By Alexey Sukachev
Photos: David Martin Warr
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In a WBO lightweight eliminator, 2004 Olympic silver medalist Amir Khan (20-1, 15 KOs) won a five round technical decision over legendary “Baby Faced Assassin” and former three-division world champion Marco Antonio Barrera (65-7, 42 KOs) on Saturday night at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England. In round one, Barrera suffered a deep gash on the hairline from an unintentional headbutt that bled into his left eye from that point on. Khan was faster and very sharp, often punishing the bloodied Barrera on the ropes. Barrera had some moments too, but Khan was in command for the rounds contested. Doctors looked at the cut in the fourth, but the bout was not stopped at that point (which would have resulted in a no decision). The bout was stopped because of the cut during the following round, sending the verdict to the scorecards, which read 50-44, 50-45, 50-45 for Khan.
In a clash for the vacant interim version of the WBO cruiserweight title, the Cinderella story of Ola “Kryptonite” Afolabi (14-1-3, 6 KOs) continued with a shocking ninth round knockout of former champion Enzo Maccarinelli (29-3, 22 KOs). A big right hand ended it at 1:50.
Unbeaten Roman “Rocky” Martinez (22-0-1, 13 KOs) scored an impressive fourth round KO to dethrone defending WBO super featherweight champion Nicky “Cookie” Cook (29-2, 16 KOs) claiming the 130lb world title. Two left uppercuts in the fourth led to the first knockdown. Cook barely beat the count but Martinez finished him off with a left hook. Cook stood up on shaky legs and referee Dave Parris waved it off. Time was 2:20.
Challenger Matthew Hall (22-1, 15 KOs) destroyed Commonwealth light middleweight champion Bradley Pryce (27-7, 17 KOs) in two explosive rounds. Hall put Pryce on the canvas three times in round two and the fight was waved off right after the third knockdown with Pryce down and out.