A competitive, intriguing fight that featured a battle of wills and contrasting styles, the bout between former Champion Erislandy ‘The American Dream’ Lara (25-3-3, 14KO) and secondary WBA titlist Brian Carlos Castaño (15-0-1, 11KO) ended up resulting in a draw verdict.
The early question on was whether Lara still had the ability to use his legs due to concerns from his last bout, and tonight, he showed that he still has the capability to wheel around the ring and get his shots off, however Castaño made it a central point to stay on top of Lara wherever he went, stay in his chest, and cut the ring off at all times, not giving Lara the comfort of using the real estate in the ring.
Lara possessed a seismic 7 1/2 inch reach advantage, so early on, Castano decided to work behind a high tight guard of a defense, and jab his way in, using his footwork to get Lara’s back to touch the ropes before he went to exclusive work, dealing in his punching range, landing counter punches upstairs, sneaking the cross through when opportunity was presented, and ripping the left hook to keep the veteran honest.
The middle of the fight seemed to slip away from Castaño, who started to stagnate in the center of the ring, while Lara found his range and started keeping Brian at the end of his punch, countering exclusively with the left cross whenever Castaño wanted to forge an offensive attack.
Perhaps feeling as if he was falling behind on the scorecards around the 9th round, Castaño became more aggressive, and got back to what helped him find success earlier, pressing the action and going back to the body, something he stopped doing in large in the middle of the fight. Down the stretch, they fought like fighters who knew that the bout was too close to call.
Lara landed some very impressive counter shots upstairs, and Castaño increased his volume, finding home with shots thrown in multiple combinations. Fighting to the final bell, one had the feeling that this fight could go either way. In a bout that we thought was a 50/50 one going into the fight, that’s exactly what resulted officially with the draw verdict.
With this, Lara has the 3rd draw of his career, and as for Castaño, even though it was a draw, he successfully defended his secondary WBA title belt by not losing it via defeat. With this verdict, one wonders whether we’ll get a re-match out of this, or if they both shoot their shot at getting the chance to fight unified WBA/IBF Champion Jarrett ‘Swift’ Hurd, but we will see what comes of it as time passes. Here were the official judges scorecards, as well as our scorecard for this fight.
John McKaie = 115 – 113 for ERISLANDY LARA
Kevin Morgan = 115 – 113 for BRIAN CARLOS CASTAÑO
Julie Lederman = 114 – 114 scored as a DRAW
PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARD
Tré Berry III = 115 – 113 for BRIAN CARLOS CASTAÑO