Erislandy Lara (16-1-1 11KOs) returned to the ring after an eight-month ring absence, crushing Ronald Hearns (26-3 20KOs), son of legendary Thomas Hearns, in the process.
Lara's last fight was against former welterweight champion Paul Williams, where he lost a very controversial decision many thought he had won. Before that, he had another disputed draw with the crafty Carlos Molina. Going into the fight, Lara was 0-1-1 in his last two, more than a year since his last win.
If you missed the fight, you can watch it here.
Lara wasted no time dispatching Hearns. He knocked Hearns down in the opening round with a beautiful left hand. Hearns was able to make it up, but he was mentally and physically finished. As soon as the ref resumed the fight, Lara rushed Hearns, causing the ref to give Hearns a standing eight count.
The ref should have called the fight off then—Hearns was responding to the ref's question on if he wanted to continue or not and seemed shaky. Nevertheless, the ref resumed the fight yet again, and this time, Lara finished him. An onslaught of punches sent Hearns to the ground in brutal fashion, ending it in the first round.
This was the ninth time Lara knocked out an opponent in the first round.
Lara crushed his opponent statistically too, as it was revealed he landed 48 percent of his punches while Hearns was only able to land one jab out of his 22 punches thrown.
Now, the question is, what's next for Lara?
Lara has stated countless times that he wanted to face Sergio Martinez and Sergio always says he wants to take on the best. Lara may not be a good name opponent, but he is by no means a slouch.
If Sergio Martinez isn't able to secure a match with Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. this Sepetember, even though Martinez reportedly signed a contract to fight the winner of Chavez Jr. vs Lee, then Lara is a perfect option for fight fans to enjoy.
I believe this would only be beneficial to Martinez because he would win. His style would be too much for Lara. Lara likes to fight at his own pace, setting up before he throws. Also, he appears to be more content with blocking punches than slipping and also wears down in the later rounds.
Sergio only seems to get stronger as the fight goes on and blocking punches doesn't really work on him. This was evident in his last fight with Macklin, as Sergio came on stronger as the fight progressed. Also, in his fight with Darren Barker, he knocked Macklin out even though he was blocking Sergio's punches.
If this fight was to be made, this would be a very interesting and exciting matchup for boxing fans.
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