Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada, WBA World super welterweight champion Erislandy Lara ( 23-2-2, 13 KOs), the southpaw from Houston, Texas, by way of Guantanamo, Cuba, decisioned Vanes Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs), from Glendale, California, by way of Abovyan, Armenia, over 12 competitive rounds.
The final scores were 115-112 and 116-111 twice, all in favor of “The American Dream.”
People complain, about Lara, about the fight. He is brilliant, but his fights are the same. He has a great jab. He has a high ring I.Q. and makes good fighters look bad and bad fighters look worse. There were no knockdowns or knockouts Saturday night. The fighters were evenly matched if diametrically opposed.
Fighting out of the blue corner in leopard trunks, Lara exerted the minimum amount of effort for the maximum amount of effect. To call Lara clever doesn’t do him justice. He has mastered as many Cubans have mastered the art of hitting and not being hit in return.
“I’m a very intelligent fighter,” said Lara after the fight, “and at no time did I think I wasn’t going to win. I will fight anybody. I would like to fight Canelo or anybody.”
Canelo won’t fight Lara again. Once was enough.
Martirosyan had his moments. I can’t wait to see him fight again.
But Lara is no ordinary fighter.
He fights with the cool efficiency of a boxing technocrat.
And he looks unbeatable.
Lara landed 162 punches (38%) to Martirosyan’s 94 (20%).
Martirosyan was deducted a point for a low a low blow in the 11th.
“That wasn’t a low blow,” said Martirosyan. “I saw it on the replay. This is boxing, not baseball. Low blows and head butts happen. I was chasing him all night. I put on the pressure. I thought I did enough to win. He ran all night. He got every benefit of the doubt because he’s champion.
“I’m a fighter. I’ll fight him again right now. I still want to be a world champion and I still plan on being world champion.”
Until such time, Lara is king of the 154-pounders.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.