Posts Tagged ‘Erislandy Lara’


Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

LAS VEGAS — Jarrett Hurd needed a big finish last night and delivered a cracking left hook for a 12th round knockdown to gain a razor-thin split decision (113-114, 114-113 twice) over Erislandy Lara at the Hard Rock Casino.

The fight followed an early script of the southpaw Lara scoring clean straight lefts on his stalking foe. But unlike pre-fight predictions, Hurd was getting inside as early as the third and working the body with left hooks and uppercuts through the guard. Hurd’s size also allowed him to throw off Lara’s clinches and give the Cuban little time to reset. Hurd also alternated the speed and power on his shots, making it hard for Lara to anticipate and counter.


Despite this, Lara accounted himself well. After a tough eighth and ninth round where Hurd’s jab and bodywork kept the Cuban in a shell, Lara upped his workrate for a bounce back 10th where he stood his ground and punched in combination.

Hurd remained undeterred and his body punching left him with stronger reserves in the final two rounds. He outworked Lara in the 11th and had the Cuban in serious trouble in the 12th after dropping him with a left hook. Only 34 seconds remained and Lara had just enough elusiveness to hang on for the final bell.

The scorecards reflected the closeness of the bout with Hurd needing the knockdown to pull out two 114-113 scores in his favor.

“It was a tough one, but I went out there and did exactly what I said I was going to do – fight all 12 rounds and get the victory,” Hurd said. “I didn’t feel like that (I needed the knockdown). I feel like I was in control the whole fight, applying the pressure.”

Lara, who suffered his first defeat since a controversial split decision to Canelo Alvarez in 2014, thought he did enough for a clear win.

“Besides the last round, I thought I was winning this fight easily,” Lara said. “That’s not to decide the fight.  I was winning the fight.  One punch in a fight doesn’t determine the fight. “It was a great fight for the fans. I stood there, fought and it was fun. I thought I clearly won the fight. Once again a decision goes against me, but hey we just have to do the rematch.”

Should the rematch not happen, Hurd will have the opportunity to add another title against the winner of Jermell Charlo (WBC) vs. Hugo Centeno next month.


This is the first Lara fight that’s received universal since his 2013 war with Alfredo Angulo. He turns 35 in a few days and I believe he’s slipped just enough to where he’ll have these attrition fights against younger elite guys.

As much as Lara’s pride tells him to push for an immediate rematch, it wouldn’t be wise. The punishment tonight put some serious miles on him and jumping right back in with a massive pressure fighter like Hurd probably results in a quicker loss. I’d have him rest through the summer and come back with a tuneup in September then shoot for the winner of Hurd/Charlo. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see more fighters jump at the chance of facing Lara thinking he’s now lost a step.

Speaking of Hurd, he needs to tighten up that defense to beat Charlo. He gets hit clean way too much and like previous iron-chinned pressure fighters (Margarito comes to mind), it will eventually get cracked. Charlo has been putting guys to sleep in recent fights (Lubin, Hatley, Jackson), plus he’d be the first elite guy Hurd has faced that’s close to his size.

All in all, one of the better fights I’ve seen this year. The junior middleweight division is heating up and by this time next year, we might have one champ with all four belts.



Watch the Friday weigh-in for the 154-pound unification matchup between WBA champion Erislandy Lara and IBF-titleholder Jarrett Hurd. This will be Lara’s toughest fight in years as he’s facing a younger, bigger and stronger fighter who also utilizes a relentless pressure style.

Also on hand for the weigh-in will be the televised undercard featuring James DeGale seeking revenge against Caleb Truax, and Julian “J-Rock” Williams taking Nathaniel Gallimore. The card airs Saturday night on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET.


Photo Credit: Hosanna Rull/Team Lara/Premier Boxing Champions

WBA super welterweight champion Erislandy Lara headlines the first major card of the year when he defends against former title challenger Yuri Foreman this Friday (January 13) on Spike TV. Admittedly, the 36-year-old Foreman is far removed from his title-challenging days having only competed in two fights over the last three years. However, Lara is aware a good showing keeps the door open for potential unification matchups in the division. Here are the champion’s thoughts on the card and his future.

On his recent training camp…
“We just wrapped up about a week and we got some good rest during fight week. Training camp has been very productive.  I’m comfortable with my weight and I feel strong going into this fight. My strength and conditioning is right where I want it.  Ronnie and I are always polishing up on the things I do well.  Overall, it’s been a great camp.”
On facing former world champion Yuri Foreman…
“I’m grateful to Yuri Foreman for accepting this fight.  I know he’s hungry to get back in the ring.  He wants to prove that he’s still relevant in the super welterweight division.  He’s a former world champion who knows what it’s like to win at the elite level.  I’m not looking past Yuri Forman, but I’m very confident I’ll be victorious.  I feel I’m going to be the superior fighter when we both step in the ring tomorrow night.”
On returning to Miami to fight in front of a large Cuban community…
“My last fight here was amazing and the fan support was unbelievable.  I got the knockout and I’m hoping to do the same again.  If I see my opponent hurt, I’ll be looking to take him out.  I love my Cuban countrymen and all their support, as well as my American fans.  Miami is like a second home to me and I can’t wait to give the fans a great show.”
On the state of the super welterweight division…
“The division, in my opinion, is the most talented division in boxing.  Everyone at the top is looking to cement their legacy in boxing history and everyone is spectacular.  In the future, we will all have to face each other at some point.  So, expect some unification bout to be presented, and may the best man rise to the top.  I know I’m ready to fight everyone, but first I must get past Foreman.”
On fighting in the main event on Spike…
“Fighting on Spike, as the main event, is going to fantastic.  The exposure is wonderful for any athlete competing on their network.  Boxing is a great sport, and Spike TV is helping us gain more fans with their viewers.  The PBC is doing an excellent job.  I’m very happy to be fighting on network television.”


Photo Credit” Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

LAS VEGAS — Showtime’s “Night of Champions” is in the books with WBA light middleweight champion Erislandy Lara settling the score with Vanes Martirosyan, and the Charlo brothers making history as the first twins to hold titles in the same weight class simultaneously. Yes, all the favored fighters won, but there was a bit of intrigue in every bout.

VIC DRAKULICH ENDS MARTIROSYAN’S BID: Despite all the trash talk between Erislandy Lara and Vanes Martirosyan headed into their rematch, anyone with common sense knew their matchup was going to be another tactical affair.

With that said, I found this bout much more entertaining than their first scrap nearly four years ago. Lara did less running and stood more in the pocket behind a southpaw high guard, looking to shoot the straight left down the middle (which he did to great effect). This allowed Martirosyan plenty of opportunities to get his left hook to the body working and keep himself in the fight.

I had the bout even after eight with Lara starting to creep ahead by closely winning rounds 9 and 10 on my card. Martirosyan’s chances then went off the rails when referee Vic Drakulich deducted a point in the  11th for a “low blow.” Vanes was disgusted and rightly so. He had received previous warnings for hitting on the belt-line. Considering that Lara’s belt-line covered his belly button, those shots should have been considered legal.

The deduction totally took Martirosyan out of his game. He started lunging impatiently with head shots and abandoned his body work. Lara let Martirosyan outwork in the 12th, but the fight was already a foregone conclusion.

My score was identical to the one judge who had it 115-112. The other two, who had it 116-111, seemed a bit wide but justifiable depending on your scoring preference.

Lara mentioned wanting to get a rematch with Canelo or a middleweight showdown with Gennady Golovkin. The chances of either are minimal. More likely is a defense against fellow PBC fighter Kanat Islam, who earlier this month scored a sixth round TKO over Juan De Angel and is currently ranked #7 by the WBA.


JERMALL CHARLO UD12 AUSTIN TROUT: I came away impressed with both guys in this one. I really thought Trout was ripe for the taking from a younger, stronger and bigger man in Charlo, but he hung tough and kept it competitive all the way through. Trout was at his best when he shot counter straight lefts down the middle, and worked in southpaw right hooks after turning his foe. The insurmountable climb for Trout was the fact all of Charlo’s clean shots were heavier, causing more facial damage and knocking Trout off-balance.


Trout had to fight near perfect rounds to avoid this and more often than not, wasn’t able to do so. I scored the bout 115-113 for Charlo, giving Trout rounds 1, 2, 8, 9, and 11.

Thankfully, Charlo reneged on his promise to test middleweight and will stick aroound to face his mandatory challenger Julian “J Rock” Williams. It’s exactly the type of matchup that the PBC brand should be making their name on — two undefeated, young and ambitious fighters.



JERMELL CHARLO TKO8 JOHN JACKSON: Protect yourself at all times! John Jackson surprised everyone by electing to box instead of brawl with Charlo, holding a 69-64 lead on all three scorecards. Jackson counter-punched well off the backfoot and thoroughly confused Charlo with his switch-hitting. In the eighth, Jackson lingered in the pocket too long and got caught with a slashing overhand right, which stiffened his legs and made Jackson turn away in bewilderment.

Charlo wisely pounced with a hook and forced referee Tony Weeks to halt the contest. Jackson later claimed the shot dislodged his mouthpiece and he was turning away to readjust it. Look, when the only thing on your mind is fixing your mouthpiece after being clocked (think Tyson after getting floored by Douglas), you’re seriously hurt.

Charlo didn’t look impressive, but wins like this show a lot of character. He should learn a lot from this.


Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

LAS VEGAS — Tonight’s Showtime card is headlined by Erislandy Lara defending his WBA 154 pound title against Vanes Martirosyan in a rematch, and the Charlo twins in undercard bouts. Onto the predictions…

LARA: 153.5


PREDICTION: When I went over my wish list of fights for 2016, this rematch was not one that made the cut. Lara and Martirosyan’s first bout was filled with awkward exchanges and clinching that made rounds difficult to score simply from boredom.

There’s no reason to think the rematch will be any different. Lara will be on the move and landing accurate, laser-sharp lefts hands whenever he decides to throw. Martirosyan will be stalking and hold an edge in the later rounds with a higher workrate. Don’t be surprised by wildly different scores, but Lara is a step above Martirosyan and should win this rematch by majority decision.



TROUT: 154

PREDICTION: Trout is a very capable fighter, but he’s outgunned in this one. He gets caught in every fight and in this case he’s facing the harder punching and more aggressive Charlo. To date, Trout has always got up from his knockdowns, but I feel his soft competition since losing to Lara means Charlo is catching him at the right time. Charlo KO somewhere in the middle rounds.



JACKSON: 153.5

PREDICTION: This is a solid fight for both guys. Jermell is the more technical boxer of the twins and will hold the advantage in most rounds. Jackson has good power, but not the otherworldly power of his father that he’d need to hurt Charlo with one shot. He’ll need an accumulation to get the job done, and Charlo will be a bit too elusive for him to pull it off. CHARLO WIDE UD.




PREDICTION: This a cruiserweight title matchup that’s fallen under the radar (probably because it’s for the WBA strap). Shumenov is more experienced, hits harder, and been in with the better competition. Yes, Shumenov is still crude, but Wright has a tendency to go to the ropes too easily and that’s where we’ll see his undoing. SHUMENOV KO4


Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions

HIALEAH, FL — A rain delay didn’t hamper the rhythm of Erislandy Lara, who came out aggressive and became the first man to stop Jan Zaveck last night at the Hialeah Park Race Track.

Instead of his usual movement, Lara opted to remain mostly flatfooted to generate power and used a high guard for defense. The strategy allowed the WBA titlist to stun Zaveck repeatedly with counter straight lefts. It would be this shot that injured Zaveck in the third, forcing him to turn away and quit in pain.

“I think I handled the pressure well tonight,” said Lara. “I stayed in the pocket and fought my fight. This was a great win for me. (Zaveck) is a former champion and he’s never been knocked out until tonight.”

Zaveck complained of sharp pain that prompted his capitulation.

“I currently have a sharp pain going from my neck to my shoulder on the right side,” explained the 38-year old challenger. “I knew I could try to fight on and land a lucky punch, but that was a small possibility and it was probably better to stop and fight another day. I felt good in there before that. I tried to surprise him by fighting him in close, but I was taking too many punches and he has very good power.

I have never been injured like this before. It is very strange. The pain is surging.”

Lara is now focused on either obtaining a rematch with Canelo Alvarez, or securing a fight with Miguel Cotto.

“I’ll face anyone they want to put in front of me at 154 lbs, unless it’s Canelo (Alavarez) or (Miguel) Cotto. Then we’ll go up to 160 lbs.”


Photo Credits: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions

HIALEAH, FL — WBA junior middleweight titlist Erislandy Lara and challenger Jan Zaveck were on target for yesterday’s weigh-in. Lara is coming off a wide unanimous decision victory over Delvin Rodriguez in June. Zaveck is one a three-fight win streak with his last victory coming over Sasha Yengoyan in April.

PREDICTION: Zaveck is probably one of the toughest and most durable guys at 154, as evidenced from his performances against Keith Thurman and Andre Berto. But he needs someone willing to go to war with him and that’s not Lara (unless you have the foot speed to force him). Lara will be too elusive and frustrate Zaveck the entire night with his accurate straight left. LARA WIDE UD.

LARA: 153.6

ZAVECK: 153.2