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Fight of the Year: Marquez gets the big win, but not without controversy

Juan Manuel Marquez won on unanimous decision scores of 118-109, 116-111 and 116-111, unseating Marco Antonio Barrera to become the new WBC super featherweight champion.

Personally, I scored the fight 114-114 (Editor's Note: That's an edit -- looking back over my score, I gave Barrera an extra point somewhere by accident.), but I had the advantage of seeing the debacle of the seventh round, when Marquez was floored on a right hand, but the referee did not score it as a knockdown. It was utterly erroneous, and there is no argument about it. A shot to the chin put Marquez down. Barrera hit Marquez while he was down, deducting a point. Marquez had dominated the round, but this is the controversy in this fight.

Larry Merchant: "Do you think there should be a rematch?"

Juan Manuel Marquez: "Yes."

Barrera is very adamant that he felt as though he won the fight, but he doesn't know what to say right now about a rematch.

Book it NOW. Marco Antonio Barrera was fantastic tonight, and so was Juan Manuel Marquez. This was without any question the Fight of the Year so far. Barrera was sorely disappointed by the judging, but let's start there.

In the first fight, I had Steve Forbes over Demetrius Hopkins with a score of 116-112, but judges scored it 118-110, 118-110 and 117-111 for Hopkins. I can't stress more than I did during the card how big of a robbery this was. Steve Forbes boxed his ass off and pulled off the win, and Demetrius Hopkins lost that fight. Hopkins, who has more money in his future, got a ridiculous decision. The fight was close, to be fair -- Hopkins could have certainly won, and I'd disagree, but not so vehemently. No way was it that lopsided for Hopkins. Absolutely no way.

Gerry Penalosa fought his heart out against Daniel Ponce de Leon, and I gave it to Ponce de Leon, 115-113. Judges scores did not reflect that: 119-109, 119-109, 120-108 for Ponce de Leon. I agreed with the winner, but not the scores.

But the biggest story of the night is the controversy surrounding Barrera/Marquez, a fight that was absolutely phenomenal and doesn't deserve the cloud hanging around it. I pray as a boxing fan that we see Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez touch gloves again before the year is out. Boxing deserves it, both fighters deserve it, and the fans deserve it. A beautiful, wonderful fight, marred by poor refereeing and, in my mind, poor scoring.

Congratulations to Marquez and Barrera on such a fantastic showdown. I'm sure I speak for us all: Do it again, guys.

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