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Barrera is still on top of the Featherweight division.    

Barrera Still True Featherweight Champion

November 2, 2002

Las Vegas, NV (BoxingGurus.com) - “The Baby Faced Assassin” Marco Antonio Barrera (56-3, 39 KO) out-classed and out-boxed veteran Johnny Tapia (52-3-2, 28 KO) tonight at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, NV on HBO.

Barrera used his 7-inch reach to keep Tapia outside and unable to get to Barrera except for a few exciting rallies. One of those rallies took place in the 6th round where Tapia had Barrera on the ropes for over half the round. Both fighters landed some good shots, with Tapia getting the best of the exchange.

Barrera’s corner told him between rounds to stay off the ropes and go back to doing what he did in the first 5 rounds, which he won all of them. “My corner told me to go out there to jab and control the fight and that is what I did,” Barrera said.

The final punch stats showed the dominance of Barrera over Tapia: Barrera threw 800 punches, landing 323 at a 40% clip. Tapia threw 509 punches, landing only 124 at a 24% clip. The jabs, which Barrera used to control the fight, were even more lopsided as Barrera landed 179 to only 17 for Tapia.

The judge’s scorecards were a bit nicer for Tapia as the judge’s must have let his few spurts in close rounds give him the edge in those rounds. The official scores were 116-112 and 118-110 (twice) for Barrera. BoxingGurus.com scored the fight 119-109 for Barrera.

This fight had no official titles at stake as Tapia was stripped of his IBF belt for taking on Barrera instead of their #1 contender. And Barrera has turned down all his belts he has won in the past saying the people know who the true champion is. And that is what Barrera is…the true Featherweight champion of the world.

Tapia was dominated, but says he will not hang up his gloves. “I will come back, maybe we can fight again,” Tapia said insinuating an unlikely rematch. A rematch is unlikely as the fight was way to one-sided and also the fact that Barrera/Tapia are very good friends. Barrera had a hard time dishing out the punishment this time, let alone another. “It was very difficult as Johnny is my friend, but that is boxing,” Barrera said.

Barrera is not sure what will be next for him. He said he will be watching the upcoming Erik Morales/Paulie Ayala fight very closely though. “We will be rooting for Morales (since he is Mexican)…and I do not know what will be next for me.”

In the main undercard event, “Slick Rick” Ricardo Williams Jr. (8-0, 5 KO) dominated Terron Millett (27-4-1, 19 KO) winning an easy unanimous 10-round decision.

Williams showed off his superior boxing skills and the southpaw controlled the fight with his lighting fast right jab. Williams showed off his skills that earned him a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics games. Another punch that tended to cause some problems for Millett was a sneaky lead right hook. Williams was landing that punch at will, along with almost all other punches.

Williams took the first seven rounds in the fight, dominating the 3rd and 7th rounds to the point that a 10-8 round was justified. After a head butt that caused a small cut under Williams left eye, Millett became more aggressive in the 8th and 9th rounds, winning them as Williams became a bit tentative.

There was no anxiety when the scorecards were read; even Millett knew he was beaten. The judge’s scorecards were 98-92, 99-91 and 100-90. BoxingGurus.com had the fight scored 98-90 for Williams.

This fight was a great stepping-stone for Williams and his young career. A few more fights against a similar caliber fighter like Millett will put Williams in good shape for a title shot a year or two down the road.

 

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