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“The American Dream” turned out to be an absolute nightmare for former champion Yuri Foreman on Friday night.
The last time Erislandy Lara fought in Miami, he almost had more difficulty dodging raindrops than he did punches.
As is the case in most sports, defense wins championships in boxing. Unfortunately, defense usually doesn’t win you many style points with fans and media—something Erislandy Lara knows all too well.
Win vs Yuri Foreman
Jan 13, 2017 • Hialeah Park Racing & Casino, Miami
Erislandy Lara WINS against Yuri Foreman by KO in Round 4 of 12
Win vs Vanes Martirosyan
May 21, 2016 • The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
Erislandy Lara WINS against Vanes Martirosyan by UD in Round 12 of 12
Win vs Jan Zaveck
Nov 25, 2015 • Hialeah Park Racing & Casino, Miami
Erislandy Lara WINS against Jan Zaveck by TKO in Round 3 of 12
Win vs Delvin Rodriguez 28-7-4
Jun 12, 2015 • UIC Pavilion, Chicago
Erislandy Lara WINS against Delvin Rodriguez by UD in Round 12 of 12
Win vs Ishe Smith 26-6-0
Dec 12, 2014 • Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Ishe Smith by UD in Round 12 of 12
LOSS vs Saul Alvarez 43-1-1
Jul 12, 2014 • MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Saul Alvarez WINS against Erislandy Lara by SD in Round 12 of 12
Win vs Austin Trout 18-1-2
Dec 07, 2013 • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Austin Trout by UD in Round 12 of 12
Win vs Alfredo Angulo 17-1-2
Jun 08, 2013 • Home Depot Center, Carson, California, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Alfredo Angulo by TKO in Round 10 of 12
Draw vs Vanes Martirosyan 32-0-0
Nov 10, 2012 • Wynn Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Vanes Martirosyan DRAWS with Erislandy Lara by TD in Round 9 of 12
Win vs Freddy Hernandez 30-2-0
Jun 30, 2012 • Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Freddy Hernandez by UD in Round 10 of 10
Win vs Ronald Hearns 26-2-0
Apr 20, 2012 • Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Ronald Hearns by TKO in Round 1 of 10
LOSS vs Paul Williams 39-2-0
Jul 09, 2011 • Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Paul Williams WINS against Erislandy Lara by MD in Round 12 of 12
Draw vs Carlos Molina 15-0-0
Mar 25, 2011 • Cosmopolitan Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Erislandy Lara DRAWS with Carlos Molina by MD in Round 10 of 10
Win vs Delray Raines 18-8-1
Jan 14, 2011 • Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Delray Raines by KO in Round 1 of 10
Win vs Willie Lee 17-6-0
Aug 18, 2010 • Civic Center, Monroe, Louisiana, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Willie Lee by TKO in Round 1 of 10
Win vs William Correa 8-3-0
Jul 09, 2010 • Softball Country Arena, Denver, Colorado, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against William Correa by TKO in Round 1 of 10
Win vs Danny Perez 34-6-0
Apr 02, 2010 • Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Danny Perez by UD in Round 10 of 10
Win vs Grady Brewer 26-11-0
Jan 29, 2010 • Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Grady Brewer by TKO in Round 10 of 10
Win vs Jose Varela 23-6-0
Sep 19, 2009 • MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Jose Varela by KO in Round 1 of 8
Win vs Darnell Boone 16-11-2
Jul 17, 2009 • Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Darnell Boone by UD in Round 6 of 6
Win vs Edwin Vazquez 22-13-2
May 22, 2009 • Fontainbleau Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Edwin Vazquez by TKO in Round 4 of 8
Win vs Chris Gray 11-7-0
May 02, 2009 • MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Chris Gray by UD in Round 4 of 4
Win vs Keith Gross 3-0-0
Feb 20, 2009 • University Center Arena, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Keith Gross by KO in Round 1 of 4
Win vs Rodrigo Aguiar 5-3-0
Jan 09, 2009 • Buffalo Bill's Star Arena, Primm, Nevada, USA
Erislandy Lara WINS against Rodrigo Aguiar by TKO in Round 1 of 4
Win vs Deniss Aleksejevs 4-21-2
Sep 12, 2008 • Kugelbake Halle, Cuxhaven, Niedersachsen, Germany
Erislandy Lara WINS against Deniss Aleksejevs by TKO in Round 1 of 4
Win vs Ivan Maslov 3-0-1
Jul 04, 2008 • Bueyuek Anadolu Hotel, Ankara, Turkey
Erislandy Lara WINS against Ivan Maslov by PTS in Round 4 of 4
A defensive whiz and studious technician, Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara fights like someone who possesses a doctorate in the sweet science. He’s one of the slickest, most elusive fighters in the sport, as hard for some of his opponents to make solid contact with as a gust of wind.
From defector to contender
Born in Guantanamo, Cuba, Lara began contributing to the rich boxing legacy of his homeland when he was a teenager, becoming a three-time national amateur champion at 147 pounds from 2005-07, fighting 320 times and winning all but 10 of his bouts.
Lara would turn pro in 2008 after defecting from Cuba, relocating to Miami where he began to establish himself as one of boxing’s craftiest fighters.
“I describe myself as a technical specialist,” Lara said in a 2009 interview with Boxing247.com. “I never, ever go looking for a KO. If one comes, it just comes. … I use my brain in a fight. I am patient in the ring and I use my skills.”
A tough road toward the top
After winning his first 15 bouts, Lara fought future 154-pound world champion Carlos Molina to a draw in March 2011, and battled former 147-pound champ Paul Williams next.
Despite seemingly controlling the action throughout the fight and tagging his opponent with his left hand at will, Lara nevertheless dropped a hotly debated majority decision to Williams in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Afterward, the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board indefinitely suspended all three judges due to concerns about the way they scored the fight.
Bouncing back strong
Lara rebounded from the Williams loss in punishing fashion by hammering Ronald Hearns in a first-round TKO win in Biloxi, Mississippi, in April 2012.
After then defeating Freddy Hernandez, Lara fought Vanes Martirosyan to a draw in a bloody back-and-forth battle in Las Vegas in November 2012.
The fight was stopped in the ninth round after an accidental head butt opened a gash under Martirosyan’s left eye.
Undeterred, Lara next took on Alfredo Angulo in Carson, California, in June 2013, in a 154-pound title fight.
Lara used Angulo’s come-forward style against him via precision counterpunching, which led to a 10th-round TKO win for Lara after a hematoma blossomed around Angulo’s left eye.
From big promise to even bigger stages
In an intense contrast of styles, Lara moved on from Angulo to face dynamic boxer Austin Trout, beating him in a 12-round unanimous decision in Brooklyn, New York, in December 2013.
The victory over Trout set the stage for the biggest fight of Lara’s career: a July 2014 pay-per-view nontitle clash in Las Vegas with Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Though doubling Alvarez in terms of total punches landed while also landing those punches at a higher accuracy rate, Alvarez earned a split-decision victory in a close, competitive fight.
Lara had an easier time of it in his next fight, defending his world title with a unanimous decision over Ishe Smith in San Antonio in December 2014.
Pitching a shutout in Chicago
Two nights after throwing out the first pitch before the Astros-White Sox baseball game at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, Lara delivered more strikes in the Windy City when he faced Delvin Rodriguez at the UIC Pavilion on June 12, 2015, in a headlining bout on Spike TV.
Lara dominated from the opening bell, landing straight left hands with pinpoint precision and peppering Rodriguez with his jab.
The Cuban southpaw maintained his rhythm for 12 rounds, systematically picking apart Rodriguez with his speed and power.
Rodriguez had no answers against Lara, who scored a knockdown with a left-right combination late in the sixth round.
The dominance was reflected in the scorecards of the judges, all of whom awarded every round to Lara as he retained his 154-pound world title.