Lara and Castano fight to a draw; Ortiz decisions Hammer
By Rich Mazon
Sun, 03 Mar 2019
Brooklyn, New York - Erislandy Lara failed to return to the win column against unbeaten World Boxing Association super welterweight champion, Brian Carlo Castano, in the main event of a boxing card held at the Barclays Center Satuday night (Sunday in Manila).
Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs), who lost his previous fight against Jarrett Hurd in one of the best matches of last year in Las Vegas on April 7, figured in a Split Draw versus the hard-charging Castano (15-0, 11 KOs) in a 12 round championship contest.
Castano of Buenos Aires, Argentina pressured Lara from the opening bell. He charged at his veteran opponent and punched at will against the former 154 pound champ from Guantanamo, Cuba.
On the opposite side, Lara exhibited his slickness by avoiding and evading most of Castano?s punches. He ducked at the right moment and clearly moved out of his opponent?s punches. Lara also found success with his left hand that effectively marked Castano.
The reigning champ won on Kevin Morgan?s card of 115-113 while Lara won with the same scores on John McKaie?s tally. Judge Julie Lederman gave both fighters six round each at 114-114.
?It was a great fight, but I saw myself winning eight rounds tonight. My punches were much more effective. He did have pressure but I was dominating the pressure. I was definitely expecting that pressure because he waited a long time for this fight,? said Lara who logged another draw in his career - his third.
Lara clamored for a rematch with Castano and also of that of Hurd.
?If we have to fight him again I?ll fight him. Hurd or Castano, anybody, I?ll have the rematch with both.?
Castano did not agree with the outcome and stated that he was robbed of a major victory. He remained the regular WBA 154 champ with the decision and offered Lara another crack at the title.
?It was a good fight, a clash of styles. I know I won the fight. I feel I was robbed. If he wants the rematch, I?ll give him the rematch.?
But Castano also wanted a future duel with fellow WBA champion Hurd. Hurd holds the Super Champion title of the organization.
?I?m ready for whoever they put in front of me. Hurd or anyone else.?
KING KONG DEFEATS HAMMER
Heavyweight Luis Ortiz makes a return to the venue of the only loss of his career and emerged victorious with a ten round unanimous decision win over Christian Hammer.
A year after Ortiz suffered the only defeat of his career against Deontay Wilder in an exciting championship match here at the Barclays Center in March 3 of last year, the Cuban southpaw engaged again in another entertaining scrap against a game opponent in Hammer.
The two exchanged heavy shots starting in the 2nd, Ortiz was landing his left hand with dramatic effect. Hammer would smile after getting hit and would move around the ring to avoid further contact.
Ortiz (30-1, 26 KOs) was on point with his big uppercuts, he would let his hands go when he traps Hammer in a corner. A combo of well placed body and head shots emanated from the boxer that is nicknamed ?King Kong?.
But Hammer (24-5, 14 KOs) would take all of what his foe could offer and he would just shrug and smile after being hit. The boxer from Hamburg, Germany would also not back down and would return fire of his own.
Hammer found success with his right hand. He would catch the lunging Ortiz several times with a straight and overhand right of his, enough to halt Ortiz?s momentum. He bloodied the Cuban in the 5th as a result of his effective reply.
But that was all Hammer can muster as Ortiz dominated him in most parts of the bout and in the score cards. Ortiz garnered scores of 99-91 twice and a shutout card of 100 -90, earning him his 31st win and a win here in Brooklyn.
He called out Wilder and Anthony Joshua after his win, hoping for another chance at a title shot.
?Every heavyweight out there should know that I still have it at 40. Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, I?m ready.
RAMIREZ UPSETS DE GRACIA
The first fight of the Showtime broadcast saw an upset win by Eduardo Ramirez (21-1-3, 8 KOs) against previously unbeaten Bryan De Gracia (24-1-1, 20 KOs).
Ramirez of Sinaloa, Mexico stopped De Gracia of David, Panama in the 9th round of their 12 round featherweight bout.
Down by points in two of the judges? cards at ringside while a third judge has it even, Ramirez unleashed a hard right uppercut that De Gracia did not see coming in the 9th. De Gracia?s knees buckled after the shot and Ramirez went wild over him with a barrage of punches.
Referee Benjy Esteves stopped the bout when De Gracia was hit hard again by another uppercut by Ramirez after the initial assault. The number 1 ranked World Boxing Association featherweight contender protested the stoppage but it was all for naught as his Mexican foe celebrated across the ring.
Ramirez earned the WBA Golden belt after the win and will most likely earn a title shot as this bout was a title eliminator by the above mentioned organization.
The time of stoppage was 2:12 of the 9th.
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