Lara takes Smith to Cuban school; Jack rips Sierra; Pearson beats Martinez
Coming off his controversial decision loss to Canelo Alvarez in July, Erislandy Lara came back with an easy unanimous decision (119-109 twice, 117-111) victory over Ishe Smith on Friday night’s main event on Showtime. The Mayweather Promotions card was held at the Illusions Theatre in the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX.
Well-known for letting his opponents know they will be taken to “Cuban School,” Lara put on his teacher’s cap and went to work. A consummate technical boxer, Lara’s style of throwing two-shot combinations and getting out of the way frustrated Smith quickly. In the early rounds, Smith expressed his exasperation by barking at Lara during and between rounds. It even got a little chippy between the two after Lara looked to have tackled Smith to the canvas after their legs had tangled. Smith just couldn’t turn his vexation into any sort of a positive to get back into the fight. Other than sporadically landing shots to Lara’s body, he failed to establish any jab or cut off the ring from his elusive adversary. As expected, Lara was mobile for most of the fight but the difference between the two was the Cuban was much more accurate with his punches. The accuracy of Lara’s left hand from the southpaw stance was his best weapon of the evening. This went on for a majority of the contest and Lara likely didn’t gain many fans for there wasn’t much action for 12 rounds of boxing and the final punch stats exemplified this (total landed: Lara 124, Smith 68).
After getting the decision, Lara, 20-2-2 (12), like many fighters do these days, called out Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was in attendance representing his company. The proposed match-up is highly unlikely due to Lara’s unpopular style but there is another titleholder within the 154-pound division who needs an opponent and makes more sense: WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade. His similar style of boxing may be interesting enough to see what happens. Smith, 26-7 (12), is getting up there in age (36) and by losing his second fight in his last three, takes a step backward in his quest at getting another crack at a world title.
Jack the Ripper stops Sierra
Badou Jack made a punching bag out of Francisco Sierra for five straight rounds and with a minute to go in the sixth, referee Rafael Ramos called a halt to the beating. Sierra wasn’t hurt at the time of the stoppage but he didn’t look good at all the entire fight. He was also bloody from a cut above the right eye after an accidental headbutt in the first round. Jack fought the bigger opponent perfectly by focusing his work to Sierra’s body. In the fourth, Jack landed a superb body shot that forced the most obvious look of pain from his opponent in the bout. Sierra was sloppy and it may have attributed to more than Jack’s effectiveness. The Mexican came into the ring at a reported 200 pounds in a super middleweight contest. That meant he hydrated an unprecedented 27.5 pounds since Thursday’s weigh-in.
Jack, 18-1-1 (12), caps off the year on a good note after opening 2014 with a shocking first-round knockout loss to Derek Edwards. At the time, Jack was one of Mayweather Promotions’ few title contenders and now after winning twice since his first career loss, he will slowly get back into contention. Sierra, 26-8-1 (23), has lost five of his last seven outings.
Pearson decisions Martinez
Kicking off the Showtime card was a 10-round junior middleweight bout and it went the distance as Chris Pearson got the unanimous decision (98-92, 97-93 twice) over Steven Martinez. Pearson, 11-0 (9), one of Mayweather Promotions’ top prospects, took a few rounds to get into his groove but once he found it, he cruised to an easy decision. Martinez, 15-2 (12), started off the fight well, being the aggressor by forcing the fight on the inside but in the second round, adversity came his way after he suffered a cut along his hairline from an apparent butt. Perhaps the cut made Martinez wary and toward the end of the third round, when Pearson started to put together solid combinations, Martinez seemed to have gotten cautious over the rest of the bout. He plodded his way through down the stretch and was bloody the rest of the fight from the cut on top of his scalp. Pearson fought well and the only punches you could hear from your television set came from the hands of the 24-year old Ohioan.