By Dan RafaelESPN.comArchive
Joan Guman, mas pequeño y rapido, boxeo mejor y tenia mas musculos que Jorge Barrios, lo que le permitio ganar el titulo vacante Peso Ligero Junior, anoche en el Garden Arena del MGM en Las Vegas.
The scorecards were shockingly close as Guzman pulled out a split decision in a fight he appeared to dominate.
Judges William Lerch (115-112) and Carol Castellano (114-113) had it for Guzman while Bill Graham stunningly favored Barrios, 114-113. Guzman won the fight only because referee Vic Drakulich deducted a point from Barrios for a low blow in the sixth round. Otherwise, it would have been a draw. ESPN.com had it 118-109 for Guzman, and the rest of the ringside media also heavily favored Guzman.
“I didn’t think it was that close but I’ll take the win, anyway,” said Guzman, who hurt his left shoulder midway through the fight. “I was trying to stick to my game plan most of the time, which was to fight him at a distance.”
The WBO title was vacant because Barrios failed to make the 130-pound limit at Friday’s weigh in. He came in at 131½ after two attempts and decided not to try to take off the extra weight even though he still had more than an hour to try.
“I didn’t feel that me trying to make weight effected my performance,” Barrios said.
The fight was one of the featured bouts on the stacked card headlined by the Marco Antonio Barrera-Rocky Juarez II junior lightweight championship rematch. Guzman put himself in position to face the winner of the main event in a unification bout.
The crowd had come for a series of action-packed fights on Mexican Independence Day weekend, and Guzman-Barrios started out like it would deliver.
They came out firing in the first round, with Guzman, 30, hurting Barrios in the opening seconds. But Barrios, 30, returned fire, and it turned into a brawl almost immediately. By the end of the round, Barrios was dripping blood from his nose.
Although the action continued, Guzman’s superior speed and boxing skills were clear.
Barrios (46-3-1) was warned twice for low blows by Drakulich and lost a point in the sixth when he went low again.
Guzman (26-0), who punches well with both hands, hurt Barrios with a left hook in the seventh and continued to land combinations. But Barrios also has a great chin and was able to absorb the punishment.
“I was shocked with Guzman’s power,” Barrios said. “He surprised me. I didn’t think he was going to come on that strong. I’m disappointed at the decision. I was aggressive in eight of the rounds and I felt that I won.”
According to CompuBox statistics, Guzman landed 247 of 682 punches (36 percent) and Barrios connected on 210 of 844 blows (25 percent).
Barrios appeared to win the eighth and ninth rounds, but more because Guzman seemed to be grabbing a breather before the championship rounds.
Guzman, a former junior featherweight title holder, went back to work in the 11th round, standing on the inside and raking the iron-chinned Barrios with an assortment of hard punches.
Finally, in the final seconds of the 11th, Guzman a short right hand that buckled Barrios, who fell backward and barely avoided going down.
Barrios made a last-gasp attempt to hurt Guzman in the 12th, pinning him along the ropes and throwing whatever he had left, but it was not enough