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Erislandy Lara Stops Ramon Alvarez in Two Rounds

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  • Erislandy Lara Stops Ramon Alvarez in Two Rounds

    Click image for larger version  Name:	lara.PNG Views:	1 Size:	509.5 KB ID:	14449

    By Kelsey McCarson

    Erislandy Lara needed less than two rounds to stop Ramon Alvarez on Saturday night at the Armory in Minneapolis. Heading into the bout, which was broadcast on FOX as the main event of a PBC Fight Night card, Lara was a huge favorite to get some measure of revenge on his opponent’s younger brother, Canelo Alvarez, who defeated Lara by split decision back in 2014.

    Much was made of Alvarez, 33, from Mexico, missing the 154-pound junior middleweight limit by almost five pounds on Friday afternoon at the pre-fight weigh-in. But judging the fighter by recent performances, including a stoppage loss to former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios in November 2018, Alvarez probably didn’t have much business fighting for the vacant WBA title that was at stake anyway, even with it being one of their many secondary titles.

    Because most people thought Lara would completely destroy Alvarez, and that’s exactly what happened.

    It was clear from the way Lara started that he didn’t really respect his opponent. Over the years, Lara, 36, from Cuba, has been one of the craftiest southpaws in all the sport. While it hasn’t earned him a legion of fans, his steady win total and pristine technique helped him carve out a solid career as one of the top junior middleweight titleholders in the world.

    But Lara is the type of fighter who moves around the ring and would rather fight more rounds than necessary if it means minimizing the overall risk of getting hit with a lucky punch. The only time Lara ever really chooses under his own volition to stand in the center of the ring and dare someone to trade with him is when he knows he’s standing in front of a no-hoper like Alvarez.

    So that’s what Lara did. He easily out-boxed Alvarez in the first round, then upped the volume in the second to get Alvarez out of there fast. The fight wasn’t close to being competitive. About the only work Alvarez did at all was when Lara held his hands to his face in guard position and let Alvarez flurry at his head and body. None those punches did any damage, and if any of them landed at all they were only glancing blows.

    Just after that moment, Lara unleashed his own storm of offense. The force of the blows sent Alvarez tumbling down with only the ropes to save him from falling right out of the ring. The referee administered a count, but probably should have stopped it right there because Alvarez was a glassy-eyed punching bag at that point of the fight.

    Lara knew he had an open target, so he let loose sharp one-twos in succession, with an occasional uppercut mixed in for fun, until the bout was mercifully halted at 2:03 of the second round.

    “I’ll fight anybody in the division,” said Lara after the bout to FOX’s Heide Androl. “But I do want to fight the best fighters out there.”

    Speaking through translator Felix Jesus, Lara mentioned fighting IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence, who faces WBC champ Shawn Porter in a title unification bout on Sept. 28, and Canelo Alvarez, who probably didn’t like seeing his big brother get beat up so bad, but is also probably pretty used to it by now.

    More likely for Lara’s next opponent would be one of the PBC’s many gifted junior middleweights, which includes unified champion Julian Williams, WBC titleholder Tony Harrison and former titleholder Jermell Charlo.

    Sebastian Fundora and Jamontay Clark Battle to a Stalemate

    In a solid scrap between quality junior middleweight up-and-coming southpaws, Sebastian Fundora and Jamontay Clark fought to a 10-round split-draw in the co-feature. Judges scored the bout 98-92 for Fundora, 96-94 for Clark and 95-95 even.

    It was such a hotly contested bout that as the final bell tolled it seemed sort of sad one of the fighters had to lose. But judges turned in the draw so both leave the experience without having turned in a losing effort.

    Fundora was always moving forward behind a sharp jab. Clark used bouncy footwork to move around the ring for counterpunching opportunities. Both displayed real quality in terms of competent prizefighting, but it was hard not to give Fundora a little more credit in the majority of early rounds because he was always moving forward.

    But Clark put his punches together over the second half of the fight and closed the gap. While Fundora has fast hands for such a tall fighter, Clark’s movement presented him with serious problems, the kind that Fundora’s current level of footwork just wasn’t good enough to solve.

    Standing 6 feet 7 inches tall, Fundora might be the tallest junior middleweight in boxing history. But the 21-year-old isn’t just a sideshow. While his extremely lanky frame makes him a statistical anomaly in the sport, his excellent craft, which includes being a willing fighter on the inside, gives him a legitimate chance to someday compete for a world title.

    Clark also could turn into something special. The 24-year-old stands six feet two inches tall and has some of the fleetest feet in the division. More importantly, against the physically imposing Fundora, he showed the ability to adjust to what was in front of him, and that ability should serve him well going forward.

    Fundora’s record went to 13-0-1 with 9 KOs. Clark is now 14-1-1 with 7 KOs.

    Cuban Heavyweight Sanchez KOs Bisbal

    Undefeated heavyweight prospect Frank Sanchez stopped Victor Bisbal after four rounds on the opening bout of the televised portion of the card. Sanchez, a former Cuban amateur standout who now resides in Miami, threw and landed crisper punches with real force behind them until Bisbal’s corner saw enough to keep their fighter from coming out for more.

    Bisbal, 39, represented his home country of Puerto Rico at the 2004 Olympic games and seemed to possess enough craft to survive Sanchez’s early assault. But that was just about all he was able to muster. Sanchez was too strong and possessed the better overall skill set.

    With the win, Sanchez improved to 13-0 with 11 KOs. Bisbal fell to 23-4, 17 KOs.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel