Erislandy Lara challenged on the current WBA Super Welterweight champion Brian Castaño Saturday night at the Barclays Center in a bout that only didn’t disappoint, but had the most expected outcome after a hard-fought contest.
The main event of this Premier Boxing Champions fight that aired on Showtime started out with both fighters picking their spots early but Castaño in Round 3 controlling the pace and landing several left hooks. He continued dictating the pace in the fourth by landing more shots and started a swell on the right eye of Lara. While they were both throwing a lot of punches in front of the 7,329 faithful at Barclays, a lot were not connecting and through the first half of the fight, both boxers had little to no luck connecting with the jab.
LARA [4/48, 8%]
CASTAÑO [0/14, 0%]#LaraCastano
— SHO Stats (@SHOStats) March 3, 2019
The middle rounds started with Castaño continuing the pressure on Lara and also continuing attacking the right eye of Lara that was looking visibly puffy by the time the round seven bell rang. While Lara was showing the most wear and tear from the fight against Castaño, Lara was throwing and landing the most power shots during this time. It would make for a lot of the rounds to be hard to judge for either fighter and could virtually be a coin flip.
Lara however, was in control of the eighth round by being able to keep Castaño at bay and landing the shot of the night with a flush left to the face of Castaño. Castaño in these rounds had gone away from the left hook and hitting the body but that changed in the ninth as he went back to this approach.
The championship rounds showed the experience of Lara throwing more and landing shots to the body with both fighters each had a good body exchange inside near the end of the tenth round. While the broadcast had Lara up in the fight on their unofficial scorecards, even they were split on who was winning the fight as a whole. The eleventh was a round that Castaño took advantage of with some great work to the body but Lara had great counters as well.
The twelfth and final round was without question the best the fight as both fighters were exchanging shots and flurries. in terms of volume, both Lara and Castaño were both busy with both throwing over 1600 punches per Compubox.
At the end of the final bell, it went to the judges. Judge Kevin Morgan ruled for Castaño, 115-113, John McKaie had it 115-113 for Lara, and Julie Lederman had it 114-114, resulting in a split decision draw. With this draw, Castano (15-0-1, 11 KOs) retained the WBA “regular” super welterweight title. While the end result will be questioned in the ire of those who could’ve had the fight going either way, one thing for sure was the main event was an entertaining one.
— PBC (@premierboxing) March 3, 2019