Erislandy Lara and promoter Golden Boy are seeking an immediate rematch to avenge his highly controversial first loss to Paul Williams last Saturday (July 9) in Atlantic City.
After a competitive first half, Lara dominated the second portion of the fight and was viewed the overwhelming winner by HBO announcers, fans in attendance and gathered media. The three judges (Al Bennett, Hilton Whitaker III, Donald Givens), all of whom had no previous experience with major championship fights, awarded Williams a dubious decision via scores of 114-114, 115-114 and 116-114. The verdict was met with resounding boos from those in attendance.
“It was a good fight, but I don’t know what the judges saw,” said Lara. “I definitely want the rematch with Williams.”
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer cited his fighter’s dominance in the area of “clean, effective punching,” the lead criteria judges are supposed to utilize when scoring rounds.
“When you see a young undefeated star convincingly win almost every round against one of the best fighters in the world and then have the judges take the fight away from him, it’s very disturbing, not only as his promoter, but also as a boxing fan,” Schaefer explained. “The CompuBox statistics alone indicate who the winner of this fight was…Lara landed 42% of his total punches to Williams 19%. Further indication come when examining the power punch statistics as landed Lara landed half of his power shots to almost one of every five that Williams landed.”
Following the verdict, Paul Williams and his promoter Dan Goossen attempted to justify the decision on the account of Williams being the fighter coming forward and applying pressure. Schaefer advised that while a rematch is Lara’s main focus, they are ready to explore other top fights in the junior middleweight division should Williams reject a return bout.
“We hope that Williams and his promoter Dan Goossen will give Lara a much-deserved rematch to settle the controversy that has erupted since Saturday night’s decision,” said Schaefer. “If Williams chooses not to fight Lara again, Erislandy is ready to fight anyone, anywhere and at any time and we will make sure they he gets the opportunities he deserves in the wake of his spectacular performance in Atlantic City.”
Lara will be out of training 6-8 weeks to recover from a facial fracture suffered last Saturday. The injury was the result of an accidental clash of heads.
At press time, Paul Williams nor Dan Goossen could be reached for comment on a Lara rematch.