WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara, 24-2-2-(14), continued his reign as one of the top 154-pounders in the world and delivered a sensational knockout of former world champion Yuri Foreman (34-3, 10 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Spike Friday night from Hialeah Park Racing and Casino in Miami.
Despite giving up two inches to the 5-foot-11 Foreman, Lara stalked the former 154-pound titleholder, who alternately jumped in and out from distance but managed to only land an occasional jab and right hand over the champion’s right jab.
After a tentative first round, the 33-year-old Lara picked up the pace in the second, with a pair of stiff, straight lefts bobbling Foreman’s head near the end of the stanza.
Lara then gained a dubious third-round knockdown when referee Samuel Burgos ruled that Foreman hit the canvas from a double-straight left to the chin, even though TV replays showed the fall was the result of the fighters’ legs getting entangled.
There would be no questioning the blow that ended the fight, however.
As the 36-year-old Foreman walked in and missed with a punch, Lara ripped a pinpoint counter left uppercut that first hit Foreman square on the chest before connecting flush on his chin.
Foreman immediately dropped to all fours, and although he tried several times to get to his feet, his legs wouldn’t cooperate. By the time Foreman finally got upright, it was too late, as Burgos reached the count of 10, with the official end coming at the 1:47 mark.
In the co-main event, former world champion Anthony Dirrell (30-1-1, 24 KOs) looked sharp while dismantling Hungary’s Norbert Nemesapati (now 24-4, 17 KOs) over six lopsided rounds.
Dirrell had too much for the brave Hungarian, as he hurt him with virtually every landed punch, especially to the body. Nemesapati tried to make a fight of it, but was in over his head against the world-class skills of Dirrell.
Nemesapati elected to stay on his stool and not come out for round seven. The official result is a TKO 6 (2:59) for Dirrell.
Former bantamweight world champion Juan Carlos Payano (18-1, 9 KOs) had too much for determined Mexican opponent Isao Gonzalo Carranza of Mexico City (15-8-1, 8 KOs), stopping him at 1:16 of round seven.
Payano moved in and out brilliantly, befuddling Carranza with his athleticism and landing bomb after bomb. Referee James Warring had finally seen enough and waved a halt to the bout with Carranza still on his feet.
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January 12, 2017