Chris Farina/Top Rank
Saturday, May 2, 2009 | 7 a.m.
Urbano Antillon probably would have rather started his weekend without a nice-sized gash over his left eye.
But all things considered, the WBC’s top-ranked lightweight contender made out OK in his fifth-round technical knockout of Tyrone Harris Friday night at the new Joint inside the Hard Rock.
"It took me a little while to adapt to him," said Antillon who kept his perfect 26-0 record intact.
"He got me a couple times early. But once I figured him out, I was fine."
Indeed Harris (23-5) looked as if he might have even phased the Maywood, Calif. native for a brief moment early on during some close-quarter action on the main event of a three-fight telecast on Television Azteca America.
Antillon said the stoppage, which officially came at the 2:23 mark of the fifth, was a good way to start a megafight weekend that will be capped off with him watching his sparring partner, Manny Pacquiao, trying to prove to Ricky Hatton tonight what Antillon’s seen everyday for the past two months during their training sessions at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles.
“I think Manny’s gonna be too fast for him,” Antillon said matter-of-factly. “He looks really sharp.”
The 26-year-old Antillon credits his sessions with Pacquiao for improvements in many areas that he might not have even showed Friday night.
“I have been training with a lefty who’s not too bad,” Antillon joked of the pound-for-pound champ Pacquiao.
“More than anything it helped me mentally. It lit up that flame again, it made me hungry and ready to be well prepared.”
That aggressiveness certainly came through when Antillon said he’s ready for a title shot.
“We’re ready for any big name out there,” said Antillon, who mentioned possibly fighting WBC champ Edwin Valero, or Juan Diaz or Juan Manuel Marquez.
Marquez might be busy with the whole Floyd Mayweather Jr. comeback. The Venezuelan Valero is also a bit tricky, as the southpaw is only sanctioned in Texas and Mexico because of a severe motorcycle accident he suffered in the past.
“If it were up to me I would fight any world champion, or all of them in the same day,” Antillon said.
But don’t mistake his eagerness for a marquee match with cockiness.
“There’s always room for improvement, I can never be as good as I want to be,” said Antillon, who said he hopes to be back in the ring in early summer.
“You got to get back to the basics. But for this fight I think we really did some good things with my mental approach and attitude.”