Angel Barrientes’ stateside debut resulted in the longest fight of his young career.
It also proved to test his patience and superior skill set as the unbeaten bantamweight prospect outpointed Fernando Ibarra over six rounds Saturday evening at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Scores were 59-54 across the board in favor of Barrientes in their FS1-televised opener.
Barrientes—who was born in Honolulu but raised and currently resides in Las Vegas—was the far busier fighter throughout the contest, landing 112-of-256 (44%) according to Compubox, compared to 39-of-211 (18%) for Ibarra. That said, the teenager was forced to preserve energy as he was pushed past the third round for the first time as a pro. Mexico’s Ibarra (2-4, 0KOs) came to make things as uncomfortable as possible for the 18-year old ring rookie, landing a couple of flush right hands in round two.
Beyond that, it was Barrientes’ cleaner punching which dictated the ring action, as Ibarra’s aggression wasn’t always—or even often—of the effective variety. The scariest moment of the fight came in the sixth and final round, when Barrientes was deducted a point although it didn’t have any bearing on the official outcome.
Barrientes improves to 3-0 (2KOs), going the distance for the first time. His previous two bouts took place in in Tijuana, sharing cards with twin brother Chavez Barrientes who faces Ivan Valera on this show as well. The twins turned 18 in August, making them eligible to fight anywhere in the United States.
The bout served as the televised opener of a four-fight card, topped by unbeaten featherweight contender Mark Magsayo in a 10-round battle with Rigoberto Hermosillo.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox