Erislandy Lara vs Yuri Foreman, Anthony Dirrell vs Nemesapati, Payano vs Carranza
BY KID HERSH
From Hialeah Park Racing and Casino in Florida came PBC on Spike TV on a Friday evening. First up was Anthony Dirrell (29-1-1, 23KO's) vs Norbert Nemesapati (24-4, 17KO's). Referee was James Warring. Dirrell started the fight giving ground and looking to counter the aggressive young fighter coming at him but ended the round landing his punches and moving forward. Nemesapati looks very game but also in a bit over his head here as his defense is leaky and Dirrell is easily finding the mark. Dirrell was blasting Nemesapati more in the second round with every punch in the book. Nemesapati was taking the punches well and not looking discouraged but he can only handle so much of that type of punishment to a world class fighter like Dirrell. In the third round Dirrell moved his punches down to the body of Nemesapati and noticeably hurt him for the first time in the fight. Nemesapati was getting beat down over the coming rounds with next to no hope of winning as his punches slowed down and any power he had went away with Dirrells body work and accurate power punching up top as well. The fight was going on longer than it needed to but the referee was not stopping it because Nemesapati had clear eyes and I gotta agree that he seems to be fine, he is just taking a slow beat down more so to the body than the head. The referee stopped the bout before the seventh round and while Dirrell did not have a signature win he dominated the fight as he was supposed to. Was he was missing was killer instinct though - which he has shown in the past - because he could have and should have taken his man out far earlier.
Next up was Juan Carlos Payano (17-1, 8KO's) vs Isao Gonzalo Carranza (15-7-1, 9KO's). James Warring was the referee. Payano was the ring general in the first round and just like the first fight the B side opponent looked completely outclassed early on. In the second round Payano was even throwing crosses and straights as leads to show he was in total control. Carranza did not really take any devastating blows though until the fifth round when Payano's left hand was snapping his head back - especially early in the round. Carranza was starting to look a bit beat up by the end of the fifth and unfortunately for him and everyone else Payano has never been much of a puncher or finisher - which means more punishment from the clinic Payano is putting on. Payano is taking no damage and clearly in control and landing his best stuff but the damage is going to have to accumulate over time and it was only an eight round fight. Carranza's eyes were swelling up and he was getting frustrated as Payano was doing something I have not quite seen before by stamping his foot on the canvas before punching and/or as a feint of sorts. I'm not sure which one it was - although I lean towards him just being in rhythm and having his way with everything so he is further showing dominance but it almost seemed like he was trying to set up his punches with the lead foot stomp. Referee Warring ended the fight in the seventh round. Carranza likely could have continued and made it through the remaining round but it was a moot point because he stood no chance at all of winning the fight.
The main event featured Erislandy Lara (23-2-2, 13KO's) vs Yuri Foreman (34-2, 10KO's). This was a bit of a puzzling fight on many fronts when it was signed and continues to be puzzling. The only thing that isn't puzzling is that Foreman is super low risk at this point and does have some name recognition, even if greatly faded. Referee was . In the first round it was a very cautious - as expected between two pure boxers, but by the end of the round Lara was starting to land his straight left. It was more of the same in the second round and through the third because Lara could not find the mark on Foreman consistently. Then late in the third round a knockdown was ruled against Foreman from what was clearly a tangle of feet. It mattered not though, as Lara landed a nice uppercut in the fourth round that put Foreman down. Foreman was on wobbly legs and tried his best to get up but just could not shake the hurt from the legs. Not a huge statement win here since Lara was a 100/1 favorite coming into the fight. What would be more interesting is for him to fight Jermell Charlo in a unification - his ex gym mate! Now Jermell is not with Ronnie Shields anymore and so it is a possibility, and a rumor, that he may just face his ex gym mate.