Erislandy Lara vs Jan Zaveck & Eliecer Aquino vs Emmanuel Rodriguez
BY KID HERSH
PBC on ESPN on a Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving from Miami, Florida (Hialeah Park). First up we saw the tarps covering the canvas as there was heavy downpour that was threatening the event. Main event time came right off the bat though with Erislandy Lara (21-2-2, 12ko's) vs Jan Zaveck (35-3, 19ko's). The champion Lara came out sitting down on his shots, looking to do as much damage as he could in front of the hometown crowd. He was going to the body plenty and standing his ground as he looked to land straight lefts, especially after the hard one he landed midway through the round that stunned Zaveck. In the second round Lara settled down to use his boxing skills more, bending at the knees and offering angles whenever the rare landed punch from Zaveck made it through. Lara then was sitting down on his straight left hand again near the end of the round, ending it with a flush one that wobbled Zaveck's legs. The third round brought a strange end to the fight as Lara split the guard with a straight left that snapped home hard and then Zaveck turned and reached out with his left hand in an appearance to touch gloves that looked like he was signaling he had had enough (no mas!) and Lara threw a couple more shots, not sure what was going on and looking to take his man out. The referee stepped in and ended the fight with Zaveck in serious pain - with his right shoulder apparently seriously injured as he winced in obvious pain.
After the bout there was a fight added in Eliecer Aquino (17-1-1, 11ko's) vs Emmanuel Rodriguez (13-0, 9ko's). Other than the torrential rain starting back up in the first round, the action was not too great in the first round. Aquino was coming forward and looking to get inside and then unload powerful hooks that he wound up with while Rodriguez looked like he was figuring his man out and keeping his footwork in line with making Aquino miss his shots. The second round was a tougher one for both men as Aquino refused to take a step backwards, making it a rough going for Rodriguez, but Aquino on the other hand was clearly getting the worse of the action as Rodriguez would take steps backwards and slam home uppercuts and hard body shots that by the end of the round were clearly frustrating the aggressive fighter in front of him. In the third round Rodriguez continued to plug away at the man in front of him that was very easy to hit until with less than a minute left in the round Aquino was getting far too fat with his shots and easy to hit and Rodriguez nailed him with a right hand that put him down. Aquino rose and made it through the round, still getting tagged, and looked like a nearly beaten fighter when the round came to a close. To Aquino's credit he came out swinging away in the fourth round but got picked apart for his efforts throughout, taking counter shots to his wide telegraphed punches and also taking a severe body beating to boot that had him backing up around the ring for the remainder of the fourth while trying to fight his man off and take less punishment. In the coming rounds Aquino would show a great fighting heart but also show that he was severely outclassed in this one, with his mouthpiece even being knocked clear out of his mouth multiple times. He continued pressing forward through it, still looking to land some sort of fight-changing shot that was not coming. The fight was stopped near the end of the seventh round when Aquino was not beaten up badly, per se, but just massively outclassed with his mouthpiece flying out yet again this round from a hard shot and the referee docking a meaningless point at this juncture in the fight. Aquino simply did not have the tool sin this one and had no chance at all going forward so the bout was stopped instead of damaging a fighter further. I agree in this case, he had no chance at winning.