Amir Khan vs. Marco Antonio Barrera
2009-03-14 : Amir Khan 134½ lbs beat Marco Antonio Barrera 135 lbs by TD at 2:36 in round 5 of 12
- Location: M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom
- Referee: Dave Parris
- Judge: John Coyle 50-44
- Judge: Jose Ignacio Martinez 50-45
- Judge: Terry O'Connor 50-45
- World Boxing Association International Lightweight Title (1st defense by Khan)
- World Boxing Organization Inter-Continental Lightweight Title (Vacant)
- Marco Antonio Barrera came in ranked as the # 1 contender for Juan Manuel Marquez's Lightweight Title by the WBO. Khan was ranked # 7 by the same organization.
- In what was a great disparity in ring experience, this fight was the 73rd professional bout of Barrera's career and just the 21st for Khan. Also of note, Khan was a mere two years of age when Barrera made his professional debut on November 22, 1989.
- It would be Barrera's third loss in his last five bouts and the biggest victory, to date, in Khan's young professional career.
Khan came out on the attack in the opening round and landed strong and quick power shots. A clash of head opened a bad cut on the top left corner of Barrera's forehead. It too opened a small cut on the left eyelid of Khan. It was evident in Round 2, that the cut on Barrera's forehead would factor into the bout as it bled heavily into his left eye and covered the entire left side of Barrera's face each round. In Round 4, action was paused to allow the doctor to view the cut. The fight was allowed to continue and Khan continued to control the fight. Action was again paused in Round 5 to allow the doctor to view the cut. At the doctor's advice, the referee waved an end to the bout. By rule, the fight was decided by the scorecards.
In the post-fight interview, Barrera said that he felt the fight should have been stopped in the opening round as the cut was as bad at that point as it would get. He admitted that it did cause him trouble in seeing the punches of Khan and forced him to press as he anticipated that the fight would eventually be stopped.
Promoter Don King filed a protest on behalf of Barrera demanding that the fight should have been stopped and declared a "no contest" immediately after the accidental clash of heads. As King said, "Amir Khan is in possession of a tainted victory. The referee and doctor should have stopped the fight immediately after that incredible, accidental clash of heads. That they allowed the fight to continue with Barrera competing at a huge disadvantage goes against everything that's designed to protect the health and safety of boxers, the good of the sport and uphold the traditions emanating from the Marquess of Queensberry Rules." Of note, the massive gash required 33 stitches to successfully close.