‘Baby Face’ Barrera ‘live dog’ at +280

Apr 3, 2001 8:25 AM

It won’t be hard to find boxing wagers this time around in Las Vegas!

   While the Oscar De La Hoya vs. Arturo Gatti fight drew little betting interest, the same can’t be said for the Prince Naseem Hamed vs. Marco Antonio Barrera IBO Featherweight (126 pounds) title bout Saturday night at the MGM Grand Âí­Hotel and Casino.

   Only a bet on the fight and a round prop were available for the De La Hoya fight. But MGM Mirage sports book director Robert Walker said several propositions, including wagering on each round, are being offered on the fight where Hamed faces two-time world champion Marco Antonio Barrera (52-3, 38 KOs) for the WBO featherweight title.

   Hamed opened —250 on Dec. 13 and has been bet up to —340 (on Monday morning). Barrera, who holds the World Boxing Organization super bantamweight crown, opened +200 and is +280 at the MGM Grand. The line was even for the prop, “Will go 9 full rounds” and -140 for “Will not go 9 full rounds.”

   The undefeated three-time world champion Hamed (35-0, 31 KOs) once descended into the ring for one fight on a “magic carpet.” (It was actually a wooden crate covered in a leopardskin rug). He’s known for somersaulting over the ropes, puffing out his chest and pointing adoringly to himself. His popularity is so great that wagering began Dec. 13 at the MGM Grand.

   Although he’s the underdog, the 27-year-old Barrera (a.k.a., “The Baby Face Assassin”) has been successful at every level of competition. He has participated in some of the most action-packed fights in recent memory. He has enjoyed an 11-year pro career, displaying tremendous punching power, exceptional skills and an aggressive style that wears down opponents with relentless pressure.

   Barrera is most likely the toughest foe Hamed has run up against. He could be too good a value as an underdog for bettors to pass up.

   PICK: Barrera to win a 12-round decision.

   The featured undercard bout will be super middleweights Omar Sheika (21-2) and Stephane Ouellet (29-3). Three members of the 2000 U.S. Olympic boxing team ”” bronze medallists Jermain Taylor and Clarence Vinson and heavyweight Michael Bennett ”” will fight in separate bouts.

Botile, Toledo vie for title at Texas Station

   The Friday night IBF featherweight title clash between champion Mbulelo Botile (27-1, 16 KOs) and Frankie Toledo (39-5-1, 15 KOs) will take place at the Texas Station Gambling Hall in North Las Vegas.

   It will be Botile’s first defense since he won his belt, stopping Paul Ingle last Âí­December.

   Station Casinos race and sports book director Rob Terry said at press time that he is undecided whether wagering will be available for this main event bout.

   Heavyweights Ed Mahone (22-2-2, 22 KOs) of St. Louis and Terrance Lewis (27-8, 18 KOs) of Philadelphia will meet in the 10-round semi-main event

   In heavyweight action, Kelvin Davis (14-0) battles Kelvin Hale (11-2-1). Amateur star Davarryl Williamson goes against Leroy Berbick. In a women’s match, Suzy Taylor (10-4-1, 7 KOs) of Las Vegas will take on super middleweight rival Monica McGowan (3-2, 3 KOs). Two other matches, which will include Las Vegans Dewey Cooper and Mark Tullius, also are scheduled.

Reid gets decisive win
at Hard Rock

   David Reid (16-1, 7 KO’s) scored a decisive victory against Urbano Gurrola (18-8, 11 KO’s) in the 10-round middleweight main event at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Sunday.

   Reid won by unanimous decision: 97-92, 98-91 and 98-91.

   On the undercard, heavyweight Paea Wolfgramm beat Jimmy Thunder by a technical decision after round 7.