Last weekends (3-17-07) fight with Marco Antonio Barrera (63-5 42 KO’s) vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (47-3-1 35KO‘s), for Barrera’s WBC Super Featherweight Title at the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino in Las Vegas, is the best example I can give in the case of boxing vs. UFC/MMA. This is the type of skill level and excitement that cannot and has not been seen in any of the fighting arts that have tried over the years to usurp boxing as the number one fighting sport in the world. This is why they get paid the big bucks.
Both fighters were in excellent shape. Though both men are 33 years of age, Barrera has to be considered the battle worn veteran between the two. I thought the fight was very close , but I was convinced Barrera had defended his title, and was surprised by the decision , and even more surprised by the scorecards.
During the fight, specifically the seventh round, Barrera dropped Marquez with a clean right hand, in full view of referee Jay Nady, who apparently was asleep at the wheel, because he inexplicitly ruled it a slip. A few seconds later he woke up when Barrera, still in punching mode hit Marquez while he was down, with a glancing blow. If Nady had been on top of things this never would have occurred. His inaction caused Barrera to not only have a point deducted for hitting Marquez, but he failed to give Barrera credit for the knockdown. This might have made a difference in a fight with competent judging, but in this case, because of the ridiculously lopsided judging, it made no difference at all. Marquez won the unanimous decision victory by scores of 118-109, 116-111 and 116-111.
Yet and still, this was a classic encounter between to boxer-punchers who left nothing in the ring, reminiscent of Barrera’s classic trilogy with Eric Morales. Referees and judges aside, it does not get any better than this. This will be a tough act to follow later in the year by Ricky Hatton and Jose Louis Castillo, and Oscar De la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather jr..
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