Lara thrashes Alvarez in two to claim WBA title
Photo by Edward Diller/Getty Images
Lara must now fight Michel Soro.
Tonight’s PBC on FOX main event was every bit the farcical mismatch in practice as it was on paper. Erislandy Lara needed less than six minutes to tear through the overweight Ramon Alvarez and claim the WBA “regular” super welterweight title.
Alvarez (28-8-3, 16 KO) missed weight by more than four pounds and certainly fought like someone who hadn’t bothered to prepare. He looked slow and sloppy in the ring as Lara (26-3-3, 15 KO) patiently worked 1s and 2s to the head and body, banking the first round by a huge margin. Alvarez tried to flurry his way back into the fight early in the second, but after Lara took his flurry on his forearms, he hurt Alvarez with a counter jab and nearly sent him tumbling through the ropes with a series of precise shots.
Alvarez beat the count, only for Lara to unload on him until the ref and Alvarez’s corner simultaneously moved to stop things.
Lara must now fight fellow WBA titlist Michel Soro while “super” champ Julian Williams settles his score with Jarrett Hurd.
Extremely large super welterweight prospect Sebastian Fundora faced his greatest adversity to date in the middle bout, going to an entertaining back-and-forth split draw with Jamontay Clark.
The 6’7” Fundora (13-0-1, 9 KO) constantly pressed forward behind his jab, while Clark (14-1-1, 7 KO) looked to plant his feet and rip combinations before circling away. The momentum constantly shifted back and forth, Clark landing the bigger punches but Fundora refusing to let up, but Clark appeared to turn aside a late surge and bank the critical final round.
One judge agreed with both me and PBC scorer Marcos Villegas. Another had it 98-92 Fundora, which is one of the worst scores I can remember seeing live this year. A 95-95 card split the difference.
A draw is a fair outcome, though the guy who scored it 98-92 deserves censure. I’d like to see a rematch in a few months; Fundora can win this with better ring cutting and Clark can win it by upping his body attack and not letting Fundora set the tempo.
The opener saw Cuban heavyweight prospect force a drama-free fourth-round stoppage of an overweight Victor Bisbal. Sanchez (13-0, 11 KO) showed remarkable hand speed for a heavyweight but clearly still needs some seasoning; the much larger and slower Bisbal (23-4, 17 KO) got in a handful of licks during exchanges, though he was never in the fight. Sanchez also had some issues landing his biggest punches and neglected Bisbal’s body despite finding a mark for body blows in the third.
Still, he hit Bisbal with plenty of quality blows and was constantly in control. The Dominican’s only eye-catching moment came in the second when his trunks fell down enough to see his crack. Though Bisbal was never visibly rocked, his corner stopped it after four one-sided rounds.
Sanchez is old for a prospect at 27, which is admittedly crazy-young for a Cuban prospect, but he’s got some solid physical gifts and could make a decent run with the right matchmaking.