Looking Beyond Hopkins and others

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: April 5, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — This past weekend on SHOBOX, The Next Generation featured undefeated Junior Middleweight Erislandy Lara against the tough former title contender Danny Perez.

Lara, a Cuban immigrant, was a fighter in a hurry as his advisors were talking title shot by year end before the fight, whereas Perez fought for a title against the tough Antonio Margarito but now he is opponent for young fighters to see where they are.

Lara put on a boxing clinic but did very little spectacular in white washing his opponent. The closest round may have been the first round where both fighters unleashed some vicious body shots and while Lara had the advantage in hand speed, he didn’t take advantage.

In the second round, Lara’s power showed up as he ripped some nasty body shots to Perez. From this point, Lara took over the fight as his hand speed forced Perez on the defense.

Perez looked perplexed as he often failed to get his punches off. Throughout the bout, Perez would throw one or two punches at time as he often covered up to avoid being hit.

The real question from the second round on; was whether Lara would go for the spectacular knock out or be satisfied with an easy boxing victory. As SHOBOX analyst Antonio Tarver noticed, being a good boxer sometimes is not enough but one has to be able provide excitement as a fighter to bring in fans.

Lara decided to spend second half of the fight sticking and moving, so he didn’t go for the kill. He seemed satisfied to simply beat Perez. Lara beat a solid fighter in Perez easily and it showed that he’s good enough to beat a top 20 fighter easily and he has the skill to be a champion but after eleven fights, he has yet to show that he will be great.

OTHER BOUTS

Carlos Velasquez was spectacular as he pounded Ira Terry, who entered with only two losses in 26 fights. But many of his fights were part of the southern circuit which consistent of weak competition.

The first round was a feeling around but that ended in the second round when Velasquez showed Terry who was boss. Velasquez punches shook Terry and he looked like a fighter shooting blanks as the other guy was throwing buck shots.

For the next six minutes, Velasquez pounded Terry, who occasionally countered but his punches were ineffectual. At the end of the third round, Velasquez unleashed a devastating combination before splitting Terry defense with a right hand that shook Terry as his knees buckled and only the rope kept him up.

He slowly rambled back to his corner but it was a matter of time before Velasquez power would end it. It only took the first 10 seconds of the fourth round when Velasquez nailed Terry with a right hand that moved him from the middle of ring back to the ropes.

Terry hit the ropes and fell face first. If Lara showed himself workmanlike, Velasquez provided the excitement that Antonio Tarver was looking for.

Mike Alvarado started off fast against Lenin Arroyo with the idea of ending the fight early. Alvarado, who just came out of jail from violating probation, has often spend his off hours drinking a occasional adult drink but now he knows that time is short to obtain his goal of championship.

In the first round, he hurt Arroyo with several solid rights along with nasty body shots. Avarado’s uppercut in the opening seconds of the second round; forced Arroyo to the rope and unleashed a barrage of body shots before a hook sent Arroyo reeling to the corner.

A second well placed upper cut sent Arroyo down for the count. Avarado looked impressive after a 10-month layoff and put his career back on track.

Undefeated Miguel Garcia challenged Tomas Villa and in the first round, Garcia nailed Villa with solid right that sent Villa down for a flash knockdown after a combination that ended with right hand.

30 seconds later, Garcia sent Villa down for a second knockdown and this was not a flash knockdown as a three punch combination concluded with a solid right. Villa beat the count but his leg wobbled, forcing the referee to end the fight.

Garcia won the USBA championship and put himself in line for a title shot in the featherweight division.

While Jones and Hopkins took center stage last weekend, some young fighters showed that there are several future stars in the sport as well.