Erislandy Lara wins ugly rematch with Martirosyan by UD
LAS VEGAS — The first time they met, it wasn’t pretty. And the rematch that happened four years later as the main event of Showtime Championship Boxing’s tripleheader wasn’t much better. But Erislandy Lara defended his WBA junior middleweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Vanes Martirosyan at The Chelsea inside of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in a fight that was devoid of much action but finally yielded a definitive winner.
Lara and Martirosyan met back in 2012 in a fight that ended in a technical draw after a clash of heads opened a nasty cut on Martirosyan. Many thought that Lara deserved to win. This time around, not much changed as Lara utilized his amateur pedigree to score when it was absolutely necessary. Martirosyan did his best to make it a fight but was unable to penetrate Lara’s defense. It was either Martirosyan having his punches blocked or chasing down the Cuban for much of the 12-round affair.
In what has become a Lara trademark, the Cuban fought in spurts that were far and few in between and hightailed it out of trouble whenever Martirosyan drew near. However, when he did throw, he was much more accurate and effective.
“I was chasing him all night,” said a clearly frustrated Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 knockouts). “I put on the pressure. I thought I did enough to win.”
As the fight wore on, Lara’s punch output increased and he landed with efficiency despite Martirosyan appearing to be the much busier fighter. Overall, Lara landed 162 of 424 punches (38 percent) while Martirosyan only managed to land 84 of 474 punches (20 percent). To add insult to injury, Martirosyan was docked a point for low blows in the 11th round although the punch was questionable.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t a fight that either man will write home about. Although Lara will take with him a hematoma that formed late in the fight from a clash of heads.
But despite the smattering of boos, low blows and head-butts, Lara pulled out the decision with scores of 115-112, 116-111 and 116-111.
“I’m a very intelligent fighter and at no point did I feel this fight was going to be lost,” said Lara (23-2-2, 13 KOs). “I’m ready to fight anybody. I’d like to fight Canelo.”
Lara lost a highly disputed decision to Canelo Alvarez back in 2014 in a similar-style fight where Canelo was able to squeeze out the decision. Although the boxing world is focused on Canelo facing Gennady Golovkin, the negotiations are still ongoing and there’s a possibility that the fight won’t take place this year. That would leave the door open for a Canelo rematch or even Lara moving up to middleweight to face GGG. But Lara’s fighting style makes it a tough sell.
But until that time comes, Lara can find solace knowing that his American Dream to be a world champion continues.