By Elisinio Castillo
There was a lot of confusion last weekend, when light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera fought Joe Smith Jr. in an HBO televised opener from The Forum in Los Angeles, California.
Barrera went down in the first round, but got up and then dominated the rest of the way for a dominant ten round unanimous decision win.
It was revealed a few days after the contest, that Barrera had broken Smith's jaw in the second round.
During the HBO televised broadcast, the commentators became very confused during the tenth round - because the referee had advised both boxers to touch gloves because they were taking part in the "final round."
At first, the HBO crew had assumed that the referee had made an error, because network was always told the contest was scheduled for twelve rounds.
During the action in the tenth, the HBO crew was advised that the promoters for both fighters (Star Boxing for Smith and Main Events for Barrera) had reached an agreement to cut the fight from twelve rounds to ten. My manager Luis Molina believes that they did it in principle to benefit Smith Jr., but if that was the reason - they were wrong," Barrera told George Ebro.
Barrera also said he was never concerned after getting decked in the opening stanza.
"It was a punch identical to what Shabrankyy hit me with. I did not feel it, nor did it hurt me. I got up quickly and kept working. It took away some balance, but at no time did it put me in any danger. Smith Jr. is a strong puncher but nothing more.We established that I should move to his left hand in circles to neutralize his right hand.
"I was not afraid, because from the third round Smith Jr. started to retreat, to retreat. This is a man who usually comes forward, throwing punches and already he realized that with me that was not going to work. I saw defeat in his eyes.''