Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Kennedy McKinney
1996-02-03 : Kennedy McKinney 122 lbs lost to Marco Antonio Barrera 121 lbs by TKO at 2:05 in round 12 of 12
- Location: Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California, USA
- Referee: Pat Russell
- Judge: Lou Filippo 100-106
- Judge: Robert Byrd 100-106
- Judge: Ismael W. Fernandez 100-106
Marco Antonio Barrera and Kennedy McKinney fought in the first ever telecast of HBO's Boxing after Dark. Both fighters were highly touted at the time. Barrera was an undefeated WBO champion, aon most Pound-for-Pound lists, with a record of 39-0, and many believed he was going to emerge as the Mexican superstar that would follow in Julio Cesar Chavez' footsteps. While Kennedy McKinney, an Olympic gold medalist and former IBF supernatamweight champion, also brought impressive credentials. There had been some bad blood between the two fighters. At a press conference McKinney lashed out at Barrera and promised victory, in response Barrera punched him and a near fight broke out as both camps had to break the fighters apart.
The bout turned out to be a sensation. Barrera, angry from the press conference, came out of his corner guns blazing. Barrera fought the beggining of the fight in a much faster pace then he normally did.Both fighters landed hard bombs on each other throughout the fight. The HBO commentators relished every moment of it. After 6 rounds Harold Lederman had McKinney ahead 4-2. Starting in the seventh round Barrera started to come back and land more punches while McKinney's age seemed to show. Barrera stopped McKinney in the 12th round after scoring 5 knockdowns. Barrera was down himself in the 11th round.
This bout would be a prelude to the great fights that would come on HBO's Boxing After Dark in the future. After this fight Barrera was seen as one of the sports most promosing prospects. While McKinney, at age 30, would win 1 title a year later, but after that slowly fade away from the sport.