Sunday, 19 August 2012

Juan Carlos Salgado v Jonathan Victor Barros

In arguably the fight of the weekend Mexico's Juan Carlos Salgado (26-1-1-1, 16) successfully defended his IBF Super Featherweight title in an enthralling battle with Argentina's Jonathan Victor Barros (34-3-1, 18) which saw both men freely landing on the other.

The defending champion got off to a very quick start throwing a huge number of punches in the first few rounds as he attempted to mentally break the challenger. The tough Barros failed to break and in the middle rounds, as Salgado slowed slightly Barros started to get into the bout, using a high guard to protect from Salgado's attack whilst landing his own blows on the inside. Salgado, who looked huge compared to the challenger was still the aggressor and still winning the majority of the rounds, though he was starting to get tagged himself.

It was during those middle rounds that the bout really warmed up and started to live up to expectation as the fighters took it in turns to land combinations on each other as Barros started to bag a round here and there. It was during these rounds that Salgado suffered a nasty looking cut around his left eye that bled through to the end of the fight and left a stream of claret running down the side of his cheek. Whilst the cut never really threatened to end the fight it was nasty and it gave heart to the challenger who seemed to up his own work afterwards.

Despite closing up on the score cards Barros' fate was sealed in round 8 with a point deduction that effectively left him with a lot to do in the last 4 rounds. Though he tried hard the tough Argentinian failed to reel in Salgado over those rounds, actually losing a number of them as the crowd helped carry the champion to the victory with scores of 116-111 (twice) and 115-112, a pretty fair reflection on the competitive nature of the fight which despite having a clear winner was competitive throughout.

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