By: William Holmes
HBO wasted little time in starting tonight’s Boxing After Dark card at the Wynn Casin in Las Vegas, Nevada. A moment of silence was given to the legendary Carmen Basilio prior to the start of the first televised bout.
Miguel “Mikey” Garcia (29-0) opened up the night in a featherweight bout against the Argentinian Jonathan Barros. Garcia and Barros started off slowly and seemed content to exchange jabs and feel each other out. Garcia was more accurate with his punches in the first four rounds, but did not fully commit to letting his hands go. Barros may have won rounds five and six, but round seven was his best round, punctuated by a solid left hook. A left hook by Garcia to the temple of Barros sent him crashing to the ground. He was able to get to his feet, but informed the referee “no mas” when asked if he wanted to continue.
Mikey Garcia wins by TKO at 2:24 of round eight. Afterwards Mikey Garcia stated he hoped to fight featherweight champion Orlando Salido next.
The main event of the night was a junior middleweight clash between Vanes Martirosyan and Erislandy Lara. Lara, the southpaw, landed several straight left crosses to the body of Martirosyan early on in the fight, and was extremely accurate with his jab. Martirosyan, however, continued to come forward and apply stead pressure on Lara. Round three even featured a guillotine choke by Lara.
The fight continued to get chippy and Martirosyan suffered a low blow in round four. Lara continued to pop shot Martirosyan with quick counters whenever Martirosyan came forward. A right hand by Martirosyan caused a cut over the left eye of Lara in round seven, but Lara got the better of Martirosyan during several exciting exchanges in both rounds seven and eight.
An accidental head-butt caused a brutal cut over the left eye of Vanes Martirosyan in round nine, and Martirosyan complained to the doctor that he could not see out of his left eye. The ring side doctor quickly stopped the fight and it went to the judges’ scorecards.
Even though the head-butt occurred within 0:26 seconds of round nine, the judges still had to score the round.
Surprisingly, despite the fact Lara landed more effective punches, it was ruled a technical draw, with scores of 86-85 for Martirosyan, 87-84 for Lara, and 86-86.