Amir Khan vs Marco Antonio Barrera
WON – TD 5
M.E.N. Arena, Manchester – 14 March 2009
No one was under any illusions that this was a prime version of Barrera but still provided Khan with a quality name on his resume.
Amir had been stunned in 2008 by Breidis Prescott, and this was the first stage of his redemption and subsequent march towards becoming the world-class fighter many envisioned.
Experienced legend Barrera was faded and had been losing big fights in the lead-up. A nasty gash opened up on the Mexican’s scalp in the opening round that hindered his progress and led to howls of derision from the Mexican’s team and promoter Don King.
The cut eventually took the fight to the scorecards in round five and Khan was cruising on all three judges’ totals. Khan won the WBA title in his next contest, putting in a near complete boxing display against Andriy Kotelnik in Manchester.