Three division champion Marco Antonio Barrera made short work of overmatched South African Mzonke Fana, stopping him in the second round to retain his WBC super featherweight title at the Don Haskins Centre in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday night.
A right hand, left hook, right hand sent Fana crashing to the canvas in the second round and referee Laurence Cole waved off the fight at 1:48 without bothering to administer a count. Despite the savage knockout Fana claimed he wasn’t hurt.
"I was not hurt at all," said Fana, 22-3 (8), at the post-fight press conference. "No, not at all. He caught me with a very strong punch, but believe me I was not dizzy, I was not hurt. I don't want to blame the ref, but I could've gone on."
The 31-year-old ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ had no problem finding Fana, carving him up with a sharp jab and accurate right hands in the first round. Towards the end of the round a right cross almost decapitated ‘The Rose of Khaleyelitsha’.
The second round produced more of the same with Barrera landing at will on the defenceless 31-year-old. The predominantly pro-Mexican crowd of 10,114 cheered loudly when Barrera stepped it up a gear to land the three punch combination that ended the fight.
"I respect what Fana says," said Barrera, 60-4 (42). "But when he got hit, he was hurt. We all saw that he could not go on. But I'm happy it ended in this fashion. It wasn't the quality of the opponent I faced tonight, it was the quality of my preparation."
Barrera, who won the WBC title from bitter rival Erik Morales in their rubbermatch last year, said he plans on continuing to campaign in the super featherweight division and that he will face whoever the fans demand. But a rematch with Filipino dynamo Manny Pacquiao, who demolished Barrera in eleven rounds in 2003, seems to be off the sixteen year veteran’s radar.
“There are many opponents out there and if I fight Pacquiao, they are just going to say that Morales set him up for me,” explained Barrera. “I just want to face the best out there.”
In the main support bout former WBO super flyweight champion Fernando Montiel regained his old title and delivered Ivan ‘Choko’ Hernandez his first defeat with a seventh round KO.
It was a dominant performance by Montiel, 30-1-1 (24), who lost his title by majority decision to Mark ‘Too Sharp’ Johnson in 2003. Hernandez, 19-1-1 (13), came out aggressively in the first round but by the end of the stanza Montiel was starting to figure him out. As the rounds progressed Montiel became increasingly dominant, regularly beating the champion to the punch.
Montiel proved to be the stronger and faster fighter which clearly bothered Hernandez, who was on the wrong end of a savage body attack in the third. Montiel continued to turn up the heat while Hernandez became increasingly desperate as he sensed his title was slipping away.
In the sixth a right cross, left rip put Hernandez down and although he was up at nine, it was clear the end was imminent.
Montiel continued where he left off in the seventh, applying relentless pressure to Hernandez’s wounded body. Hernandez, who won the title with an eighth round KO of Mark Johnson last year, wilted under the pressure and went down twice more from body shots. Referee Rafael Ramos concluded the contest at 1:48 of the round.
Scores at the time of the stoppage were all in favour of Montiel, 59-54 across the board.
Also on the card Aaron Garcia won by unanimous decision over six rounds against Brian Garcia and former US Olympian Vincente Escobedo earned his second professional win with a first round TKO of Jose Rodriguez.
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