Coming into Saturday night, there were some questions as to if Erislandy Lara was on the tail end of his career. He is 37 years old, and has fought a lot of top fighters over the course of his career. While he does have a version of a world title, some may have had doubts that he could compete to be the best at the super welterweight division.
Lara made a statement in the ring as he used his boxing skill to overwhelm Vendetti over 12 rounds to score a unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 117-111) to retain the WBA world title and improve his record to 27-3-3. Vendetti has his two fight winning streak stopped and falls to 22-4-1. Lara outlanded Vendetti 161 total punches to 88 over the course of the fight and was not in any danger of losing as he set the pace from the start of the bout and kept Vendetti at bay for the course of the fight.
It was a tale of a boxer against a brawler as Lara used his jab to Vendetti’s head while Vendetti tried to get to the inside. Lara was accurate with his punches in the first two rounds. He started to get his power shots off in the third and made Vendetti think a bit before trying to get close to Lara. On multiple occasions when the Massachusetts native attempted to lunge in he ate uppercuts and hooks before Lara moved out of Vendetti’s line of sight. In the fifth and sixth round Vendetti exposed himself to combinations that showed the difference in class that the fighters had. After two-thirds of the fight passed it seemed clear that the former unified champion was going to leave the ring with the win.
“Tonight, I dominated the fight,” said Lara. “After this performance, I’m looking to step in the ring with any of the other champions.”
On September 26th, the super welterweight division will have some clarity at the top as the WBC champion Jermell Charlo takes on the WBA and IBF champion Jeison Rosario. The winner will have a target on their back as the man to beat in the 154 pound division. Once that fight is done, Lara would like to be the next person in line.
“I definitely want the winner of Jermell Charlo vs. Jeison Rosario,” Lara said. “If that fight can be made, I’ll be ready to go.”