs were gone at that point. I have to give it up to Gonzales because in the next 3 rounds, he fought with pure heart. I had no idea how he was able to finish round 7 and round 8 after being knocked down again. In round 10, a left hook from Vasquez sent him down again for the third time but would get up. In the dismay of Larry Merchant, Gonzales trainer stopped the fight. Merchant made a reference that it was reminiscence of Taylor vs. Chavez but there’s really no comparison. Yes, Gonzales was ahead on points but there were still 2 rounds left. Gonzales legs left his body 3 rounds ago and his body language says it all. It was the right call.

As expected, Barrera would box Juarez for the entire 12 rounds. I saw this coming when GBP made a stipulation that Juarez cannot wear Reyes Gloves. There is a reason for everything. GBP and Barrera knew that Juarez stands no chance in a boxing match but can hurt you with one punch so minimizing one’s power is an option.

In an excitement level, this fight was nowhere near the previous three. However, in an amazement level, this fight gets a high praise from me. It is just amazing how Barrera was able neutralize a young lion like Juarez with his jab. He used his jab beautifully and kept Juarez in a safe distance all night long. Juarez was so frustrated that he was unable to catch the champ with his left hook.

People may not have like how Barrera won a safe unanimous decision by refusing to duke it out. But what do you want from the man who had given so much to the sport of boxing. Do you want him to go out there and force his body to do what it cannot anymore? He is 32 not 25. Barrera is smart enough to know when to change his style. He used his brain and experience to win a decisive bout this time. That is what great fighters do in order to prolong their time in the ring.

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Article posted on 18.09.2006

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