At 39 years old, Erislandy Lara is still working to prove that he is among the world’s elite at 160 pounds. On Saturday evening, the Cuban veteran stopped Gary O’Sullivan in the eighth round to retain his WBA “Regular” Middleweight Championship.
“I saw the opening, he was leaving himself open and that’s when the left came in and knocked him down. I saw in the eighth round he didn’t have any more power and that’s when I stepped up and showed my power,” Lara said about his performance.
While Lara is primarily known as a defensive fighter, he showcased his power throughout the fight. Over the course of eight rounds, he nearly doubled O’Sullivan’s power punch output while landing nearly 30% of those shots. As a result, he was able to pick up every round on every judge’s scorecard prior to the stoppage.
“This new style that I’m demonstrating is for all the boxers to show them how I can fight now, just being able to change up. He was a tough boxer, too,” Lara said after the fight.
“I’m a smart boxer, a slick boxer, that’s what I did tonight. I wait until he attacks and then I do what I have to do to win the fight.”
Moving forward, Lara has a shot to land a few more big fights before he calls it quits. One middleweight champion, Jermall Charlo, is currently working with PBC and another middleweight champion, Demetrius Andrade, has expressed an interest in fighting PBC fighters. Not to mention, unified titleholder Gennadiy Golovkin is moving up a division and may vacate his belts before the end of the year. Simply put, the division is wide open. While Lara is older than his peers, he is in position to take over the young man’s race at middleweight.
FIGHT'S OVER ?@Laraboxing stops O'Sullivan in round 8 to retain his WBA middleweight title ?#LaraOSullivan #DavisRomero pic.twitter.com/0c8u5KasrI
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) May 29, 2022