Saturday Night’s HBO "After Dark" Barrera, Taylor dazzlers couldn’t have been sweeter for the respective victors were it choreographed, or was it?
No exposé intended, no back room evil doings, wasn’t needed, was all in the opponent selections - as that ancient Jolson number once went, "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme what I cry for."
And on that note let’s go to the ring action. Barrera - Ayala topped the card in a scheduled 12-round featherweight affair … the purpose, I suppose, was to see what, if anything was left in the Barrera tank after that ugly swatting the one called Pac-Man laid on him.
The Ayala selection made sense, not a punching threat, the resumé says it all with the little southpaw at 35-2 and 12 stops, and at 126 is that less a puncher.
So what we get is a text-book Barrera breezing along over seven candles of stick, pop, eye-catching counterpunching that saw Ayala clearly in over his head, and then number eight and it’s Barrera loading up with the heavy batteries.
Ayala opens the stanza with offense on the mind but is stopped in his tracks by a big combination that has him on the canvas, beats the count but is quickly dropped a second time with a three punch combo that finishes with big left-hook to the body.
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Referee Pat Russell visits Ayala between rounds asking if he wants to continue, tells the age 34 veteran he doesn’t want him hurt, wasted trip, then Barrera coasts through nine before closing show in ten that started with a big right hand counter.
Barrera now at 58-4, 41 KOs and Ayala calling it a career at 35-3, 12 KOs.
Closing Comments: Feelings here is the today Barrera can still be sold. But the price tag should carry a "Buyer Beware" tag on it. If able to set the pace he is a pleasure to watch, every combination clean and green; jab, right hand, uppercuts with both hands. A dandy, but no longer able to get it done with the young energized Pacquiao types.
The pugilistic proof in the pudding could come in a WBC title fite with the Injin Chi (Korea) mystery man who currently owns the strap - the HBO gang can take it from there.
The semi-final middleweight co-feature saw young, ranking hot-shot Jermain Taylor doing the expected with a past primer in Raul Marquez. It was all Taylor from the opening stanza and down to the curtain dropper between candles nine and ten.
Taylor enjoyed a number of advantages in this mismatch … quicker, stronger with a power jab that kept Marquez where he wanted him … icing on the cake Jermain aware his foe lacked anything resembling a puncher’s chance.
So it was showcase time for the talented 25 year young Taylor. Taylor would drop Marquez with a flurry in round number nine that left the likable veteran with a discouraged look. Between nine and ten corner man Ronnie Shields shouts no-mas.
And where does all this leave Taylor? My guess is at the doorstep … and not for the man at 160 - as in Bernard Hopkins - the big cat from Arkansas would be readying to sign on the dotted line.
Closing word for the wise: In this pro game of boxing it is not always a what you see is what you get scenario; as that old cliché says it "Styles makes fights" is good for starters.
Taylor has the physical tools and qualifications, but has as yet, not met another in similar standings. Finally, "Beware the ’Nard" … is not your normal today boxer-fighter. And time is on your side Jermain "prospect."
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