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Erislandy Lara vs. Yuri Foreman averages 547K viewers on Spike

Erislandy Lara Yuri Foreman

By Jeff Aranow: IBO/WBA junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara’s mismatch against Yuri Foreman (34-3, 0 KOs) last Friday night brought in good ratings on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike. Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs) won the fight by a 4th round knockout over the 36-year-old Foreman. Foreman was also down in round 3 of their fight at the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino in Hialeah, Florida.

The match brought in an average of 547,000 viewers with a high of 707,000 on Spike TV. Lara ended the fight with an uppercut that put Foreman down for the count. Surprisingly, the Lara-Foreman fight pulled in more viewers than the Daniel Jacobs vs. Sergio Mora rematch fight had brought in. That was a mismatch too.

While it’s good news that the Lara vs. Foreman fight brought in good numbers in the ratings, it’s not good for boxing fans to see poor mismatches like that. The idea is to entertain the fans, and the Lara-Foreman fight didn’t do that. Foreman didn’t have the talent to give Lara a run for his money, and the fight was never intended to be competitive.

It was another voluntary defense for Lara in which he picked out someone with no chance of beating him. In that respect, it was a repeat of Lara’s other easy title defenses against guys like Ishe Smith, Jan Zaveck, and Delvin Rodriguez. With Lara facing the opposition he’s been facing, he makes himself look silly by calling out Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. Those aren’t going to fight Lara if he’s not going to show that he’s seriously making an effort to take on the better fighters in the 154lb division.

“I want to thank Spike TV and everyone involved with the promotion for giving me the opportunity to fight in Miami, in front of all my fans.” said Lara. “The last time I fought in Miami I got the knockout and that’s exactly what I wanted to do in this fight. I accomplished that goal and the fans got to see someone go down. Everyone loves the knockout. I’m happy to have delivered a positive rating for Spike TV. I can’t wait to return to the ring.”

Getting knockouts are obviously important for Lara, but it would mean a lot more if he got those knockouts against guys like the Charlo brothers, Julian Williams, Demetrius Andrade and Erickson Lubin. I’m not sure that Lara can knockout any of those fighters, let alone beat them. Those are very good fighters. It would be a super move by Lara if he were to upgrade the level of his opposition to start facing the best in boxing instead of picking and choosing opposition from near the bottom of the WBA’s rankings. I think it would help Lara’s career if he fought the top level fighters. However, it’s hard to know whether Lara could cut the mustard against the best. He struggled against Canelo Alvarez, Carlos Molina and Alfredo Angulo in the past. Lara doesn’t handle body shots too well, and he would need to be able to take some serious shots if he were to face the Charlo brothers, Williams and Adrade.

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