Last Saturday’s main event was much shorter than scheduled…but about as long as expected.
Just looking at the records gave a clue as to why.
Light heavyweight Paul Parker (8-1, 4 KO’s) stepped into the ring against Sullivan Barrera (18-1, 13 KO’s).
Parker has half the experience of Barrera, and only wields marginal knockout power.
This type of adversary is a departure from Barrera’s most recent bouts.
His last half-dozen opponents have all had much more time in the ring, and featured Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy and undefeated champ Andre Ward, who handed Barrera his only defeat.
Barrera’s last fight was for the vacant WBC Light Heavyweight title, which he won by knocking out Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in Round 7 of a scheduled 10-round bout.
It should also be noted that Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (which is not fun to type) fought Paul Parker in 2015 and won by TKO, which marred Parker’s record with its single blemish.
Weighing in within a pound of the 178 lbs. Light Heavyweight limit, the two men cut strikingly different silhouettes. Parker is long and lanky at 6’4” while Barrera looked much sturdier at 6’2”.
The opening round was like watching a Dodgers game…there was a lot of swinging and missing.
They were both keeping their distance and neither committed to a solid attack.
The only punch worth mentioning came in the last few seconds before the bell. Barrera flicked out a short jab and Parker countered with a two-punch combination; a left hook that swept Barrera’s guard away and an overhand right that found face.
It caught Barrera on the left cheek, and the force spun him halfway around.
There was no posturing or measuring in Round 2. They came out and let their fists fly.
Barrera was putting together combinations and following in after his jab.
Parker used his reach to keep the distance and was content to counterpunch.
Not having much success from the orthodox stance, Parker switched to southpaw for the final minute…he didn’t have any success from that side, either.
There was a lot of clinching and wrestling in the 3rd round but Barrera began to fire off straight rights that were landing with authority.
Getting popped by those right hands caused Parker to abandon fighting like a lefty.
However, changing back to the right-handed stance did nothing to alter the dynamics of the fight, and Barrera was steadily gaining control.
He dominated Round 4 and continued to rock Parker with those rights.
An accidental clash of heads caused Parker to fall, and a timeout was called.
Fortunately, the noggin-knocking did not produce a cut and the violence was allowed to resume.
Thirty seconds into Round 5 Barrera landed the aforementioned right and it turned Parker’s legs into water. He staggered back into a corner and Barrera swarmed him.
Parker wisely dropped to a knee and took the mandatory 8-count.
The ref checked him, and let the action continue.
Another accidental head butt brought a stop to the proceedings once again. When the ref called for them to box, Barrera landed a stiff left sent Parker careening backwards, into the ropes before sliding to the floor.
Parker took the 8-count and tried to get back into the fight, but another rocketing right from Barrera sealed the deal.
The referee saw the danger in letting the bout continue and he called a halt to the contest.
Good call, ref.
With this TKO victory Barrera improves his campaign to 19-1, with 14 wins coming by way of knockout.
God Bless and keep your guard up.
Mark Felicetti wishes his father a Happy 92nd Birthday. Reach Mark at email@example.com.