Tonight at 9 pm ET on Showtime, it’s a tripleheader from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, with Erislandy Lara challenging Brian Castano for the WBA “world” junior middleweight title in the main event.
Lara (25-3-2, 14 KO) is coming off of a thrilling and narrow loss to Jarrett Hurd last April, and now aims to stay firmly in the 154-pound mix as he closes in on his 36th birthday next month. The Cuban southpaw is the favorite here, and the A-side of the fight, despite the fact that Castano has the belt.
Castano (15-0, 11 KO) has an amateur pedigree and is considered a legitimately skilled fighter, but this is a big step up for the unbeaten man from Argentina. It’s also a huge opportunity — a win over Lara and Castano becomes a made man at 154.
In the co-feature, Cuban heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz (30-1, 26 KO) looks to keep himself in contention for another world title shot, as he takes on Christian Hammer (24-5, 14 KO) in a 10-round bout.
The opener will be a 12-round featherweight battle, pitting Panama’s Bryan De Gracia (24-1-1, 20 KO) against Mexico’s Eduardo Ramirez (21-1-3, 8 KO).
Wil Esco will be on the call tonight. Join us!
- ERISLANDY LARA and BRIAN CASTANO fight to Split Draw (115-113 Castano, 115-113 Lara, 114-114)
- LUIS ORTIZ def. CHRISTIAN HAMMER BY UD (100-90, 99-91, 99-91)
- EDUARDO RAMIREZ def. BRYAN DE GRACIA by TKO (2:10 of Round 9)
ROUND BY ROUND
ERISLANDY LARA vs BRIAN CASTANO
Round 1: Lara jabs to start the figth but falls short. Lara lands a jab now and Castano rushes right back and lands a straight right hand. Lara tries a left hand that misses. Lara touches with the right, then the left, then throws the left hand to the body. Castano comes forward but can’t land a shot. Lara gets in another left to the body. Lara throws a combination that largely misses before the bell. Lara boxing well early. Lara 10-9.
Round 2: Lara measures with his jab again and lets go a straight left hand. Castano gets low and tries to press forward by getting under Lara’s shots and Castano throws a right to the body. Two left hands come from Lara and glance off Castano’s gloves. Straight left hand to the body lands for Lara. Castano patiently pressing Lara and looking for an opening. Lara touches to the body with a jab. Castano tries to hit the body with a few shots on the inside while Lara was trying to clinch. Lara 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: Castano tries to come out quick with a right hand but doesn’t catch Lara unprepared. Castano walks Lara to the corner but Lara forces a clinch and a break. Castano walks in and Lara touches the body with a straight left hand. Lara misses on a one-two combination but gets in a left hand to the body. Now Castano lands a couple of hooks to the body on the inside. Castano misses on a big overhand right. Castano gets Lara back on the ropes and lands a right hand upstairs, then a body shot. Hard left hook to the body lands for Castano as he’s keeping Lara on the ropes more often. Castano 10-9.
Round 4: Castano comes out pressing again but misses on a right hand to the body. Lara throws a straight left hand that Castano catches on his glove. Left hand lead lands for Lara. Lara pokes with the jab again, moves along the ropes, and then pivots away from Castano’s pressure. Castano gets him to the ropes now though and Castano lands a body shot or two. Lara get in a counter as he makes Castano miss but Castano keeps throwing and lands a couple glancing shots. Castano walks forward again and tries to land but can’t get in anything clean. I think Lara edges it. Lara 10-9, 39-37.
Round 5: Lara lands a counter jab to start the round. Castano continues to come forward and back Lara up, he just hasn’t been able to land clean and consistently yet. Castano misses on a right hand to the body. Lara lands a straight left and then follows it up with a left uppercut to the body. Castano keeping the pressure on and hoping to make Lara wilt later in the fight. Left to the body lands for Castano. Lara gets in a left hand. Castano gets in another left to the body and throws a combination with Lara on the ropes, Lara fights back. I think Lara is still outboxing Castano at this point. Lara 10-9.
Round 6: Castano comes forward right away while probing with his upper body movement. Left to the body lands for Lara. Castano comes forward behind a flurry of punches as Lara hides behind his guard. Castano steps back in and lands a few more punches with Lara along the ropes. Lara’s right eye is marked up now. Clean left uppercut to the body lands for Lara. Castano misses on two hooks but then follows it up with a combination of punches as Lara covers up in the corner. Lead right lands for Castano at the bell. Castano 10-9, 56-58.
Round 7: Lara touches to the body with a probing shot and is looking to keep this fight on the outside. Lara throws a one-two that Castano blocks. Left hand lead lands for Lara. Castano walks in with a flurry and partially lands a couple shots downstairs. Castano gets lara back on the ropes but misses on two right hands. Straight right hand lands for Castano. Right hook lands for Castano, then another and Lara hits him with a shot right after the bell. Castano 10-9.
Round 8: Castano presses forward as Lara measures with his jab. Castano throws several punches but can’t land them clean. Now Lara lands a left hand to the body. Straight left hand from Lara partially lands. Right hand grazes Lara’s face. Castano throws a combination with Lara on the ropes but Lara pivots and gets back to center ring for a moment. Lara gets backed up to the ropes but lands two clean body shots then a straight left hand upstairs shortly after. Lara 10-9, 77-75.
Round 9: Lara throws a left hand that glances off Castano’s guard. Lara jabbing to keep the fight on the outside. Clean straight left lands for Lara at center ring. Lara throws another left to the body and Castano comes back with a couple of hooks. Lara fights back, throwing two shots to the body. Castano throws a left and right hook to the body. Castano walks into a left hand from Lara. Castano lands two body shots but I think Lara still takes it. Lara 10-9.
Round 10: Lara measuring with the jab again and places a left hand through the guard of Castano Castano tries to throw hooks and uppercuts on the inside. Straight right hand to the body partially lands for Castano. More long shots come from Lara on the outside and Castano forces his way in and throws a couple shots to the body. Castano walks right into another Lara left hand before the bell. Lara 10-9, 97-93.
Round 11: Lara counters but Castano gets him to the ropes and lands a hard left hand to the body. Another left to the body lands for Lara. Castano throws three punches but Lra is able to defend them. Two hooks to the body land for Lara. Castano lands a nice combination, ending with a left hooks to the body. Jab lands for Castano this time, a rarity in this fight. Castano throws a combination with Lara back on the ropes. Castano 10-9.
Round 12: Right hand to the body comes from Castano to start the round. Lara lands a left hand. Castano charges back and throws a flurry of punches as Lara tries to escape. Castano partially lands a left to the body and then throws a couple more short shots on the inside. Lara misses on a left hand counter. Left hook to the body lands for Castano with Lara on the ropes. Castano pushes Lara off of him as Lara tries to clinch and lets go some more punches. Left to the body lands again for Castano. Castano is staying right on top of Lara and letting his hands go more now than he was throughout the fight. Lara lands a left at the end of the round. Castano 10-9. I’ve got it scored for Lara 115-113.
LUIS ORTIZ vs CHRISTIAN HAMMER
Round 1: Ortiz stars off with a jab to the body and then a couple upstairs that don’t land. Hammer tries to time a big right hand and Ortiz returns fire with a left hand. Straight left from Ortiz falls short and the two big men fall into a clinch. Ortiz throws a short combination as Hammer hides behind a high guard. Straight right lands to the body for Hammer. Ortiz 10-9.
Round 2: Ortiz throws a few punches as Hammer keeps his hands up. Hammer lands a short and Ortiz knees buckle. Hammer comes back with another right hand. Right hook to the body lands for Ortiz. Two uppercuts land to the body for Ortiz. Ortiz misses on a right hook and then pushes Hammer back to the ropes. Ortiz chases Hammer to the other ropes but cant follow it up with anything effective. Hard body shot lands for Ortiz and Hammer takes a deep breath. Ortiz 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: Hammer walks in behind two hooks that can’t find the mark. Ortiz blocks a Hammer right hand and then starts pressing forward again. Hammer tries to jab to the body but misses. Ortiz circles to his right and paws with his jab, looking for a place to land his big left hand. Jab lands for Ortiz as he has Hammer on the ropes and Ortiz throws a left hand that Hammer rides. Hammer lands a right hand low and Ortiz taps his gloves in frustration. Ortiz 10-9.
Round 4: Both fighters jockey for position with their jabs but neither land a punch for the opening minute of the ropes. Now Ortiz lands a shot in the corner as Hammer shakes his head. Hammer is back on the ropes but can’t find the opportunity to land anything. Straight left hand to the body lands for Ortiz. Right hook lands to the body of Hammer. Ortiz goes to the body again and fires off a combination on Hammer. Jammer lands a short right hand once he gets back to center ring for a moment. Ortiz presses him back into a corner and throws three punches. Hammer is bleeding from his nose to end the round. Ortiz 10-9, 40-36.
Round 5: Ortiz leads with a couple jabs to start the round. Short right hook partially lands for Ortiz, who then lands a straight left hand that puts Hammer on the ropes again. Hard left to the body lands for Ortiz. Hammer misses on two right hooks and eats a jab from Ortiz. Ortiz has a bloody nose himself. Ortiz pretends like he’s shaken up to taunt Hammer and then comes forward to land a left hand to the body. Overhand right partially lands for Hammer. Hammer takes a left hand at the bell. Hammer is landing shots from time to time but I haven’t seen a round he’s won. Ortiz 10-9.
Round 6: Right hand lands to the body for Hammer. Ortiz steps in behind a stiff jab and backs Ortiz up. Left hand from Ortiz glances off Hammer’s glove. Two hooks land to the body for Hammer. Straight left hand lands again for Ortiz as Hammer shakes his head. Jab lands for Ortiz, then a right hook to the body. Hard left to the body lands clean for Ortiz. Straight left hand glances off Hammer’s head as he’s trapped in the corner. Hammer misses on a wild right hand. Ortiz 10-9, 60-54.
Round 7: Ortiz presses forward behind a jab and the fighters grab hold of each other. Hammer misses on a right hand after the break and Ortiz gets back to the jab. Jab lands again for Ortiz. Now Ortiz throws a left uppercut to the body to mix up his attack. Fatigue might be setting in for both fighters as the action has slowed and there’s some boos in the crowd. Ortiz still controlling the action with his jab, though. Ortiz 10-9.
Round 8: Ortiz stiff arms Hammer as Hammer tries to open the round on the attack. Ortiz snaps a weak jab to the body. Hammer falls short on a straight right hand. Ortiz lands a jab. Ortiz lands another jab as Hammer tries to lead with his right. Both fighters fall into one another and clash heads. Short uppercut from Ortiz lands on the inside, Hammer lands a right to the body. Two jabs and a left hand lands for Ortiz as he circles to his right. Ortiz 10-9, 80-72.
Round 9: Ortiz jousts with his jab and then parries a jab from Hammer. Hard left hand from Ortiz lands clean on Hammer’s face and Hammer mugs at him. Short left hand partially lands underneath for Ortiz. Hammer misses on a right hand as Ortiz circles, and then Hammer lands a right hand to the body. Hammer gets in a Right hand upstairs as Ortiz’s output has slowed. Short left hook lands for Hammer. Ortiz misses on a couple jabs and Hammer goes back down to the body with a right hand. Hammer 10-9.
Round 10: Last round. Hammer comes out and throws a right hand to the body. Right hook lands to the body for Hammer. Right hook lands upstairs for Ortiz. Ortiz foes to the body this time with the right hook. Right hand lead lands for Hammer, then a jab. Right hand to the body lands again for Hammer. Ortiz throws a left hand to the body that partially lands. Hard left to the body lands twice for Ortiz. Hammer takes a deep breath and Ortiz picks up the pace and tries to pour it on Hammer a little. Uppercut lands to the body for Ortiz, as Hammer lands a short right hand upstairs shortly after. Ortiz gets in one last left before the bell. Ortiz 10-9. I’ve got it 99-91 for Ortiz.
BRYAN DE GRACIA vs EDUARDO RAMIREZ
Round 1: De Gracia jabs, misses, and Ramirez tries to immediately counter with the right. Now De Gracia lands a lead left hook. Hard straight left to the body lands for Ramirez. Ramirez falls short on a lead left this time, and the partially lands a follow up right hook. The southpaw Ramirez goes back down to the body with his left hand. Counter jab partially lands for Ramirez, who has been active in the opening round so far. Ramirez counters again and makes some contact on De Gracia. Check right hook lands for Ramirez. I like how Ramirez mixed up his punches to the head and body. Ramirez 10-9.
Round 2: De Gracia tries to lead with a jab to the body but can’t find the mark. Ramirez jabs to the body and scores. Now De Gracia throws a straight right to the body as he begins pushing Ramirez back to the ropes. De Gracia continues to press forward but misses on a left hook. De Gracia comes back but Ramirez skips away before he can land anything effective. Straight right hand lands upstairs for De Gracia. Two hooks land to the body for De Gracia. Two shot uppercut partially land for Ramirez. I think De Gracia edges this round. De Gracia 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: De Gracia lands a straight right tot the body to open the round. De Gracia just misses on the next right hand downstairs and Ramirez lands a jab at center ring. Ramirez lands a counter left hand to the body after drawing out an attack from De Gracia Ramirez leads with his left and lands a clean shot. Hard straight left to the body lands again for Ramirez, who is getting more comfortable with timing his counters. Ramirez lands another straight left to the body and then uses lateral movement along to the ropes to keep De Gracia from getting any payback. Ramirez 10-9.
Round 4: De Gracia comes out pressing hard but misses on a lead right hand. A couple more lead right hands come from De Gracia and he finally lands a left gook to the body. De Gracia fighting more urgently now and trying to turn this into a firefight. Lead right hand lands for De Gracia, who then shoeshines to the body. Ramirez tries a left to the body again but the fighters gettties up along the ropes. Clean left lands for Ramirez. Now both trade shots at center ring and De Gracia throws a short combination to the body. Ramirez misses on a big left hand upstairs. Two more hooks lands for De Gracia, Ramirez lands two as well. De Gracia 10-9, 38-38.
Round 5: De Gracia comes out pressuring again and Ramirez tries to go back downstairs with a left hand. De Gracia throws a short flurry along the ropes but nothing lands too effectively. Counter left lands for Ramirez but De Gracia gets in a couple back as he responds with a combination. Ramirez lands two jabs as get circles to both sides. De Gracia can’t really get his feet set when Ramirez keeps bouncing to both sides. Right hand lead lands for De Gracia who then tries to assault him, throwing him into the ropes and throwing more punches! Ramirez returns fire at the bell. De Gracia stole that round with that one. De Gracia 10-9.
Round 6: Ramirez jabs to the body as the fights fall into a clinch. Big left hook misses for De Gracia. Now De Gracia lands a jab. Ramirez counters but the shots glance off De Gracia’s shoulder. De Gracia lands a right hand lead to the head that get’s Ramirez’s attention. De Gracia chases Ramirez to a corner but ones into a shot. De Gracia is undeterred and comes right back in with Ramirez landing a couple of clean shots. Right hand lands to the body for De Gracia just before the bell. De Gracia 10-9, 58-56.
Round 7: Ramirez flicks a jab and then tries to put the left hand down to the body. De Gracia lands another right hand lead. Ramirez tries a counter left uppercut but doesn’t land it clean. De Gracia rushes forward behind a number of punches that don’t land clean even though he’s throwing more. Ramirez moves around the ring some more as De Gracia tries to hunt him down. De Gracia throws another short flurry of punches at the end of the round. De Gracia 10-9.
Round 8: Both fighters throw a couple shots but can’t land. Ramirez misses on a right hook. De Gracia steps forward again behind a right hand and backs Ramirez to the ropes where Ramirez turns him. De Gracia throws a couple of wild right hands that make contact but don’t land clean. Left hand lands for Ramirez. De Gracia throws a couple more punches as the fighters fall in a clinch. De Gracia throws a flurry to the body, Ramirez returns fire. Both fighters trade at the bell. De Gracia’s not pretty but his aggression is winning the rounds for me. I think Ramirez needs to do a little more. De Gracia 10-9, 78-74.
Round 9: Ramirez lands a counter jab. Now Ramirez gets in a counter left as De Gracia steps in. Ramirez times him and lands another left hand, then another. Ramirez walks De Gracia right into another hook. HARD RIGHT UPPERCUT FROM RAMRIEZ LANDS RIGHT ON THE CHIN AND BUCKLES DE GRACIA’S KNEES! Ramirez flurries non-stop knowing he has De Gracia hurt and De Gracia wobbles again on his feet and the referee steps in to stop it. Ramirez TKO-9.