Erislandy Lara never planned to stick around very long at middleweight, nor did he do so in his first true fight at the weight.
The former junior middleweight titlist made quick work of Thomas ‘Cornflake’ Lamanna, starching the boxing cult favorite in the opening round of their Fox-televised headliner Saturday evening at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. A left hand put Lamanna down and out at 1:20 of round one.
Lara showed his best offensive and defensive skills in the first minute of the fight. Lamanna moved forward looking to land a right hand, which was effortlessly dodged by the Cuban southpaw who now trains out of Las Vegas. Lamanna has never been short on heart at any point during his ten-year career and was prepared to do whatever necessary to make a fight out of his primetime appearance.
A single left hand put an end to that dream. Lara exploited his foe’s leaky defense, connecting on Lara’s exposed right earlobe to put the New Jersey native flat on his back. Referee Thomas Taylor immediately waved off the contest to allow for Lamanna to receive instant medical attention.
Lamanna comes up miserably short in his first career title fight of any kind, as he falls to 30-5-1 (12KOs).
Lara improves to 28-3-3 (16KOs) with the win, with the history books now to refer to the 38-year-old as a two-division champion. There stands a greater chance of Lara dropping back down to junior middleweight, though he at least has plenty of options for his next fight.
The bout headlined a Fox-televised doubleheader preceding the Fox Sports Pay-Per-View telecast. Former unified heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz (33-2, 22KOs) faces three-time title challenger Chris Arreola (38-6-1, 33KOs) in a scheduled 12-round contest to headline the Fox Sports PPV event.
With plenty of time to kill before the PPV telecast, 18-year-old Fernando Angel Molina made his way to the Fox telecast. The unbeaten lightweight from Guadalajara didn't disappoint, easily outpointing Austin's Prisco Marquez (4-3-1, 1KO) over six rounds.
Judges Sergio Caiz (60-53), Alejandro Rochin (60-53) and Damian Walton (60-53) all scored in favor of Molina, who wins for the fourth time since the pandemic—all coming in the greater Los Angeles area. Marquez was deducted one point in round five for excessive rabbit punching.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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