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Erislandy Lara absolutely dominated Austin Trout on Saturday night in Brooklyn.
Saturday night was a good showcase for the junior middleweights, with two men taking huge steps towards stardom at the top of the division.
In a bout for the Interim WBA Junior Middleweight Championship, Erislandy Lara—who by rights should be undefeated—absolutely walked over former champion Austin Trout. Like his fellow Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, Lara is a supreme tactical fighter, but unlike his compatriot, he's willing to open up more offensively.
For the vast majority of the 12 rounds, he rendered Trout—an extremely difficult and avoided fighter himself—completely inept offensively. He simply couldn't get into range to reach the target, and when he did, he got nailed with flush counters.
It was a wipeout win for Lara, who dominated Trout in a way that Saul "Canelo" Alvarez could not.
Meanwhile on HBO, James Kirkland returned from another extended absence (due to jail time) to engage in a Fight of the Year candidate, stopping Glen Tapia in the sixth round of a vicious war that would have even the most desensitized amongst us cringing.
The first three or so rounds were highly competitive, and both guys took turns teeing off on their opponent. By the fourth and fifth, Tapia was clearly in serious danger, and his corner absolutely disgraced themselves by not pulling the plug on their guy sooner.
He was taking a horrific amount of punches from a huge puncher, and it's unconscionable that the referee had to halt the action and not the corner. Their job is to protect their fighter first and win the fight second. And they failed miserably at both tasks.
Both Lara and Kirkland's wins were extremely impressive and established themselves as forces to be reckoned with amongst a crowded 154-pound class.
But who was more impressive?