Erislandy Lara, who recently managed his way into the top 10 of the junior middleweight division, had a disappointing performance against Carlos Molina on Friday evening which resulted in a Majority Draw, the first blemish on his record. Lara, one of the top Cuban defectors in the professional fight game, is now 15-0-1, and will need to impress his next outings to rebuild some of his momentum.
It could be argued that Lara had an off night or wasn’t fully into the bout, or more likely, Molina’s dogged body work, pressure and come-forward attack was able to take Lara out of his element. Molina continued to press the action all night, tie up Lara to keep him out of his rhythm, and dig to the body to slow him down. It was enough to earn him a 97-93 win on one judge’s scorecard, while the other two had the bout even at 95-95 after 10 rounds. Certainly not the kind of performance that Lara and his handlers were looking for on the televised main event of Friday Night Fights.
There was a Cuban fighter, or two, on the card that did impress however. Undefeated 10-0 junior middleweight Yudel Jhonson, a 2004 silver medalist at the Olympics, scored by far the biggest win of his career when he took out Richard Gutierrez in seven rounds. Gutierrez has officially fallen into gatekeeper mode after being a rising prospect-contender several years ago.
Additionally, Cuban cruiserweight Yunier Dorticos looked sensational in stopping his opponent in the second round. He’s 12-0 with 10 KOs and is just beginning to work his way up the ladder, but he looks to have a great set of skills to work with and build from.