Wednesday night’s Premier Boxing Champions aired on ESPN. The Main Event was a WBA/IBO World Title Super Welterweight bout scheduled for 12 rounds, featuring Cuban-born Ersilandy Lara, who went up against Jan Zaveck from Slovakia. Lara fought out of the Blue Corner, with a record of 21-2-2, and 12 of his wins coming via KOs, while Zaveck battled out of the Red Corner, and had a record of 35-3, with a whopping 19 of his victories by KOs. Lara ended up getting a TKO over Zaveck in the third round, in the rain, to retain his title.
The boxing matches were held in Miami, at the Hialeah Park Race Track. Rain poured down, delaying the first bout. In front of a sparse crowd, who were under a canopy at ringside watching, Landy scored a TKO in the third round to retain his WBA/IBO World Title. Zaveck did not quit, but the ref stopped the fight. Zaveck looked like he had a back or shoulder spasm, and when he was asked if he could have continued, he replied, “I don’t know.”
The Co-Main Event, which followed the Main Event on the fight card, was an exciting one for the WBC Latino Bantamweight title, pitting Emmanuel Rodriguez against Elicer Aquino, and it was scheduled for 10 rounds. Rodriguez fought out of the Blue Corner, and he had an unbeaten record of 13-0, with 9 of his wins by KOs. Aquino, who fought out of the Red Corner, had a record of 17-1-1, with 11 KOs. It was Aquino’s second fight in the United States.
Round One: Aquino wore black trunks with red trim. Rodriguez wore red, white, and blue trunks. Rodriguez threw the first few punches of the round, though Aquino showed some power, as well. The rain started back up, and the crowd was sparse, but they saw a great boxing match. Rodriguez threw and landed the most punches, though the first round was pretty action-packed.
Round Two: The rain had picked up. There was a canopy over the spectators at ringside, but everyone else had cleared out. The two boxers went at it, toe to toe. Aquino picked up the pace somewhat. Rodriguez won the first round, and he connected with several nice combinations and a couple of left hooks. Aquino then landed a solid right hand.
Round Three: Rodriguez made hay with some nice uppercuts this round of the boxing match. Both boxers had, so far, thrown the same amount of punches, but Rodriguez had landed a greater percentage of his. Aquino threw a wild punch, which made him slip and fall. But, just a couple of seconds later, Rodriguez landed a left jab that temporarily knocked Aquino down. He was able to get up and continue fight, and a few seconds later, the round ended.
Round Four: Aquino was showing a lot of heart. He connected with a couple of combinations, but Rodriguez stayed in control of the boxing match this round. He landed punches to the stomach and then the face of Aquino. One ring announcer said, “Rodriguez is painting by the numbers, and he is painting a masterpiece right now.” Though Aquino did not give any ground, Rodriguez just was able to connect with more of his jabs and uppercuts.
Round Five: The rain was still coming down. Rodriguez and Aquino were intent on putting on a good show for the few spectators who had stuck it out and were still there, watching them. Rodriguez continued dominating the bout. Aquino lost his mouth piece, and had to get a new one in his corner; then, the fight resumed.
Aquino had game, but he was outmatched. He again somehow managed to lose his mouthpiece, and got it replaced. Rodriguez landed a nice combination to end the round.
Round Six: Aquino swung, and whiffed. He was taking a lot of punishment, but his corner did not step in yet to say he had had enough, and the ref still allowed the boxing match to continue. Rodriguez was great at counter-punching, and using his opponent’s aggression against him. Rodriguez got in some good digs to Aquino’s body, then he landed some double left jabs upstairs, to Aquino’s face.
Round Seven: Rodriguez sent Aquino’s mouthpiece flying, again, with a short right-hand punch. Aquino has had trouble in the past, “fighting with his mouth open,” according to a ring announcer. Rodriguez had knocked it out of his mouth. Aquino connected with a couple of rights, but for him to win, he would probably need to score a KO, by this point.
The ref finally had seen enough. He stopped the boxing match, and he ruled that Rodriguez had won by a TKO. Manny Rodriguez remained undefeated. It was the second straight loss for Aquino.
Erislandy Lara scored a TKO over Jan Zaveck in the third round, in the rain at the Hialeah Park Race Track in Miami when the ref stopped the boxing match, ruling that Zaveck could not continue the fight. In the second fight of the evening, Manuel Rodriguez remained undefeated by getting a TKO over Elicer Aquino in Round Seven.
What did you think of these two fights? Sound off in the comments section below and let us know.
Commentary by John Samuels
Photos Courtesy Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions