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Lara vs. Canelo was more accurately a draw

Canelo Alvarez Erislandy LaraBy Bob Smith: The fight yesterday between Erislandy Lara and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez was a good one, in fact, all that the pre-fight hype suggested it would be. It was an even fight, and this is no surprise, and each fighter clearly won four of the rounds in my opinion – Lara took rounds 1, 3, 10, and 11, while Alvarez took 4, 5, 8, and 9.

Both of the first two judges’ scorecards were reasonable, and actually, on first view, I had Canelo winning by two points, but then, looking more closely, I had either Lara by two points or a draw. The one scorecard that was completely unbelievable was the 117-111 card by Martinez, that was a complete joke.

For the disputed rounds, I gave Lara round 2 and 6, and Canelo round 7. The difference between a Lara win versus a draw would be round 12, and in fact, each landed the sane number of punches in the round; while Alvarez dominated the first half of the round, Lara dominated the second half.

Neither man should be ashamed of their performance, both did well but not nearly as well as they would have liked and it was a very even fight overall, with a great deal of ebb and flow.
Was Lara robbed? When the “B” side of a fight does not get a knockdown, does not dominate the “A” side, and is a slick boxer puncher, on his bicycle for most of the fight, while the “A” side displays the aggression, typically the “A” side will win a close decision. And this is what happened. Had Lara scored a knockdown or more thoroughly dominated the middle rounds as he did the beginning and end of the fight, then it would have been impossible not to score the fight in his favor.

But Canelo did quite well in rounds 7, 8, and 9, and momentum really swung in his favor, and the same was true for founds 4 and 5. All that was needed for the win for him was to be given the nod in two of the more controversial rounds, and as it turns out this is what happened. So, in summary, given the circumstances, no Lara was not robbed, it was a close fight, and a split decision for Canelo was a very reasonable outcome.

Having said all of this, I would have preferred a draw as the outcome. Lara used movement in the early and late rounds to dominate Alvarez; in the middle of the fight, however, his movement was based on fear and his productivity and punch output dropped. But with judges like Levi Martinez scoring the fight, the “A” side should not have much to fear if he can stay on his feet for 36 minutes – a better judge would have scored the bout a draw or given the split decision to Lara or Canelo by two points.

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