Tonight at 9 pm EST on Spike, Premier Boxing Champions is back with a doubleheader from Chicago, featuring the return of junior middleweight contender Erislandy Lara in the main event against journeyman Delvin Rodriguez.
Lara (20-2-2, 12 KO) fought twice last year, losing a close decision to Canelo Alvarez and beating Ishe Smith handily. This will be his first fight in 2015. Rodriguez (28-7-4, 16 KO) went to a draw with Joachim Alcine just over a year ago in his last fight, which came after a three-round drubbing against Miguel Cotto in October 2013.
The televised co-feature tonight will see rising light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (8-0, 8 KO) face off with Alexander Johnson (16-2, 7 KO). Johnson is a replacement for Doudou Ngumbu, the originally announced and better opponent. There are several other notable names in action tonight at the UIC Pavilion, including Artur Szpilka, Eleider Alvarez, Anthony Peterson, and DOLTON.
We'll be here with live coverage at 9, so join us!
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Erislandy Lara def. Delvin Rodriguez by unanimous decision (120-107, 120-107, 120-107)
Artur Beterbiev def. Alexander Johnson by TKO (1:38 of round 7)
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ROUND BY ROUND
ERISLANDY LARA vs DELVIN RODRIGUEZ
Round 1: Lara tagging the hell out of a bone dry Rodriguez to start the fight with straight left hands. Just dissecting Rodriguez to open this fight. Delvin did nothing in this round other than get popped. Lara 10-9
Round 2: Another Lara round. The fight doesn't look competitive or interesting and Lara is just sort of landing at will. Lara 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Lara doing whatever he wants with Delvin Rodriguez so far. This is a huge mismatch. Lara 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Yes. Lara 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Crowd getting impatient. Rodriguez getting beaten up. Lara 10-9, 50-45
Round 6: Rodriguez crumbles to the mat with about 10 seconds left in round 6 but he’ll get out of the round, for whatever reason. This is just a complete wipeout. Lara 10-8, 60-53
Round 7: This dude just acted like Lara vs Amir Khan is a fight people want to see. Lara 10-9, 70-62
Round 8: Lara cracks him with a good left, Rodriguez stumbles back some, then Lara’s, like, "That was good by me." Lara 10-9, 80-71
Round 9: Erislandy Lara is talented and without a test in front of him one of the most boring TV fighters on the planet. If allowed to coast, Lara will COOOOAAAAAST. Lara 10-9, 90-80
Round 10: This is still happening. Lara 10-9, 100-89
Round 11: Rodriguez gets dropped but no knockdown is the rule. Replay shows ref got it right though. Lara 10-9, 110-98
Round 12: Lara hurts him again with 45 seconds left but doesn't finish. Lara 10-9, 120-107
ARTUR BETERBIEV vs ALEXANDER JOHNSON
Round 1: Slow opening round with Johnson looking to keep Beterbiev from doing anything on offense. I'm not giving Johnson any credit for avoiding confrontation. Beterbiev 10-9
Round 2: Beterbiev getting more in this round and he's starting to rough up Johnson nicely already. This may not last a lot longer. The power is clearly bothering Johnson. Beterbiev 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Johnson lands a couple lefts and Beterbiev moves around, perhaps looking to bait Johnson into an opening. Beterbiev pushing him back again in the final moment and hurting him a little bit on power shots, driving Johnson back to the ropes with a right hand off the side of the head. Not big, clean shots, but just heavy hands. Beterbiev 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Beterbiev hurts him early in this round, Johnson wisely ties up with Veteran Savvy, and then Johnson lands a couple shots. Beterbiev throwing shots around the sides and pushing Johnson around again in the final minute of the round. He's really starting to bang away now. Johnson is doing his best to cover up and keeps his hands coming back when he gets a chance, which means the referee (probably?) won't jump in early on him. Beterbiev 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Johnson dropped just under halfway into the round on a hard jab, he's just being worn down. Johnson believes he slipped, or at least is saying he slipped. He got up fast, but Beterbiev continues the assault, stalking and really slamming his fists off his skull now as Johnson tries and fails to tie him up. Right hand, WHAM! Johnson staggered into the ropes and ruled down, only ropes held him up there. 40 seconds left for Beterbiev to finish this. Johnson getting smashed here. Beterbiev fighting a southpaw stance and looking for the finish. Jabs are landing through the gloves. Referee close to pulling the plug here as Johnson is getting battered. Bell sounds, but this shouldn't continue. Beterbiev 10-7, 50-43
Round 6: Johnson's corner told him he has to show something in this round or they're stopping out. And he does come out as the aggressor. You certainly have to admire Johnson's grit. He's still not winning the round but he's, uh, he's still in there? Beterbiev 10-9, 60-52
Round 7: Beterbiev drops Johnson during a story about Johnson's deceased brothers coming to him in a dream. Right hand and now Johnson is down again and it's over. Artur Beterbiev TKO-7