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18 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Lara Eases Past Smith/Jack KO's Sierra

By Marc Livitz at ringside: Erislandy Lara started slowly but quickly found his rhythm and scored a resounding and one sided win over Ishe Smith in a WBA junior middleweight championship contest at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. A sizable Friday night crowd made plenty of noise during the multi fight evening showcased by Mayweather Promotions.


Lara snuck a double left somewhat through Smith’s high guard early in round one. Ishe looked to stalk Lara and work the body. They tangled and fell to the canvas later in the period, before which Smith had been pressing the action and trying to get Lara either into a corner or onto the ropes. He got into Lara’s face and followed him all the way to his corner after the round ended. Smith kept with his tactics into the second, but things changed just a bit whenever Lara could get him closer to the middle of the ring. Erislandy connected with a few heads shots and Smith returned the favor just as the bell rang and as before, he jawed with his Cuban foe, only this time he was held back by referee Steve Smoger.


Lara looked to time Smith in round three. He was carefully bringing his gloves in and out to try and find the perfect shot. Smith wasn’t having any of it and as before, looked to press the action. Erislandy scored a few more head as well as body shots throughout the period. There would be no jawing or smack talking when the first quarter of the bout closed.


Lara took a crouching approach into the fourth. He managed to fight his way out whenever Smith forced him into the ropes. Ishe was warned by Smoger to stop punching during broken up clinches. His Cuban adversary connected with a solid left to the face as the action ceased for the bell. Lara danced away from Smith in the opening moments of the fifth. Ishe threw hooks and uppercuts when he momentarily had "The American Dream" on the ropes. An old fashioned one-two to the head caused Smith to bend a bit, as did a few other carefully placed shots from Lara. Smith taunted Erislandy over and over throughout the round that clearly belonged to the Cuban.


Ishe brought the fight to Lara deep into round six. He’d land a few of the shots he threw, while Lara would connect one here and another there. In rounds seven as well as eight, Erislandy would land and move. It was slowly becoming a matter of emotion versus patience as one half of the bout came to a close. Lara was teaching Smith how to box as the admirable efforts of Smith looked more akin to throwing caution to the wind. Erislandy’s quick fire left was finding a home, one shot at a time. Lara kept moving to his left and whenever Smith could corner him, Ishe found his punches hitting mostly glove and/or elbow. Lara’s shots to Smith’s head continued to come, one and sometimes two at a time. Smith never stopped showing a tremendous amount of heart as the tables had now been seemingly flipped on him.


The more Smith tried to walk Lara down, the more he found himself walking often face first into a trap. This continued in round nine. The Cuban defector was having his way. Erislandy was visibly frustrating the Las Vegas native who had been talking up a storm just a few rounds ago. Lara’s powerful left found even more of a home in the tenth. As the round ended, Smith threw shot after shot to Lara’s hips, after which Erislandy popped him up high once again.


The crowd began to sense an ending in the works in the opening moments of the eleventh of twelve. Smith kept coming forward and throwing, yet Lara’s tight defense allowed him to absorb the shots and fire back to great effect. On to the final round the contest went. Lara would likely be on his way to a resounding unanimous decision win, save for a knockout from Smith.


Lara looked to preserve his win by moving more, yet by no means was he throwing less. Actually, it was if he hadn’t lost a step. Ishe knew the end was near and tried to swing for the fences. Erislandy made him pay as dearly as before. The bell sounded to end the bout. Lara confidently walked back to his corner, while Smith appeared defeated yet held his head high. The ringside judges’ scorecards read as follows: 119-109 (x2) and 117-111.


Erislandy held on to his WBA junior middleweight title and improved to (20-2-2, 13 KO’s). Ishe Smith was a valiant man this evening, but it was not enough. His record dropped to (26-7, 12 KO’s).



Co Main Event - Jack KO’s Sierra in Six


In the evening’s co-main event, Badou Jack scored a sixth round knockout win over Francisco Sierra in a super middleweight contest.


Jack looked to establish his jab early, yet he found his Tepic, Nayarit, MX opponent more than eager to answer with a jab of his own. The action was most noticeable when the two founds themselves at the ring’s center. As he walked back to his corner at the end of round one, "Panchito" Sierra was pawing at his right eye, which exhibited a slightly bloody cut. Badou gained some momentum in the second. The Swede kept his distance and was controlling the early action with his jab. He connected upstairs with a few head shots just before the bell sounded. 


The 2008 Olympian sought to sharpen his skills even more in round three. Sierra was not taking any of it lying down, however and he kept firing away with a high jab towards Jack’s head. The blood continued to stream from Francisco’s right eyebrow in the fourth. He went on a bit of the offensive, yet he found his shots careening off of Jack "The Ripper"’s tight guard. 


A hard, solid right from Badou to Francisco’s head accentuated the opening minute of the fifth stanza. The two fighters exchanged various shots as the time wore on. One half of the bout was in the books. Sierra’s corner was screaming at him to utilize his left hook as the sixth was underway. Unfortunately, referee Rafael Ramos stepped in to stop the bout at the 1:58 mark after Badou Jack landed a succession of unanswered shots. Although Sierra slightly out threw Jack in total punches (271 to 262), he was greatly the lesser in terms of total shots landed, which Badou won 137 to 43 (52% to 16%). This included a 74 to 5 advantage in body shots. He improved his record to (18-1-1, 12 KO’s), while Francisco Sierra’s dropped to (26-8-1, 23 KO’s). 


Undercard Results


Chris Pearson UD 10 Steve Martinez - Light Middleweight

Andrew Tabiti TKO 1 Ernest Reyna – Cruiserweight

Ronald Gavril KO 1 Jose Rodriguez - Super Middleweight

Ashley Theophane UD 10 Miguel Zuniga - Light Welterweight

Lanell Bellows TKO 3 Rahman Mustafa Yusubov - Super Middleweight

Ladarius Miller UD 4 James Burns – Welterweight

Juan Heraldez KO 2 Eric Butler - Welterweight


December 12, 2014

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