2000-02-19 Erik Morales w pts 12 Marco Antonio Barrera, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC/WBO
2000-02-19 Erik Morales w pts 12 Marco Antonio Barrera, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WBC/WBO. Referee: Mitch Halpern. Scorecards: 114-113, 115-112, 113-114. A match made by public demand saw a contest between two champions - Morales (121) representing the WBC and Barrera (121½) the WBO - and at the end of 12 exciting rounds two judges decided that Morales had won. While Morales was the busier, Barrera, swollen and cut down the left side of his face, was the bigger puncher and staggered his rival on several occasions, especially with withering hooks to the body. In the final round, Morales was knocked down according to the referee, but film later showed it to be a slip. It was certainly a tough one to call, most of the onlookers feeling that Barrera had won clearly.
Those feelings were borne out when Barrera was reinstated as the WBO champion within days of the fight after the organisation refused to accept the decision in Morales’ favour. Later, in September, Morales relinquished the WBC version of the title to fight in a higher weight class.