Barrera on historic mission
Khan next on Mexican’s hit list “Don’t forget what I did to Prince Naseem Hamed” Mar. 14 PPV show also features Maccarinelli-Afolabi & Cook-Martinez title fights
HOBOKEN, N.J. (March 2, 2009) – The 12-round main event March 14th between 22-year-old lightweight prospect Amir Khan and Hall of Fame bound multiple world champion, “The Baby Faced Assassin” Marco Antonio Barrera, shapes up as a potential classic at The M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Khan (19-1, 15 KOs), 2004 Olympic silver medallist, defends his WBA International lightweight crown against Barrera (65-6, 43 KOs) in a 12-round bout. Barrera, rated No. 1 by the WBO, has already captured the WBO super bantamweight (three times), WBC and IBO featherweight, WBC and IBF super featherweight titles. The Mexican icon has defeated a Who’s Who of contemporary world champions and/or challengers during his sensational 19-year pro career such as Erik Morales (twice), Paulie Ayala, Prince Naseem Hamed, Kevin Kelly, Johnny Tapia, Robbie Peden, Mzonke Fana, and Rocky Juarez (twice).
“The reason I took this fight is because a win here puts me in line to realize my top remaining goal to become the first Mexican-born fighter to win world championships in four separate weight divisions,” Barrera said. “I’ve been world champion in three weight divisions (122, 126 and 130) and my goal is to win a world championship in the lightweight division. I don’t want to wait. I want to get there as fast as I can. A win over Khan puts me right where I want to be.
“I will beat Khan because I have more experience than him and I’m still a much better fighter than he is. Khan is tall and has a good jab and hand speed. He is a good young fighter but there’s nothing he can do between now and March 14 to surpass my skills and experience. Jose Luis Balbuena and Kennedy McKinney are two fighters I successfully defended my WBO super bantamweight titles that I can compare to Khan. They were both good fighters with good hand speed that I was able to defeat. McKinney won an Olympic gold medal. Don’t forget what I did to Prince Naseem Hamed, too, another highly-touted guy with fast hands.”
Integrated Sports is distributing three 12-round championship bouts featured on the “Khan-Barrera” pay-per-view card, presented by Frank Warren, in North America for live viewing at 4 PM/ET – 1 PM/PT on cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, TVN, DirecTV and Dish Network in the United States, as well as Viewer’s Choice and Bell TV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. Veteran blow-by-blow announcer Ian Darke and color analyst, former WBC lightweight champion Jim Watt, will be calling the action from ringside for Sky Box Office and Integrated Sports PPV.
In addition to Khan-Barrera, two other fights will be broadcast on PPV: former WBO cruiserweight title-holder Enzo Maccarinelli (29-2, 22 KOs), the No. 1 contender, battles No. 2 rated and NABO champ Ola “Kryptonite” Afolabi (13-1-3, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBO cruiserweight championship; WBO super middleweight champion Nicky “Cookie” Cook (29-1, 16 KOs) defends his title belt against undefeated No. 1 contender Roman “Rocky” Martinez (21-0-1, 12 KOs).
The Ring No. 6 rated Maccarinelli beat Mohamed Azzaoui, Wayne Braithwaite, Bobby Gunn, Marcelo Fabian Dominguez and Mark Hobson (twice) during his WBO title reign (2006-2008). London-born Afolabi, now living in California, captured the NABO crown last April with a 10th round TKO of previously unbeaten Eric Fields.
Former European champion Cook, rated No. 6 by The Ring, won the WBO super featherweight title via a 12-round unanimous decision in his last fight against Alex Arthur (26-1). NABO super featherweight title-holder Martinez, fighting out of his native Puerto Rico, is rankd WBA No. 9 by The Ring.
Integrated Sports: North America’s leading distributor of International Pay-Per-View and Closed Circuit sports events is Integrated Sports. Among the many events brought to North American viewers by Integrated Sports include World Championship boxing matches featuring Ricky Hatton, Christian Mijares, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones, Jr., Nicolai Valuev and Ruslan Chagaev. In addition, Integrated Sports has distributed numerous International soccer matches showcasing teams like Club America of Mexico and the National Team of Argentina. For more information on upcoming Integrated Sports events visit www.integratedsportsnet.com.