Monday, October 8, 2007

Big Weekend, Big Letdown

Pacquiao missed making his mark against Barrera

Photo by Chris Cozzone

When this past weekend was over and done with, fans were left with a clear leader but without much direction.

On Saturday, Filipino dynamo Manny Pacquiao won a rather boring 12-round unanimous decision over future hall of famer Marco Antonio Barrera. Manny was the aggressor that night, but opted to play it a little safer than Barrera, who announced his retirement following the bout.

While the win was necessary for Pacquiao, he missed the chance to put an exclamation point on a popular, dominant reign. Had he been a bit more aggressive against the usually aggressive Barrera, he may have duplicated his ko of Barrera in 2003.

Fans can and should excuse Barrera. A fighter who always brought it with full vigor in his prime. Maybe he didn't want to suffer the same fate his countryman, and eternal rival, Erik Morales encountered (a third-round thrashing).

Barrera performed like a veteran stage actor trying to remember his lines before the final curtain set.

Let's see if Chris John or Juan Manuel Marquez can give Pacquiao a better performance.

Samuel Peter faced an unexpected uphill battle vs.Jameel McCline

Photo by Ed Mulholland

The Nigerian Nightmare, Peter, was given a rude awakening at the hands of McCline--a heavyweight who makes it onstage and either freezes altogether or does just enough to get a return call.

Surprisingly, the heavyweights provided far more action in the first few rounds of their fight than two bonafide action stars by the names of Barrera and Pacquiao did all night.

Peter who survived a total of three knockdowns within the first three rounds, showed a champion's grit by getting off the canvas and boxing his way to a close decision win. McCline showed the same promise and hopelessness that has earned him contender but never championship status.

A rematch between Peter and consensus champion Wladimir Klitschko should provide a more definitive answer. But first, heavyweight spoiler, Oleg Maskaev.

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