Featherweight contender Mauricio Lara stopped Jose Sanmartin in the third round of tonight’s DAZN main event from Mexico City, capping a night that had good action over four fights.
Lara (25-2-1, 18 KO) was supposed to have fought Leigh Wood for a secondary WBA featherweight title on Sept. 24, but Wood pulled out due to injury, the WBA then ordered a Leo Santa Cruz vs Leigh Wood title consolidation, and Lara was left without a major fight to take.
Instead, he stayed busy with this one, a fight where he was a huge favorite over Colombia’s Sanmartin (33-6-1, 21 KO), and he went out and showed exactly why.
It was a physical fight from the start, with Sanmartin trying his best to not back down from Lara; it didn’t work, but he also probably wasn’t going to be able to out-box him or anything, so it’s hard to say it was really a mistake. What other option was there to win?
Sanmartin’s most effective punch was probably a low blow late in round two, and that seemed to cause Lara to flip the switch. He dropped Sanmartin early in the third, then followed up with more shots. As Sanmartin went down again, the referee stepped in. The fight was probably really over on the first knockdown, as Sanmartin didn’t regain his legs, and Lara wasn’t just going to let him.
Angel Fierro TKO-7 Jeremy Cuevas
A hell of a fight, with Cuevas (14-2, 10 KO) extremely game and trying to give as good as he got, but Fierro (20-1-2, 16 KO) just had too much firepower.
Fierro looked much sharper and less one-dimensional in this fight, likely owing to some changes in his training; this was not the guy who struggled to a 10-round draw with faded veteran Juan Carlos Burgos this past March. He was throwing a lot and he’s never going to be a slick boxer or anything, but there was a zoned-in fire to his performance.
Cuevas, who was getting a real chance to make a mark, made this a fight. I thought he lost all but the first round, but he stood up to a lot of punishment and consistently fired back. But Fierro knew he’d hurt Cuevas in the sixth, and came out for blood in the seventh, with a big flurry that finally forced the referee to step in and stop it 53 seconds into the round, and it could have been stopped before it was. Cuevas was up, but he was rattled badly.
Reshat Mati UD-10 Leonel Rodriguez
He got the win, but this was a tough night for Mati (13-0, 7 KO) who was battling stomach issues as colorfully announced to his trainers between rounds three and four, and also, his corner felt the altitude in Mexico City was an issue.
Basically, the 24-year-old Mati battled through this and got a fair win. Scores were 97-93 from all three judges; Bad Left Hook had it 95-95 unofficially, but with some swing rounds here and there, seeing it 6-4 or 7-3 for Mati is really no problem. When the WBC’s dumb open scoring was read after eight rounds, Mati hearing that he was up 77-75 seemed to give him a little boost.
Mati also moved fully down to 140 for this fight, after fighting mainly at 147 early in his career. He did it the right way, dropping down to just under 144 for his last fight in April, and then getting under 140 here. It was no easy night for him, and frankly someone better than Rodriguez (10-3-1, 5 KO) likely would have beaten him given the variety of circumstances in play, but he got through it.
Alberto Mora UD-8 Diego Andrade
Mora (4-0, 3 KO) had gotten his first three opponents out early. He did not do that against Andrade (14-8-2, 1 KO), but it sure wasn’t for lack of trying. Most guys get stopped here, Andrade was just very tough.
Mora did clear, obvious damage, probably breaking Andrade’s nose, and he got a delayed reaction knockdown with a bit over a minute left in the eighth and final round. But Andrade was able to finish.
In other words, this did not “expose” Mora for not having the power his first three fights suggested — he can punch, and the 24-year-old junior lightweight prospect methodically and smartly broke Andrade down over this fight.