WBA Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs) racked up his 24th career win on Friday night in beating back former title holder Yuri Foreman (34-3, 10 KOs) in a 4th round TKO victory in front of a large crowd of admirers of the talented Cuban at the Hialeah Park Racing and Casino in Miami. This fight was brought to the U.S fans on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike TV.
Lara entertained as his custom to do in beating down a very good ex-champion in Foreman. Lara landed a left to the head that sent the confused Foreman down in the 4th. It was wisely stopped by the referee. There was no point in letting the schooling continue. Lara had already sent the Russian Foreman down in round 3.
(Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
If the fight had gone a little longer, he very likely would have scored a clinical knockout. No one wanted to see that. Foreman did his job the best that he could, but in the end, he didn’t have the talent, speed or punching power to give Lara his first true defeat. Lara has two times in his career but in both cases the defeats were controversial loses to Saul Canelo Alvarez and Paul Williams.
Lara’s two draws should be wins as well. You can say that Lara’s true record should be 28-0, not 24-2-2. It shows you how some fighters that aren’t brought up with a silver spoon in their mouths have it much harder to get wins that they deserve. Thankfully, Lara took the judges out of the equation tonight by knocking out Foreman. Lara knocked him down in round three.
Yes, it was a trip, but Lara had hit Foreman with a left to the head moments before that, which had momentarily buzzed him enough to where he couldn’t keep his feet when Lara’s right foot was in front of him. You can’t blame the knockdown on a bad call by the referee. It was more of a case of Foreman not being able to handle the power, speed and talent of Lara.
Lara had many of his fans from Cuba there to watch him perform, and they more delighted with his outstanding showing against a former world champion Foreman. The fight was stopped at 1:47 of round 4. Foreman couldn’t take anymore punishment. The left uppercut that disconnected Foreman from his senses would have knocked out any fighter in the junior middleweight division, even he Charlo brothers and Demetrius Andrade.
Lara said this after the fight:
“I’m very happy with my performance tonight. He was a little bit awkward, so I had to make some adjustments and we got him out of there. I’m ready to fight the best in the world, Golovkin, Canelo… whoever is willing to step in the ring with me, I’m willing to fight.”
Getting a fight against Canelo or Golovkin would be very nice for the boxing world to see. Those two need to fight Lara to show that they’re for real. Canelo was already beaten by Lara three years ago, as I mentioned earlier. Canelo was given the win, but Lara beat him for sure.
The co-feature bout was a splendid one by former WBC 168lb champion Anthony Dirrell (30-1-1, 24 KOs) in beating a motivated and very tough Norbert Nemesapati (now 24-4, 17 KOs) by a 6th round knockout. Nemepati gave a good effort, but he didn’t have firepower to deal with the punching power, accuracy and the experience of the 32-year-old Dirrell. Nemesapati hurt his left hand during the contest, and that limited his ability to keep Dirrell honest. Without his left hand, Nemesapati was powerless to stop the incoming shots from Dirrell.
“I want a world title shot now,” said Dirrell. “I want my title back. I think I deserve it. I put on a good boxing show tonight and I deserve another shot.”