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Barrios beats Akhmedov for WBA super light belt

By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada

In a clash of unbeaten 140-pounders, Mario “El Azteca” Barrios (25-0, 16 KOs) won a controversial twelve round unanimous decision over Batyr Akhmedov (7-1, 6 KOs) to claim the vacant WBA super lightweight title on Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Barrios Akamedov006
The scores were 114-112, 115-111, 116-111 and the latter two seemed ridiculously wide. Even though Barrios scored knockdowns when Akhmedov’s glove touched the canvas in the fourth and the twelfth rounds, many at ringside expected Akhmedov’s hand to be raised at the end.

The first two rounds were a feeling out process for both fighters, but in the third round the action picked up as both exchanged big shots in the center of the ring. In the fourth round, Barrios landed a double straight left hand that sent Akhmedov backward and off-balance. Akhmedov used the canvas to hold himself up and it was correctly ruled a knockdown by the ref.

The knockdown seemed to be a wake-up call for Akhmedov. By the end of the fourth and over the next couple rounds, both Barrios and Akhmedov let their hands go as Akhmedov pressed the action and Barrios countered.

By the seventh round and into the eighth and ninth, the pressure of Akhmedov started to take its toll on Barrios as Akhmedov stalked Barrios around the ring and landed multiple combos. Barrios continued to counter but without the zip to keep Akhmedov off him. Akhmedov landed big left hooks to the body as the round ended. In the tenth, it was much of the same, as Akhmedov was all over Barrios landing to the head and body that included the biggest punch of the fight at the time, a left-hand seconds before the round ended.

With 20 seconds left in the fight, Barrios landed a hard right hand and again Akhmedov’s glove touched the canvas for a second knockdown.

The result was still in doubt as the scores were being read. The crowd booed the decision when it was announced that Barrios had won the world title.

Akhmedov, competed in the 2016 Olympics for Turkey, while Barrios had stopped his last eight opponents within the distance.


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  • A Mexican fight CAN NOT loose!

    It’s corruption 101 and we know our “friends” south of the border are experts.

    I had Batyr wining by 115 to 110 even after the knockdowns.

    • Juan Valdez….? FYI Barrios was born in San Antonio Texas, makes him American with Mexican Heritage, just like most hispanics from the Southwest. Judges were all American… Many Decisions have been questionable and will continue, what we see will always differ.. Stop hiding behind a hispanic name, and comment with good input not hate against a certain group that you obviously don’t like… seek help..

    • I agree that Barrios lost this fight but for a tighter margin. At one time in the fight Barrios reminded me of Victor Ortiz when he fought Marcos Maidana, he needs to learn defense, he had the right hand too low and fighting against a southpaw it is a big mistake.
      I am not sure about his courage now.

  • This was one of the most embarrassing decisions in boxing..Barrios lost this fight fair and square buddy I almost threw up with the decision.
    Awful just awful sir

  • Close fight. No robbery. Yes the turkish fighter dominated the second half and won his rounds cleaner but it was 6 rounds to six. The two knockdowns were the difference. Wide scores but the right guy won

  • Barrios didn’t win the fight, he reminded me of Victor Ortiz when he fought Maidana, he was ready to be KO.
    He was fighting just to survive.

  • I thought Akhmedov outhustled Barrios in this fight. The decision was a bad one as Akhmedov did most of the fighting in the second half of the fight. The two knockdowns didn’t look good for him, but in between, he was beating Barrios to the punch most of the night. An undeserved decision for Barrios and he was a battered fighter as his hand was raised. Akhmedov won himself a lot of fans in this fight.

  • Barrios knocked down Barrios in round 4??? “Other than a round or two early on, Akhmedov dominated the fight from the 7th until the end” ??? Jeff Zimmerman, Barrios won more than a round or two early on. The fight was extremely close. I had it 5-6-1 Barrios. With 2 knockdowns, I gave it to Barrios 114-113. The official scores were ridiculous but the outcome was not.

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