The WBA 154-pound titlist boxes his way to another victory and now looks ahead to the winner of the blockbuster Charlo-Rosario unification September 26 on SHOWTIME PPV.
Erislandy Lara was so serene there was hardly a drop of sweat on his back. The WBA super welterweight “regular” champion was smooth, calculating and appeared to be moving and punching in real time, while making his opponent, Greg Vendetti, look like he was traipsing through mud.
Vendetti, the 30-year-old super welterweight from Stoneham, Massachusetts, tried convincing himself that the Cuban expatriate was past his prime. Afterall, the southpaw Lara is 37.
Lara was convincing all right—and Vendetti was the perfect foil. Lara proved he’s still among the world’s top 154-pounders with a rather easy 12-round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, California, on FOX PBC Fight Night.
Judges Lou Moret and Zachary Young each scored it 117-111 for Lara (27-3-3, 15 KOs), while judge Carla Caiz had it 116-112, somehow giving the game Vendetti (22-4-1, 12 KOs) four rounds.
Lara landed 161/658 total punches (24%), almost doubling Vendetti’s connect rate of 88/439 (20%).
The 5-foot-6 Vendetti tried pressing the 5-foot-9 Lara. Each rush was greeted with a Lara combination. In the fifth, Vendetti leaned forward, was off balance and totally exposed. In the split-second window Lara had, he plowed a perfect left off the side of Vendetti’s head.
In the sixth, Vendetti lunged at Lara again, though to no avail. He barely touched Lara, who was in total control almost from start to finish.
He’s certainly has to be a consideration to face the winner of the anticipated Jermell Charlo-Jeison Rosario title unification blockbuster on Saturday, September 26, live on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing Pay-Per-View.
Late replacement Vladimir Hernandez shocks Alfredo Angulo
Alfredo Angulo wears the scars. They hang on his sagging eyebrows and the tiny lines that dot his face from the stitches he’s taken through the years.
He’s 38, but there was no convincing him that he was 38. Certainly not after the upset the rugged Mexican pulled off last September when he beat Peter Quillin by a 10-round split-decision.
Vladimir Hernandez threw a time machine at Angulo in the co-feature.
The late-replacement gave Angulo a taste of his own medicine, outworking him over 10 rounds, to pull off the upset by way of unanimous decision in super middleweight action.
Hernandez (12-4, 6 KOs) decided to step through the ropes against the ageless wonder on three-days’ notice. The 31-year-old southpaw was a late replacement for former titlist Caleb Truax, who fell out due to a non-related COVID-19 illness.
All three judges were in agreement, giving it to Hernandez by scores of 98-92.
Hernandez’s punches were crisp and accurate. He worked well at close range, slamming Angulo with right uppercuts, and on the outside, pecking away at Angulo and scoring.
In the first three minutes, Hernandez certainly did not act the part of a substitute. He went after the cagey veteran and pelted Angulo (26-8, 21 KOs) with light, though scoring shots.
A pensive Angulo walked back to his corner and immediately heard from his trainer, Abel Sanchez, to keep his hands up and start taking Hernandez seriously.
In the third, Angulo opted to fight southpaw and found a rhythm. He began crowding Hernandez, measuring him with body shots. By the sixth, Angulo was sitting down on his punches, landing a career-best 53 power punches and a career-high total of 57. His previous best was in a 2009 fight against Harry Joe Yorgey—11 years ago.
The work rate of the fighters was unique. Hernandez outlanded Angulo 60-35 through the first two rounds, though was outlanded 191-147 over the next five. Angulo won the connect battle from the third round through the seventh (Angulo outlanded Hernandez 226-207 after seven).
Punch stats said one thing. The eye test, however, said another.
Hernandez was still getting to Angulo. In the ninth, he cleaved Angulo’s guard with yet another right uppercut that snapped back Angulo’s head.
Angulo, looking slow and sluggish, zapped Hernandez with body shots. Though each time he appeared to pick up momentum, Hernandez answered.
The final punchstats stated Angulo connected on 351/1,134 total punches (31%) to Hernandez’s 306/1,003 (31%). Angulo threw a career-high 837 power punches, connecting on 301 (36%) to Hernandez’s power rate of 239/586 (41%).
The combined 2,137 total punches thrown is among the top two in a super middleweight fight.
The most important stat, however, went to Hernandez. He won.
Angulo, at 38, may have to reconsider his age.
Abram Martinez and Luis Arcon trade knockdowns, battle to spirited draw
In the televised opener, Abram Martinez (8-0-1, 6 KOs) and fellow undefeated prospect Luis Arcon (10-0-1, 10 KOs) fought to a split-decision draw in an eight-round super lightweight bout.
Judge Pat Russell had it 76-74 for Martinez, judge Steve Morrow had it 76-74 for Arcon, and judge Edward Hernandez Sr. had it 75-75.
The draw was the right call as no one deserved to lose this battle of up and comers. Martinez knocked down Arcon in the second, but Arcon slowly worked his way back into the fight. It appeared Martinez may have had an edge when, with three seconds remaining in the fight, Arcon dropped Martinez to pull even.
On the undercard portion shown on FS1 PBC Fight Night, Brian Mendoza beat Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna in a 10-round super welterweight match. Mendoza (19-1, 13 KOs) rebounded from a loss last November to win by scores of 98-92 (2) and 96-94. LaManna (28-4-1, 10 KOs) lost for the second-straight time.
Justin Pauldo (14-1, 7 KOs) extended his winning streak to nine-straight victories with an eight-round super lightweight unanimous decision over Josec Ruiz (21-4-3, 14 KOs).
For a closer look at Lara vs Vendetti, check out my fight night page.