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Knockout Nation: Barrera-Khan, Kirkland Reigns Supreme, Hopkins’ Move Up, Mayweather’s Comeback, Pipino Cuevas

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Barrera: “I am not your stepping stone.”

Today

(March 14), Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera (65-6, 43 KOs) is on a

mission to prove that he’s still an elite fighter. The test comes in

the form of young British sensation Amir Khan (19-1, 15 KOs), who’ll

face the cagey veteran in the toughest bout of his young career.

Since losing back to back fights to Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao in 2007, Barrera has won two stay busy fights.

After

hearing Khan trainer Freddie Roach refer to him as being washed up,

Barrera has made it clear to Khan and Roach that he expects to deliver

the same performance he did to Naseem Hamed 8 years ago.

“A

defeat is not in my contract… He wants to use me as a way to a world

title fight, but I have news for him, he is not using me as a stepping

stone,” Barrera told the Manchester Evening News. “Naz was a great

fighter with a hard punch, one of the best I have ever fought. The

Hamed fight was my graduation, the fight that put me on the next step,

and got me ready for everyone that followed.”

Khan is seeking to rebound from an embarrassing 1st

round knockout to Breidis Prescott last September. This fight

represents his first real test since receiving a soft touch in the form

of Oisin Fagan in December, which Khan won by 2nd round TKO.

This

fight is a tricky one to predict. It’s evident that Barrera is past

prime, but he was still formidable enough to drop and badly hurt Juan

Manuel Marquez. Additionally, he went the distance with Pacquiao,

boxing’s current pound for pound #1.

On

the other hand, Khan when disciplined can box well from a distance and

keep himself out of harm’s way. However, the young talent also has the

propensity to mix it up unnecessarily at times, resulting in him

getting rocked and in one case ruthlessly KO’d.

Look

for the crafty and sneaky Barerra to rattle Khan with dirty, bullying

tactics to initiate a brawl. The Baby-Faced Assassin has the power to

hurt Khan, and Khan’s recuperative abilities will decide whether he can

gut out a tough decision win.

This should be a good one, and American fans with $20 to spare should order this budget-sensitive PPV.

Lucian Brute Wins by TKO on ShoBox

On

Friday (March 13), IBF super-middleweight champ Lucian Bute (24-0, 19

KOs) retained his title with a dominating TKO stoppage over Fulgencio

Zuniga (22-4-1, 19 KOs).

Zuniga

was never in the fight, as Bute constantly peppered him with stinging

counter shots. Normally an inside pressure fighter, Zuniga was reduced

to single looping shots from the outside which left him an easy target

for Bute’s handspeed.

In the 4th,

Bute landed a perfect left uppercut to the solar plexus, causing Zuniga

to visibly cry out in pain and crumple to the floor. After barely

beating the count, the tough Colombian took several more hard shots

before the merciful ref stoppage.

Next

up for Bute is a rematch against Librado Andrade, the man he beat in

highly controversial fashion last year due to a gift referee count in

the 12th round.

Hopkins-Adamek  in Negotiations

Main

Events and Golden Boy Promotions have begun preliminary discussions for

a July HBO fight between cruiserweight champ Tomasz Adamek and

light-heavyweight star Bernard Hopkins.

Adamek is coming off a chilling KO of Jonathon Banks in his February 27 IBF title defense.

Last October, Hopkins shocked the boxing world with a dominating, shut-out win over previously undefeated Kelly Pavlik.

At

press time, the fight will be contested at cruiserweight, and offer

Hopkins the chance to pick up a world title in his third weight class.

If

Hopkins wins, his all time pound for pound ranking shoots through the

roof. Adamek represents a credible cruiser with legit knockout power

and skill.

Hopkins

obviously holds an advantage of being quicker then the sometimes

robotic and plodding Adamek. And while some may get images of a

Hopkins-Pavlik replay, it can’t be stressed enough that Hopkins would

be the one moving up this time and coming off 9-month layoff.

This is a risky and intriguing fight for both men. Hopefully it comes off.

Mayweather Comeback Announcement Imminent?

It

seems any time a fighter has a big win between lightweight and

welterweight, Floyd Mayweather’s name is brought up as the next

potential opponent. But now, it may appear that after over a year into

his “retirement” Money Mayweather himself may finally end all the

speculation.

Over

the last several weeks, reports have been coming out of Las Vegas that

Mayweather has been vigorously training in his personal gym and also

sparring.

According

to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Mayweather has abruptly canceled a

fundraiser and gala for the struggling city of Middletown, Ohio. A

spokesman for the former champ revealed that Mayweather’s actions would

be explained after a big announcement is made sometime this week or

next.

Assuming

that Floyd’s announcement isn’t something underwhelming such as a new

signing to Philthy Rich Records, who do you want to see Money

Mayweather face in a return bout?

http://www.sodahead.com/question/280644/?link=p_280644Poll AnswersKirkland Beats Julio Into Submission

Feared

junior middleweight James Kirkland (25-0, 22 KOs) continued his path of

destruction with a gradual beatdown of proven puncher Joel Julio (34-3,

31 KOs) last Saturday (March 7).

Julio was in constant retreat, and struggled when Kirkland took his best shots and never wavered with his pressure.

Tired, cut, and with nothing left, Julio opted to retire on his stool before the 7th round.

Keep

in eye on Kirkland. If he tightens up his defense, we can possibly

witness the next big American star. If not, we may have another Jeff

Lacy on our hands.Throwback Fighter of the Week: Jose “Pipino” Cuevas

While

stars Tommy Hearns and Ray Leonard received the big headlines in the

late 70s and early 80s, hardcore fans also enjoyed the bouts of Mexican

KO specialist Pipino Cuevas.

Cuevas

turned pro at the young age of 14 in 1971. Without a solid amateur

career, he was forced to learn on the job and dropped 5 of his first 12

bouts.

Cuevas began gaining his stride in 1976, when he won the WBA welterweight title by knocking out Clyde Gray in 2 rounds.

He was a fighting champion; defending his title 8 times over

the next 3 years, and winning all but one by knockout.

Cuevas’ title defense victims included tough contenders Harold Weston

and Angel Espada, who both quit after receiving broken jaws.

In

1980, Cuevas sought to further enhance his reputation by disposing of a

gangly, undefeated Detroit fighter named Tommy Hearns.

Using

his amazing reach, speed, and power, Hearns drilled Cuevas with two

lethal right hands that dropped the rugged champion flat on his face

for a 2nd round KO.

Afterward, Cuevas was never the same and delivered inconsistent performances for the remained of his career.

His last high-profile bout came in 1983, when he suffered another brutal knockout at the hands of a Roberto Duran on the comeback trail  .

After going 6-6 over his final 12 bouts, Pipino Cuevas retired in 1989.

In retirement, he went into business for himself and currently owns a restaurant and a security company in Mexico City.

In

2002, Cuevas was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

The following year, RING Magazine listed him 31 on their list of the

100 greatest punchers of all time.

Jose “Pipino” Cuevas’ final record stands at 35-15-0, 31 KOs.

Highlights

Cuevas vs. Ranzany

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