14.3.09

Khan-Barrera Undercard Live Blog

We're joining you in progress after some technical difficulties on our end, The fight in progress is a four-rounder between Craig Lyon and Anwar Alfadie.

Alfadie is making his pro debut and has some trouble with Lyon's pressure. Lyon catches his foe with two sharp right hands in the last 20 seconds of the third round, and the announcer has given all three rounds to him.

Lyon has very little trouble in the final round, and we'll go to the scorecards. The judges all score it 40-36, and Lyon wins by unanimous decision.

A short hype package is shown for the Khan-Barrera fight, and we hear from both boxers. The bout is pitched as a big step up in class for Khan just six months after getting knocked out by Breidis Prescott. Trainer Freddie Roach thinks Khan can have an easy time if he fights the right fight, but if he doesn't, he'll be in for a long night.

The announcer says over 22,000 are expected at the M.E.N. Arena for the main event. Another feature is shown on Khan and Barrera.

There are definitely some production value differences between this broadcast and what we're used to in the U.S. from HBO and Showtime. The announcer seemed like he was ready to throw it down to ringside for more live action, but instead we see the same video package we just saw.

Now we go to Dave Clark with Nicky Piper, Johnny Nelson and Glenn McCrory to talk about the main event. Opinion seems to be mixed, with McCrory feeling very strongly that Khan is stepping up too far in his level of competition.

Well-known ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. is on hand to do the introductions. Nicky Cook is ready to put his WBO super featherweight title on the line against undefeated challenger Roman Martinez.

Cook gets a warm reception from his countrymen in the crowd. He is 29-1, with his lone loss coming via KO to Steven Luevano. He is three years older than Martinez, who is 21-0, and gives away a slight bit of height.

Announcers Ian Darke and Jim Watt think this is a tough mandatory defense for Cook. Martinez is actually a slight betting favorite despite his role as challenger.

Cook loses his mouthpiece in the middle of a cautious opening round. He does do some nice body work, and he almost manages to put Martinez on the canvas with a stiff body shot toward the end of the second round.

Martinez looks like he has quicker and more accurate hands, but Cook has a lot more pop on his shots. The pace picks up in the fourth round, with both men throwing and landing more.

With about 75 seconds to go, a left uppercut from Martinez sends Cook down. He beats the count but is quickly sent back down. The ref makes the call and that's it. The winner by TKO at 2:20 of Round 4... and new WBO super featherweight champion... Roman Martinez.

Khan is interviewed backstage. He says his nerves are fine and his training was excellent. Khan doesn't want to talk about his tactics too much but promises fans will see a new fighter and an exciting bout.

There is a delay for the Enzo Maccarinelli fight as one of Ola Afolabi's people had to go help wrap Khan's hands. So there's a long break the announcers are attempting to fill by talking about the main event.

With the Maccarinelli bout still delayed, we go to action from earlier in the night between Bradley Pryce and Matthew Hall. Pryce can't do much to keep Hall off of him, and he hits the mat less than a minute into the second round.

A big left hook sends Pryce down again with about 30 seconds to go. A right hand catched Pryce right before the bell, and Hall earns a second-round KO in explosive fashion.

We're finally ready to see Enzo Maccarinelli face off against Ola Afolabi. Enzo has a lot of fan support despite the fact that his opponent is originally from London.

Both men are 28 years old and are almost mirror images in height, weight and reach. Afolabi is 13-1 but has not fought a very impressive level of competition. Maccarinelli is 29-2, and he comes in off of one win since his getting knocked out in the second round by David Haye a year ago.

This fight is for the interim WBO cruiserweight title and is scheduled for 12 rounds. Lennon's microphone goes out, causing one final delay, but now it's finally fight time.

Enzo starts out patiently, looking to feel Afolabi out. The crowd chants for Maccarinelli as both men try to load up big right hands. Afolabi is trained by Roach, but Freddie is not in his corner as he is helping Khan prepare.

The second round sees Maccarinelli try to keep things at very close range. There's some nice action as both men work instead of clinch, and some solid shots land in each direction.

Afolabi seems more interested in showboating than fighting at times. But he lands a right hand while backed to the ropes near the end of the third round that has Enzo looking wobbly.

The announcers think Maccarinelli still looks hurt coming out to start the fourth. He's still coming forward and throwing, though Afolabi is taking the punches well. He waves Enzo in, and Maccarinelli obliges with a series of jabs.

Enzo turns it on in the fifth round with some nice combination punching. His work rate is almost certainly winning him rounds, and a barrage of left hands in the sixth round provide his best moment of the fight so far.

After eight rounds, it looks like Afolabi will need to catch Maccarinelli with one big punch because winning on the cards isn't too likely. Enzo isn't landing the power shots you might expect, but the quantity of punches remains high.

But it's not over yet. Afolabi shakes up Maccarinelli with a right hand in the opening minute of the ninth round, and a huge right sends Enzo down a short time later. Maccarinelli can't recover and Afolabi wins by KO in Round 9.

Replays show it was a well-timed overhand right that caught Enzo leaning in. Impressive stuff from Afolabi and a disheartening loss for Maccarinelli.

Enzo blames himself for not taking Afolabi seriously enough. He says he trained hard to get in shape, but was lacking a little bit in sparring. He's honest and gracious in defeat.

Posted by The Franchise

5 comments:

uatu said...

is the khan - mab fight a 12 rounder?

uatu said...

I see this is for some belts and is therefore going 12

The Franchise said...

Yep, the main event is 12 rounds, as is Enzo Maccarinelli's fight.

BTW, Arthur Abraham will be taking the ring pretty soon in Germany.

Glenn said...

i didn't realize abraham was even fighting today. thanks for the updates.

The Franchise said...

Our pleasure. Looks like the Abraham fight is the only one left on that card. Former heavyweight champ Lamon Brewster won by UD on the undercard there in Germany as well.