The Forum, Inglewood, California - In a battle for the WBC International light heavyweight title, Sullivan Barrera (20-1, 14 KOs) overcame a first round knockdown to dominate Joe Smith Jr. (23-2, 19 KOs) to a ten round unanimous decision. The scores were 96-93, 87-92 and 97-92.
In his last ring appearance, Smith retired Bernard Hopkins with a knockout shot in the eight round that sent the veteran through the ropes and out to the floor. Barrera was in action back in April, when he blasted out an overmatched Paul Parker.
In the first round, Barrera looked sharper and was landing some decent shots on Smith, who was pressing forward. But it didn't take long before Smith landed a hard straight shot down the middle that sent Barrera down. Barrera was hanging on as Smith was trying to finish him.
They both came out firing shots in the second round. Barrera was outworking and outlanding Smith, and continued the same trend in the third. Barrera was still doing damage in the fourth and really had Smith in some trouble when he rocked him in the final minute.
Barrera continued to get off with punches at the start of the fifth and was dominating the action. Smith was only being defensive in the sixth, while Barrera was pressing the action and looking for big shots. They both got off with big punches at the end of the round.
Smith was still unable to get off with many punches in the seventh, with Barrera being sharper and landing better. Same exact scenario was taking place in the eight. Smith was unable to change the tide, with Barrera outboxing him and landing shots until the tenth and final round.
Lightweight Ryan Garcia dropped veteran Mario Macias twice en route to a first round knockout victory. Garcia (10-0, with 9 KOs) dropped Macias with a series of right hands to the head. Macias (27-22-1, with 14 KOs) stood up and attempted to fight back, but was dropped again, this time by a counter right hand to the temple. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout at 1:14.
Lightweight contender Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, with 17 KOs) stopped Martin Honorio in round eight. Gesta, who defeated Gilberto Gonzalez in his last bout on April 1, dropped Honorio in round four. Honorio (33-11-1, with 16 KOs) did use his ring savvy to land a series of right hands, but Gesta utilized his athleticism and quickness to connect repeatedly with left hands to the head.
A right-left hand staggered Honorio (although it also looked as Honorio may have lost his balance), prompting referee Thomas Taylor to step in and stop the bout at 18 seconds of round eight.