Barrera Blasts Through Parker On HBO Latino Card
The ballroom at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut featured Main Events Boxing’s Rising Stars program on Saturday night in a card that featured light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera. A former opponent of Andre Ward (who beat him by decision) Sullivan was still in the division’s upper echelon when he stepped into the ring against Toledo’s Paul Parker in a ten round scrap. First, however, middleweights Vaughn Alexander and Andres Calixto opened the HBO Latino card with a scheduled ten rounder.
The 7-0 Alexander literally started with a bang in the first. It was clear early that the St. Louis native was looking for an impressive KO. The way he was dominating and throwing power punches made his intentions abundantly clear. Calixto, who entered the ring with a record of 14-3, tried mocking his man, so Alexander hit him some more. It was an interesting first three minutes. The second looked like a replay of the first. If there was one weakness to Alexander, it was that he wasn’t moving his head much. Then again, perhaps he felt he didn’t have to. By the third, Calixto seemed as if he was simply fighting to get through the round rather than truly win. To be sure, when he actually threw, his punches lacked pop.
What’s more, by the end of the second, the Mexican native looked to be getting hurt. To his credit, Calixto continued to brawl, even becoming the aggressor in the second half of the third. In truth, though, he simply didn’t seem to have the strength to truly dominate. Or did he? The man landed himself some very clean and solid shots as the round wound down. The two men were exchanging hard, crisp punches. It was becoming a fight. Alexander returned to dominate the fourth while Calixto returned to mocking his opponent without throwing back.
Things developed into a pattern in the fourth, fifth and even the sixth, with Alexander landing hard shots, before occasionally stepping off the gas and letting Calixto have his moments. By the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds, things had reached a more or less steady pace. Alexander was obviously dominating, but it was clear he wasn’t getting the KO he desired. The referee deducted a point from Calixto in the tenth (it was a bit confusing from ringside as to why) and Alexander went on to win a well deserved unanimous decision victory.
It was time for the main event. Both Barrera, at 18-1, and Parker, at 8-1, looked confident and loose upon entering the ring. Barrera’s well oiled skill set told the tale for most of the first, though Parker landed in impressive fashion by round’s end. One thing was clear in the second round, this was not the one sided affair some thought it would be…at least not yet. Barrera may have been winning the early rounds, but Parker was a live opponent.
Still, Barrera started to assert himself in the third and fourth chapters, landing effectively and perhaps slowly taking control of the bout. Parker went down in the fourth from what referee Harvey Dock claimed was an accidental head butt. The ring doctor came in and Parker was given a full five minute break, much to the crowd’s dismay. People got no happier when Parker literally took a knee like a medieval saint and took what seemed to be a long time to recover, although he appeared no worse for wear (though, in fairness, one really never knows about these things).
Barrera came out like a pit bull when the round finally resumed, but there were only a few seconds left until the bell rang. Early in the fifth, though, Barrera subsequently beat his man down to the canvas. Parker got up, and the fight was subsequently stopped due to another head butt seconds later. Fortunately, the bout resumed quickly on that particular occasion, however. Barrera then knocked Parker through the ropes. The brave Ohian got up again, but was subsequently pummled, causing Dock to stop the fight.