Amir Khan vs. Marco Antonio Barrera: Round By Round

We're through the undercard at the M.E.N. Arena and ready to watch an intriguing battle between potential and experience as Amir Khan and Marco Antonio Barrera are almost ready to go in Manchester. Commentators Dave Clark, Nicky Piper, Johnny Nelson and Glenn McCrory set the stage, discussing Khan's surprising KO loss to Breidis Prescott and how his mindset might be for this huge test tonight.

Highlights from the undercard show it was a tough night for fighters from the U.K. Nicky Cook lost his WBO super featherweight title to Roman Martinez, while Enzo Maccarinelli fell via ninth-round KO to Ola Afolabi.

Jimmy Lennon Jr. is ready for the fighter introductions, and Barrera makes his way to the ring to the sounds of Kanye West's "Stronger." The Mexican legend is 65-6, but he's lost two of his last four fights and is 13 years older than his foe.

Khan is 19-1 with 15 KOs. He bounced back from the Prescott loss with a second-round TKO of Oisin Fagan, but as announcers Ian Darke and Jim Watt point out, this is a huge step up in competition for the former Olympic silver medalist.

The tale of the tape shows Khan with a significant edge in height and reach. But even though Barrera is coming up in weight, they are roughly even in that area tonight.

Referee Dave Parris is the man in charge of the action. Lennon does his thing and we're ready to go.

Round 1

Khan is the early aggressor. MAB slams him with a counter left. They tie up and both men try to work. Khan shows quick hands as they trade in the center. Quick punches force Barrera back. Two jabs connect for Khan. A right hand cuts MAB as he tries to stand his ground. Now the announcers are saying it may have been a clash of heads that has MAB bleeding. Khan tries to press his advantage. Nice one-two that MAB takes well. Khan flurries to put an exclamation point on that round.

Franchise: 10-9 Khan

Round 2

Khan also has a small cut by his left eye. Barrera looks for some early counters. Khan's reach is giving him problems. Both men miss and they tie up. Khan throws hooks to the head and body. MAB covers up as he's under fire along the ropes. Khan fires and dodges a left hook coming back. Right hand to the head by Khan and he's back to the jab. Now MAB digs in and throws a combination. Both men score with solid shots right before the bell.

Franchise: 10-9 Khan

Round 3

Barrera's cut is high on his head but it is bleeding badly. Khan throws multiple jabs. He smothers MAB and they clinch. Barrera tries to work his own jab. Khan strikes with a nice right upstairs. Khan flashes his hand speed in close as MAB tries to counter. Khan flurries along the ropes. Barrera is covering up well but needs to get busier. Khan eats a left but scores with several punches of his own. MAB tries to bull his way in and is greeted by a clinch.

Franchise: 10-9 Khan

Round 4

Darke and Watt are impressed by Khan's high guard. He looks for an opening and lands several left hands. MAB swings with two lefts of his own. Khan comes forward and Barrera tries to psyche himself up. The ref stops the fight about halfway through the round so the doctor can look at Barrera's cut. MAB wants to fight, and we're back on. He picks up the pace but Khan greets him with a three-punch combo. Amir just misses with another. A left hook forces Barrera to cover up. He tries his own left hook but Khan is moving well.

Franchise: 10-9 Khan

Round 5

Khan keeps the jab in Barrera's face. He throws an uppercut and backs out. MAB snaps several jabs but has nothing to go with them. Khan flashes his hand speed again but has to watch out for a counter left. They trade in the center and both men score. MAB's cut is really bloody, and the fight is stopped by the referee at the 2:36 mark.

We go to the scorecards since the fight went more than four rounds. The judges score it 50-46 and 50-45 twice, all to the winner by technical decision... Amir Khan.

Khan says he has been under scrutiny since day one, but he proved his critics wrong today. He gives a lot of credit to Freddie Roach for turning him into a better boxer.

Roach feels like Khan is mature enough to stick to the script now. He says Khan will be a world champion soon.

Promoter Frank Warren says he never stopped believing in Khan and wants to get him a world title shot as soon as possible.

Khan thanks all of his supporters in Manchester.

Barrera speaks through his translator and says the fight should have been stopped early on since the cut was caused by a headbutt. He blames the cut for his performance and claims he would have had a good chance to win if he could have seen clearly.

He also says Khan had fast hands but not much power. MAB feels he can still fight at a high level, but he'll discuss his future plans with his family and Don King.

Posted by The Franchise

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