PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — ROUND one of the highly anticipated rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera, the main event of the Will to Win card, got underway at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. Pop singer Kyla sang the Philippine National Anthem, one of three anthems sang during pre-fight introductions. A Mexican recording artist and a Las Vegas entertainer belted out the anthems of Mexico and United States, respectively. First to make his way into the ring after a montage of film highlights of his previous bout and amid strains of a Mexican folk song was Barrera. Pacquiao entered the arena next with a cut from his album as background music, also preceded by video highlights of his previous bouts. Popular ring announcer Michael Buffer introduced both fighters and uttered his patented “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” line before referee Tony Meeks repeated his final instructions right before the opening bell sounded.
MANNY Pacquiao went inside Marco Antonio Barrera’s defense under the final minute of the first round with a frenzy of combinations that however failed to rock the Mexican icon. But it was the highlight of the opening round that saw both fighters just feeling each other out. Barrera tried a few counter attacks that did not find their mark just yet.
MARCO Antonio Barrera showed perfect counter-punching in Round 2, tagging Manny pacquiao with several jab-straight combinations to the head. Pacquiao still was unable to find his range with Barrera utilizing the ring to stay out of the way of the Filipino’s right jabs. Pacquiao still got a few combinations in during the last 10 seconds in a mini brawl towards the end of the round.
Manny Pacquiao finally unleashes his pet left straight, finding its target in Marco Antonio Barrera’s face in the middle of the round.
But Barrera, again flaunting counter-punching skills, managed to fire his own signature right straight, forcing the Filipino to backpedal a little bit.
Manny Pacquiao finally unleashes his pet left straight, finding its target in Marco Antonio Barrera’s face in the middle of the round. But Barrera, again flaunting counter-punching skills, managed to fire his own signature right straight, forcing the Filipino to backpedal a little bit.
AFTER an idle minute at the start of the fourth round, both fighters started mixing it up under the two-mintue mark in an exchange that got the crowd roaring.
Pacquiao finally started hitting with the right jab but Barrera still managing to exhibit terrific counter-punching.
Barrera’s defensive game pland is also starting to unveil itself, with the Mexican veering to Pacquiao’s right to stay away from the left straight, but Pacquiao remedies the situation by launching his new weapon, a strong right jab that found its mark.
BOTH fighters step up the heat and really start mixing it up.
Pacquiao scores early, sneaking in his pet left that snaps Barrera, but the Mexican found his way back, managing to rock the Filipino with a vicious uppercut.
Then the fight turns into a crowd-pleasing brawl as both fighters start to hurt each other with furious combinations.
AFTER previous rounds that could have gone either way, Manny Pacquiao finally put together a dominating round, unleashing powerful combinations in a wild exchange that saw Marco Antonio Barrera leaning back into the ropes.
Barrera was actually the first to get a shot in, rocking Pacquiao with a right counter-punch that seemed to hurt Pacquiao.
But Pacquiao came back hard and stung Barrera with a couple of left-right combinations.
Pacquiao returned to his corner with his cornermen telling him to steady the pacing of his breathing.
ACTION somehow tapers off, although Manny Pacquiao took control of the seventh, mixing up combinations to the head with blows to Marco Antonio Barrera’s right midsection.
Pacquiao’s corner told him to go for the right side more consistently going into the eighth round.
Marco Antonio Barrera scored big in this round, unleashing a 1-2 combination off a counter-attack after Manny Pacquiao left his face open.
Pacquiao tried to salvage the rounds with a right-left-right combination to the head and, later in the right, a series of 1-2 combos that saw his pet left hitting Barrera’s face.
But Barrera came back towards the end of the round.
MANNY Pacquiao had Marco Antonio Barrera against the ropes twice in this round, but each time, the Mexican warrior wisely sidestepped a possible barrage.
Pacquiao unleashed combinations here and there, putting the 1-2 out in an effort to wear down Barrera, who seemed content to settle into counter-punching.
MARCO Antonio Barrera applied pressure early but failed to sustain it, allowing Manny Pacquiao to come back each time.
Pacquiao tries to cut the ring size by engaging the Mexican in a closed-quarters type of brawl, but Barrera sidesteps the tactic, consistently stepping out of the Pacman’s range.
MANNY Pacquiao cuts Marco Antonio Barrera under the right eye and pressures Barrera, rocking the Mexican hard and almost knocking him out.
A wicked series of right-left combinations sends Barrera wobbly, and the Mexican suddenly turns to a dirty trick, striking Pacquiao’s head while they were being broken off a clinch by referee Tony Meeks.
A visibly hurt and wobbly Barrera is stripped of a point.
MANNY Pacquiao fought a controlled but aggressive 12th round, holding off Marco Antonio Barrera’s last-dicth effort to turn the match around.
Pacquiao fought the 12th like he did the first, except that he no longer left himself as open to marco Antonio barrera’s attack.
Barrera, sensing he needed a knockout, tried in vain to find an opening to get it, but couldn’t get past Pacquiao’s jab.
Pacquiao continued to engage Barrera despite being comfortable ahead on points, showing just how conditioned he was for this match. Barrera survived the round and the match went to the scorecards which Pacquiao won unanimously.